Pediatric Nephrology

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 14–21 | Cite as

Collagen distribution in human membranous glomerulonephritis

  • Yi Cai
  • Agnès Beziau
  • Mireille Sich
  • Mary M. Kleppel
  • Marie-Claire Gubler
Original Article


In membranous glomerulonephritis (MGN), thickening of the glomerular basement membrane (GBM) is partly due to the accumulation of basement membrane material between and around immune deposits located on the epithelial aspect of the GBM. We investigated the distribution of type IV collagen chains (α1/α2, α3, α4, α5, α6) and of types I, III, V, and VI collagen in the glomeruli from 16 patients, by indirect immunofluorescence in 13 and the high-resolution immunogold technique in 6. No changes were detected in stage I MGN. The spiky projections of the GBM in stage II MGN and the basement membrane layers encircling immune deposits in stage III contained the α3, α4, and α5 chains of type IV collagen. In contrast, the α1/α2 chains of type IV, as well as type VI collagen accumulated in the subendothelial aspect of the GBM. No significant staining for types I, III, and V collagens or for the α6 chain of type IV collagen was detected. The results show that, as in the normal glomeruli, the different chains of type IV collagen are not co-distributed in the glomerular extracellular matrix in MGN. They also indicate that type IV collagen chains and type VI collagen play an important role in the thickening of the GBM in human MGN.

Key words

Glomerular extracellular matrix Type IV collagen chains Fibrillar collagen Immunofluorescence Immunogold electron microscopy 


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Copyright information

© IPNA 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yi Cai
    • 1
    • 2
  • Agnès Beziau
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mireille Sich
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mary M. Kleppel
    • 3
  • Marie-Claire Gubler
    • 2
  1. 1.INSERM U.423, Tour Lavoisier6ème étageHôpital Necker-Enfants MaladesParis Cedex 15France
  2. 2.Université René Descartes Paris VFrance
  3. 3.Department of PediatricsUniversity of Minnesota Medical SchoolMinneapolisUSA

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