Analyzing antibody activity in IgA nephropathy

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IgA nephropathy is a chronic kidney disease defined by deposition of IgA in the glomeruli. An abnormality in the glycosylation of the hinge region of the IgA1 isotype of IgA is fundamental to the origins of this very common form of glomerulonephritis. In this issue of the JCI, Suzuki and coworkers describe the characteristics of IgG autoantibodies to the abnormally glycosylated IgA1 secreted by immortalized B cells derived from patients with sporadic forms of IgA nephropathy (see the related article beginning on page 1668). These IgG autoantibodies displayed remarkably restricted heterogeneity. These observations offer new insights into disease pathogenesis and may lead to new methods of diagnosis, monitoring, and therapy for patients with IgA nephropathy.

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