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Am J Kidney Dis. 1988 Oct;12(4):307-15.

Characterization of interstitial infiltrating cells in Berger's disease.

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Division of Nephrology, San Carlo Borromeo Hospital, Milan, Italy.


The role of infiltrating blood-borne cells in the pathogenesis of renal damage in human glomerulonephritis is under active investigation. We have evaluated leukocyte infiltrates (number of cells/mm2) in the renal interstitium of 21 patients with Berger's disease and eight normal kidneys with monoclonal antibodies and a four-layer immunoperoxidase technique. In our population of patients, the number of infiltrating T-lymphocytes (OKT11+ cells) was significantly higher (median, 132) than in the normal kidneys (median, 60). This increase was mainly due to T-suppressor/cytotoxic lymphocytes (OKT8+ cells; median, 68), while T-helper/inducer lymphocytes (Leu 3A+ cells) and monocytes were in the normal range. T-lymphocyte infiltration was more marked in ten patients with impaired glomerular filtration rate (GFR) at the time of biopsy (median, 167) than in patients with normal GFR (median, 88). In addition, ten patients who showed deterioration of renal function during the subsequent follow-up, whatever their serum creatinine levels at the time of biopsy, had significantly more total T cells (median, 269), OKT8+ cells (median, 143), and Leu 3A+ cells (median, 105) than 11 patients with persistently stable GFR and normal controls. More data are necessary to establish whether this T-lymphocyte infiltration is the consequence of a cell-mediated mechanism acting in the interstitium, concomitant with the immune-complex-mediated mechanism acting in the glomerulus, or is a nonspecific consequence of the tubulointerstitial damage induced by the immunologically mediated glomerular disease.

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