The Significance of the Detection of Circulating Immune Complexes in Human Glomerulonephritis

  • R. Coppo
  • D. Roccatello
  • C. Rollino
  • G. Martina
  • A. Aprato
  • G. Camussi
  • M. Messina
  • G. Piccoli
Part of the Ettore Majorana International Science Series book series (EMISS, volume 9)


Much attention has been devoted to the development of clinically applicable ways of detecting immune complexes (IC) in the circulation. Through a reliable IC assay it is hoped to obtain information about the pathogenesis, diagnosis and prognosis of human glomerulonephritis. The authors present a critical re-evaluation of their own data, with a follow-up of 1–42 months. The authors’ experience refers to 428 sera from 207 patients affected by idiopathic or secondary glomerulonephritis. In the last 4 years 3 tests for the detection of circulating IC were employed: solid phase C1q test, PEG precipitation test and PMN immunohistological technique. The limits and specificity of each test and the diagnostic significance of the data obtained in nephropathic patients are discussed.


Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Immune Complex Lupus Nephritis Human Glomerulonephritis Renal Deposit 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

List of Abbreviations


immune complexes


aggregated human γ-globulins


polyethylene glycol


electron microscopy






non significant


polymorphonuclear neutrophil


systemic lupus erythematosus

SP — Clq

solid phase — Clq

O.D. 280 nm

optical density (asorbance) at 280 nm


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Agnello, v., Winchester, R.J. and Kunkel, H.G.: Precipitin reactions of the Clq component of complement with aggregated Jglobulin and immune complexes in gel diffusion. Immunology 19: 909, (1970).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Camussi, G., Tetta, C. and Caligaris Cappio, F.: The detection of immune-complexes on the surface of polymorphonuclear neutron.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Casali, P., Bossus, A., Carpentier, N. and Lambert, P.H.: Solid phase enzyme immunoassay or radioimmunoassay for the detection of immune complexes based on their recognition by conglutinln. Clin. exp. Inmiunol. 29: 342, (1977).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Coppo, R., De Marchi, M., Quarello, F., Stratta, P., Triolo, G., Carbonara, A. and Piccoli, G.: Utilizzazione di alcuni tests per la ricerca di immunocomplessi sierici nello studio di una casistica nefrologica. Atti del IV Simposio Internazio- nale “Applicazioni delle tecniche radioisotopiche in vitro”, p. 123, Napoli, December 1977.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Coppo, R., De Marchi, M., Segoloni, G., Quarello, F. and Piccoli, G.: Circulating immune complexes in nephritis. La Ricerca, 7: 354, (1977).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    R. Coppo, Segoloni, G., Alloatti, S., De Marchi, M., Vercellone, A. and Piccoli, G.: Ricerca di immunocomplessi circolanti in nefropatie umane. Min. Nefrol. 24: 155, (1977).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Coppo, R., De Marchi, M., Segoloni, G., Alloatti, S., Camussi, G., Quarello, F., Rosso, E., Bussolino, F. and Piccoli, G.: Analisi qualitative di immunocomplessi sierici (IC s) in glo- merulonefriti umane. Min. Nefr. 25: 7, (1978).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Coppo, R., De Marchi, M., Mazzucco, G., Carbonara, A.O., Segoloni, G., Monga, G. and Piccoli, G.: Application of solid phase Clq assay in sera from nephropathic patients. In: Protides of the biological fluids. Pergamon Press, Oxford, p. 313, 1979.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Coppo R., De Marchi, M., Carbonara, A.O., Boccazzi, C., Bul-Zomi, M.R., Messina, M., Martina, G., Rollino, C., Segoloni, G. and Piccoli, G,: Presentazione di un nuovo test (conglutinin solid phase con anti-IgA) per la evidenziazione di immunocomplessi sierici a componente anticorpale IgA. Min. Nefrol. 27: 447, (1975).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Cowdery, J.S., Treadwell, P.E. and Fritz, R.B.: A radioimmunoassay for human antigen-antibody complexes in clinical material. J. Immunol. 114: 5, (1975).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Digeon, M., Laver, M., Rizza, J. and Bach, J.F.: Detection of circulating immune complexes in human sera by simplified assay with polythylene glycol. J. Immunol. Met. 16: 165, (1977).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Dixon, F.J.: The role of antigen-antibody complexes in disease. Harvey Lecture, 58: 21, (1963).Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Dixon, F.J.: The pathogenesis of glomerulonephritis. Am. J. Med. 44: 493, (1968).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Editorial Review. In situ immune complexes formation and glomerular injury. Kidney Int. 17: 1, (1980).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Franklin, E.G., Holman, H.R., Muller-Eberhard, H. and Kunkel, H.G.: An unusual protein serum of certain patients with rheumatoid arthritis. J. Exp. Med. 105: 425, (1957).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Gabriel, A. Jr. and Agnello, V.: Detection of immune complexes. The use of radioimmunoassay with Clq and monoclonal rheumathoid factor. J. Clin. Invest, 59: 990, (1977).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Gelpaud, M.C., Frank, M.M. and Gree, I.: A receptor for the third component of complement in the human renal glomerulus. J. Exp. Med. 142: 1029, (1975).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Germuth, F.G.: A comparative histologic and immunologic study in rabbits of induced hypersensitivity of the serum sickness type, J. Exp. Med. 97: 257, (1953).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Hay, F.C., Nineham, L.J. and Roitt, I.M.: Routine assay for the detection of immune complexes of known immunoglobulin class using solid phase Clq. Clin. exp. Immunol. 24: 396, (1976).Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Izui, S., Lambert, P.H. and Miescher, P.A.: In vitro demonstration of a particular affinity of glomerular basement membrane and collagen for DNA: A possible basis for local formation of DNA — Anti — DNA complexes in systemic lupus erythematosus. J. Exp. Med. 144: 428, (1976).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Lambert, P.H. et al: A WHO collaborative study for the evaluation of 18 methods for detecting immune complexes in serum. J. Clin. Lab. Immunol. 1: 1, (1978).Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Lurhuma, A.Z., Cambiaso, C.L., Masson, P.L. and Heremans, J.F.: Detection of circulating antigen-antibody complexes by their inhibitory effect on the agglutination of IgG-coated particles by rheumatoid factor or Clq. Clin. exp. Immunol. 25: 21, (1976).Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Luthra, H.S., McDuffie, F.C., Hunder, G.C. and Samayoa, E.A.: Immune complexes in sera and synovial fluids of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Radioimmunoassay with monoclonal rheumatoid factor, J. Clin. Invest. 56: 458, (1975).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    McLemman, I.C.M.: Competition for receptor for immunoglobulins on cytotoxic lymphocytes. Clin. Exp. Immunol. 10: 275, (1972).Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Myllylä, G.: Aggregation of human blood platelets by immune complexes in the sedimentation pattern test. Scand. J. Haematol. Suppl. 19, (1973).Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Mowbray, J.F., Hoffbraud, A.V., Holborow, E., Seah, P.P. and Fry, L.: Circulating immune complexes in dermatitis herpetiformis. Lancet, 1: 400, (1973).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Onyerwotu, I.I., Holborow, E.J. and Johnson, G.D.: Detection and radioassay of soluble circulating immune complexes using guinea pigs peritoneal exudate cell. Nature, 248: 156, (1974).ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Sobel, A.T., Bokisch, V.A. and Muller-Eberhard, H.J.: Clq deviation test for the detection of immune complexes aggregates of IgG and bacterial products in human sera. J. Exp. Med. 142: 139 (1975).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Takesoshi, Y., Tanaka, M., Miyakawa, Y., Yoshizawa, H., Takahashi, K. and Mayumi, M.: Membranous glomerulonephritis induced by Hepatitis Be antigen-antibody complex. New Engl. J. Med. 300: 814, (1979).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Theofilopoulos, A.N., Eisenberg, R. and Dixon, F.J.: Use of B-type lymphoblastoid cells (Raji) for the isolation of preformed immune complexes from human sera (abstr.). Fed. Proc. Fed. Am. Soc. Exp. Biol. 36: 1213, (1977).Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Von Pirquet, C.E. Allergy. Arch. Int. Med. 7: 259, (1911).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Zubler, R.H. and Lambert, P.H.: The 125 ciq binding test for the detection of soluble immune complexes. In: B.R. Bloom and J.R. David: In vitro methods in cell-mediated and tumor immunity. Academic Press, New York, p. 565, 1976.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Coppo
    • 1
    • 2
  • D. Roccatello
    • 1
    • 2
  • C. Rollino
    • 1
    • 2
  • G. Martina
    • 1
    • 2
  • A. Aprato
    • 1
    • 2
  • G. Camussi
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. Messina
    • 1
    • 2
  • G. Piccoli
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Cattedra di Nefrologia Medica dell’UniversitaTurinItaly
  2. 2.Divisioni di Nefrologia e DialisiOspedale Maggiore di San Giovanni BattistaTurinItaly

Personalised recommendations