Progress on the M-type phospholipase A2 receptor in idiopathic membranous nephropathy

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To highlight current knowledge about M-type phospholipase A2 receptor (PLA2R) which is the first human autoantigen discovered in adult idiopathic membranous nephropathy.

Data sources

Relevant articles published in English from 2000 to present were selected from PubMed. Searches were made using the terms “idiopathic membranous nephropathy, M-type PLA2R and podocyte.”

Study selection

Articles studying the role of M-type PLA2R in idiopathic membranous nephropathy were reviewed. Articles focusing on the discovery, detection and clinical observation of anti-PLA2R antibodies were selected.


M-type PLA2R is a member of the mannose receptor family of proteins, locating on normal human glomeruli as a transmembrane receptor. The anti-PLA2R in serum samples from MN were primarily IgG4 subclass. Technologies applied to detect anti-PLA2R autoantibody are mainly WB, IIFT, ELISA and so on. Studies from domestic and overseas have identified a strongly relationship between circulating anti-PLA2R levels and disease activity.


Recent discoveries corresponding to PLA2R facilitate a better understanding on IMN pathogenesis and may provide a new tool to its diagnosis, differential diagnosis, risk evaluation, response monitoring and patient-specific treatment.

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