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Am J Nephrol. 1998;18(1):77-82.

Monoclonal antibody analysis of crescentic membranous glomerulonephropathy.

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Department of Medicine, University of Barcelona, Spain.


Idiopathic membranous glomerulonephropathy (MG) has a rather benign prognosis. Acute renal failure with cellular crescents superimposed on MG is unusual and its pathogenesis is not fully understood. We report 3 patients with crescentic MG who showed strong glomerular and interstitial infiltration of leukocytes (CD45), T lymphocytes (CD3), helper/inducer T cells (CD4), cytotoxic/suppressor T cells (CD8), and monocyte-macrophages (CD14). A similar number of CD4+ and CD8+ cells contributed to T cellularity within the glomerular tuft, whereas CD4+ cells were predominant over CD8+ cells in the crescents. Intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) antigens (CD54) were found on renal vascular endothelium, interstitial cellular aggregates and proximal tubular epithelial cells. The case reports illustrate the contribution of macrophages and T cells bearing predominantly CD4+ phenotype to cellular crescents, and the abnormal expression of ICAM-1 antigens on proximal tubular epithelial cells. Both features suggest that cell-mediated immunity may play a role in the transformation of crescentic MG.

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