Aims: New onset of the clinical symptoms of immunoglobulin A (IgA) nephropathy (IgAN) manifests with proliferative glomerular lesions in children, whereas adults exhibit mesangial matrix expansion and interstitial fibrosis. Alternatively, activated (M2) macrophages have been implicated in promoting tissue fibrosis in some settings. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate whether M2 macrophages are present in new-onset IgAN and if they are related to pathological differences between paediatric and adult disease. Methods and results: Biopsy specimens from paediatric (<10years, n=14; >12years, n=15) and adult (n=27) IgAN showed a significant infiltrate of CD68+ macrophages. M2 macrophages, identified by CD163 or CD204 expression, were detected in glomeruli and the interstitium, being more prominent in adults versus young children. CD163+ and CD204+ macrophages were present in areas of fibrosis containing myofibroblasts, and double staining showed that CD163+ cells produced the profibrotic molecule, connective tissue growth factor. In young children, total CD68+ macrophages, but not M2 macrophages, correlated with glomerular hypercellularity. In contrast, in adults and older children, mesangial matrix expansion correlated with M2 macrophages but not with the total CD68+ macrophage infiltrate. Conclusions: Alternatively activated M2 macrophages are present in new-onset paediatric and adult IgAN, and this population may promote the development of fibrotic lesions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine