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Nephrin Autoantibody

Minimal change disease (MCD) is a common cause of the nephrotic syndrome in children and adults, but the underlying pathogenesis is unclear. In a recent study of over 60 adults and children with biopsy-proven MCD and no known genetic basis, circulating autoantibodies targeting nephrin, a component of the glomerular slit diaphragm, were identified in approximately one-third of patients with active disease. Punctate immunoglobulin G (IgG) deposits colocalized with nephrin in the kidney biopsies of patients who were serologically positive for anti-nephrin antibodies, whereas no deposits were present in those who were serologically negative. These findings suggest a possible autoimmune etiology for MCD in a subset of patients. Reference

Watts A, Keller K, Lerner G, et al. Discovery of Autoantibodies Targeting Nephrin in Minimal Change Disease Supports a Novel Autoimmune Etiology. J Am Soc Nephrol 2021.

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