Endogenous complement C3 synthesis in immune complex nephritis

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Abstract

Human renal epithelial and mesangial cells have been shown to synthesise complement C3 in culture, but the relevance of this finding to the development of complement-mediated nephritis is uncertain. We investigated C3 gene expression in tissue biopsies that showed three main categories of renal injury. By semiquantitative polymerase chain reaction, biopsies from patients with immune-complex glomerulonephritis and those with cell-mediated interstitial nephritis showed increased C3 expression (p<0.05), but biopsies from patients with non-immune glomerular injury did not. These findings suggest that local C3 production is enhanced in immune-mediated nephritis and are consistent with the hypothesis that locally synthesised complement components are involved in the pathogenesis of tissue injury.

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