Antibodies directed against antigens present on renal epithelial cells can cause membranous glomerulonephritis in experimental animals, which closely resembles the human form of this disease. However, most antibodies produced so far fail to cause the persistent and severe proteinuria that is seen in humans. In our search for new antibodies of this kind, we have now produced a monoclonal antibody (mAb) against mouse aminopeptidase A, a hydrolase that is present in the mouse kidney. The mAb (ASD-4) was prepared by fusion of mouse myeloma cells with splenocytes of Lou rats immunized with brush border (BB) membranes from mouse kidneys. ASD-4 is of the IgG1 subclass and reacts with a 140-kD protein as demonstrated by immunoprecipitation on radiolabeled BB membranes. In indirect immunofluorescence and immunoelectronmicroscopy of normal mouse kidneys, ASD-4 was diffusely present on the BB of the S1 and S2 segments of the proximal tubules, and on the cell membranes of the glomerular visceral epithelia. It also bound to cell membranes of nonglomerular endothelia, smooth muscle cells of arteries, and juxtaglomerular cells. After injection of ASD-4 into normal mice, an immediate homogeneous binding to the capillary wall was seen that gradually changed into a fine granular pattern after 1 d. This glomerular binding was followed by binding to the BB and basolateral membranes of the convoluted proximal tubules. Immediately after injection of ASD-4, a dose-dependent albuminuria occurred that lasted for at least 16 d. ASD-4 is thus a new rat mAb against a well-defined renal epithelial antigen that causes not only membranous glomerulonephritis after a single injection in the mouse, but also severe albuminuria.

This content is only available as a PDF.