The aim of the present study was to investigate the events following interaction of antibody with an antigen planted on the surface of glomerular endothelial cell (GEN). A lectin, Helix pomatia agglutinin (HPA), was planted at the surface of rat GEN by the perfusion of the isolated left kidney with neuraminidase (NRD) and HPA. A subsequent perfusion with IgG fraction, but not with Fab fragments, of rabbit anti-HPA serum induced formation of granular immune deposits (IDs) on the surface of GEN. When the left kidney was revascularized after initial formation of IDs, acute glomerulonephritis ensued. Fifteen minutes after revascularization, granular IDs were observed at the subendothelial space. Two days later, there was decrease of subendothelial IDs with concomitant appearance of subepithelial IDs. At the seventh day, IDs were mainly localized in the subepithelial space. The results suggest that this model of experimental glomerulonephritis is characterized by: (1) initial formation of HPA immune complexes (ICs) at the surface of GEN; and by (2) subsequent movement of ICs from luminal side to subepithelial area with local formation of IDs. The results are relevant to the understanding of the kinetics of ICs resulting from interaction of antibodies with exogenous antigens 'planted' in the glomerular capillary walls, and of the local formation of IDs.
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