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Ultrastruct Pathol. 2014 Apr;38(2):104-15. doi: 10.3109/01913123.2013.861568. Epub 2014 Jan 24.

Extrusion of amyloid fibrils to the extracellular space in experimental mesangial AL-amyloidosis: transmission and scanning electron microscopy studies and correlation with renal biopsy observations.

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Department of Pathology .


In vitro studies have provided much information regarding the process of glomerular AL-amyloidogenesis. Research efforts have been successful in deciphering how glomerulopathic light chains interact with mesangial cells. The sequential steps involved in the genesis of amyloid fibrils include interactions with surface caveolae in mesangial cells and internalization of the monoclonal light chains through a clathrin-mediated process followed by trafficking in the mesangial cells to the mature lysosomal compartment where fibrils are formed. This manuscript focuses on how mesangial cells, once amyloid has been formed, deliver the fibrils to the extracellular matrix. The delivery of amyloid fibrils to the outside of the cells is carried out by lysosomes, which abut the mesangial cell membranes and extrude their contents into the extracellular space. This final step responsible for the fibrils to be present predominantly in the extracellular space is well demonstrated with scanning electron microscopy.

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