The pathogenetic mechanism involved in a form of experimental allergic glomerulonephritis induced by immunization of rats with renal tubular antigen has been investigated. A single immunization with less than a milligram of a crude renal tubular preparation, probably containing less than 25 µg of the specific nephritogenic antigen, is effective in the induction of this form of chronic membranous glomerulonephritis. In the nephritic kidney autologous nephritogenic tubular antigen is found in the glomerular deposits along with γ-globulin and complement. When large amounts of antigen are injected during induction of the disease the exogenous immunizing antigen can also be detected in the glomerular deposits. It appears that this disease results from the formation of circulating antibodies capable of reacting with autologous renal tubular antigen(s) and the deposition of these antibodies and antigen(s) plus complement apparently as immune complexes in the glomeruli. This pathogenetic system has been termed an autologous immune complex disease and the resultant glomerulonephritis has been similarly designated.

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