Primary membranous nephropathy (MN) is the leading cause of nephrotic syndrome in adults. Discovery of several antibodies has contributed to an increased understanding of MN. Antibodies against the M-type phospholipase A2 receptor (PLA2R) are present in 50-100% with primary MN and are associated with a lower frequency of spontaneous remission. High levels are linked with a higher probability of treatment resistance, higher proteinuria, and impaired renal function, as well as a more rapid decline of kidney function during follow-up. Immunologic remission precedes reduction of proteinuria by months. Pretransplant evaluation of PLA2R antibodies is warranted to predict recurrence of disease following renal transplantation. Several risk alleles related to the PLA2R1 gene and within the HLA loci have been identified, whereas epitope spreading of PLA2R may predict treatment response. More recently, thrombospondin type 1 domain-containing 7A (THSD7A) antibodies have been discovered in primary MN. Several other rare antigens have been described, including antibodies against neutral endopeptidase as a cause of antenatal MN and circulating cationic bovine serum albumin as an antigen with implications in childhood MN. This review focuses on the progress with a special focus on diagnostic accuracy, predictive value, and treatment implications of the established and proposed antigens.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)