Rabbits immunized to several homologous renal antigens developed a variety of autoantikidney antibodies. Some of these antibodies reacted with the host's glomeruli and appeared to cause glomerulonephritis. Passive transfer of sera from some of these nephritic rabbits into normal, unilaterally nephrectomized rabbits led to the induction of nephritis. The production of autoantibody to glomeruli was transitory in most instances in spite of continued immunization. In some rabbits immunized to whole kidney homogenate, extracts or sediment, antibodies were found fixed to renal tubular basement membranes where an ultrastructural lesion was demonstrated. Rabbits also produced antikidney antibody apparently to tubular cytoplasmic components which did not fix to kidney in vivo and were of no pathogenetic significance.
Immunization with autologous renal basement membranes induced a small autoantibody response in half the rabbits. This response was not associated with detectable renal injury.