Complement activation products in the urine from proteinuric patients

Yoshiki Morita, Hiroshi Ikeguchi, Jiro Nakamura, Nigishi Hotta, Yukio Yuzawa, Seiichi Matsuo

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137 Citations (Scopus)


The presence of plasma proteins in the tubular lumen has variety of adverse effects on the tubular cells. Among various plasma proteins filtered through glomerular barrier, complement has been proven as the possible candidate inducing tubulointerstitial injury. To study the role of intratubular complement activation in proteinuric patients, complement activation products (CAP) at C3 level (iC3b and Bb) and C9 level (membrane attack complex) were measured in both plasma and urine of patients with minimal change nephrotic syndrome (MCNS), focal glomerular sclerosis, IgA nephropathy, membranous nephropathy, and diabetic nephropathy. For evaluation of the effect of metabolic acidosis on the intratubular complement activation, urinary CAP were measured before and after sodium bicarbonate administration in patients with renal insufficiency. The following results were obtained: (1) Patients with focal glomerular sclerosis and diabetic nephropathy showed the highest level of urinary CAP excretion rate (unit/creatinine), while MCNS revealed no increase. (2) Patients with membranous nephropathy showed a unique finding, i.e., isolated increase of membrane attack complex excretion. (3) There was no significant correlation between urine and plasma levels of CAP. (4) Except for MCNS patients, the urinary excretion rate of CAP significantly increased when the level of proteinuria exceeded the nephrotic range, and it was significantly correlated with the serum creatinine level. (5) Urinary CAP excretion rate significantly decreased 2 wk after sodium bicarbonate administration without affecting the level of proteinuria or plasma CAP. These results suggest that the degree of intratubular complement activation correlates with the level of proteinuria, type of glomerular disease, impairment of renal function, and metabolic acidosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)700-707
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 04-2000
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nephrology


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