Virchows Archiv A

, Volume 419, Issue 4, pp 267–272 | Cite as

Localisation of complement components in association with glomerular extracellular particles in various renal diseases

  • Mitsuru Nakajima
  • Tim D. Hewitson
  • Douglas C. Mathews
  • Priscilla Kincaid-Smith
Original Articles


Intraglomerular extracellular microparticles including so-called virus-like particles and striated membranous structures have been observed in various renal diseases. The presence and localisation of complement components in these extracellular bodies was studied using the protein A-gold electron microscopy method. Ultrastructurally these particles were differentiated into microspherical structures (MSS) and thread-like structures (TS). Both structures showed weak to moderate diffuse labelling with C1s, whilst the intense labelling found with C3d and C9 was confined to individual membrane-like structures of both MSS and TS. Labelling with IgA, IgG, fibrinogen and the complement components C1q, C1r, C3c C4 and C5 showed negative or trace results. There were no differences between the immunolabelling patterns of MSS and TS, nor among different renal diseases in which these structures were found. These findings raise the possibility that formation of so-called virus-like particles such as MSS and TS may be associated with complement activation.

Key words

Complement Glomerular deposits Immunohistochemistry 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mitsuru Nakajima
    • 1
  • Tim D. Hewitson
    • 1
  • Douglas C. Mathews
    • 1
  • Priscilla Kincaid-Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NephrologyThe Royal Melbourne HospitalMelbourneAustralia

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