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Pathology. 1989 Oct;21(4):275-8.

Localization of terminal complement components S-protein and SP-40,40 in renal biopsies.

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Department of Anatomical Pathology, St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne.


The terminal complement complex has been implicated in the development of glomerular injury in both experimental and, indirectly, in human glomerulonephritis. Recent data suggests that the terminal complement complex in human glomerulonephritis may be in the cytolytically inactive SC5b-9 form which also contains S-protein and a recently identified protein, SP-40,40. In this study renal biopsies were examined by immunofluorescence to determine the incidence and inter-relation of deposition of the SC5b-9 components C6, C9, S-protein and SP-40,40. All components of SC5b-9 were found in arteries and arterioles, along the tubular basement membrane and in areas of glomerulosclerosis in all biopsies. This deposition was sometimes associated with C3 but never immunoglobulin deposition and correlated with the degree of renal injury. In addition, in biopsies with glomerular deposition of immunoglobulin and C3, the SC5b-9, components co-localized with the immune deposits. Glomeruli without immune deposits or glomerulosclerosis contained none of the SC5b-9 components. The incidence and pattern of distribution of SP-40,40 was similar to that of S-protein, C6 and C9 in all of cases. These data confirm that the terminal complement complex in the kidney is, at least partly, in the SC5b-9 form both in the specific immune glomerular deposition and in the "non-specific" deposition in areas of renal injury. SP-40,40 is also found in the SC5b-9 complex in all forms of renal disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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