Identification and Characterization of Circulating Immune Complexes in IgA Nephropathy

Co-First Authors: Yasuyuki Matsumoto and Rajindra P Aryal

Senior/Corresponding Author: Richard D Cummings, Professor, Dept. of Surgery, BIDMC/Harvard Medical School

Published in Science Advances, October 28, 2022

A breakthrough in our understanding the human disease called IgA Nephropathy, has just been published in Science Advances.  IgA Nephropathy is one of the most common causes of kidney diseases worldwide, and is caused by accumulations of the immunoglobulin A (IgA) in the kidney. This study, by Richard. D. Cummings at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School and his colleagues, demonstrates that a particular form of IgA1, termed the galactose-deficient IgA1, is bound to an IgM antibody, which results in the formation of large, damaging immune complexes.  The new research includes a detailed description of the nature of the immune complexes, and show a novel interaction with complement C3.  These deposited complexes are associated with kidneys leaking blood and proteins, and over the course of many years leading to loss of kidney function and kidney failure.   Most importantly, the researchers also identified a novel potential treatment of the disease, in which specific sugar compounds can be used to disrupt the immune complexes. This provides exciting new directions for therapies and monitoring options for patients with IgA Nephropathy.  In addition, this work provides a new opportunity to enhance early diagnosis and alleviate the need for invasive biopsies.

Read Full Publication at Science Advances.