The principal objective of this investigation was to define the roles of injected and autogenous, kidney-localizing antibodies in the pathogenesis of rat nephrotoxic nephritis by relating data obtained with fluorescent antibody techniques to clinical and histologic observations.
Such an analysis of the nephritis that developed in 28 rats after injection with the crude γ-globulin fraction of nephrotoxic serum has led us to the following conclusions:—
The renal localization of nephrotoxic antibodies is primarily and, perhaps, exclusively in the membranes of the glomerular tufts. These antibodies are demonstrable, as antigens, in the glomeruli for up to 3 months after injection.
In the acute stage of the nephritis, non-antibody, autogenous globulins are present in the glomerular tufts, probably as components of edema fluid. From 6 and 9 days to 3 months after injection, autogenous antibodies are localized in the glomerular tufts in a pattern that corresponds closely to that of the nephrotoxins.
The essential requirements for the operation of the mechanism postulated by Kay are fulfilled in rat nephrotoxic nephritis.