Alternative Pathway Dysfunction in Kidney Disease: A Case Report and Review of Dense Deposit Disease and C3 Glomerulopathy

Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC. Electronic address: .
American Journal of Kidney Diseases (Impact Factor: 5.76). 02/2013; 61(5). DOI: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2012.11.045
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Dysfunction of the alternative pathway of complement activation provides a pathophysiologic link between the C3 glomerulopathies dense deposit disease and glomerulonephritis with C3 deposition and the clinically and histologically distinct atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome. Previously, dense deposit disease was known as membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis type II, but paucity or complete lack of immunoglobulin deposition on immunofluorescence staining and advances in our understanding of alternative pathway dysregulation have separated it from immune complex-mediated membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis types I and III. We discuss a case of dense deposit disease and review the current pathologic classification, clinical course, treatment options, and related conditions.

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    ABSTRACT: C3 glomerulopathy refers to those renal lesions characterized histologically by predominant C3 accumulation within the glomerulus, and pathogenetically by aberrant regulation of the alternative pathway of complement. Dense deposit disease is distinguished from other forms of C3 glomerulopathy by its characteristic appearance on electron microscopy. The extent to which dense deposit disease also differs from other forms of C3 glomerulopathy in terms of clinical features, natural history, and outcomes of treatment including renal transplantation is less clear. We discuss the pathophysiology of C3 glomerulopathy, with evidence for alternative pathway dysregulation obtained from affected individuals and complement factor H (Cfh)-deficient animal models. Recent linkage studies in familial C3 glomerulopathy have shown genomic rearrangements in the Cfh-related genes, for which the novel pathophysiologic concept of Cfh deregulation has been proposed.
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    ABSTRACT: C3 glomerulopathy (C3G) is a newly defined clinical entity comprising glomerular lesions with predominant C3 staining. Under this definition are now included membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis type II (dense deposit disease) and C3 glomerulonephritis. This group of glomerular diseases with a heterogeneous histological aspect shares a common pathogenesis, that is, a dysregulation of the alternative pathway of complement in the fluid phase leading to C3 deposition in the kidney. Recent advances have expanded our understanding of the underlying mechanisms, leading to the hypothesis that blocking the alternative complement pathway may be an effective treatment for C3Gs, as has been shown in other renal diseases driven by alternative pathway dysregulation, such as atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome. Results of 11 published cases of patients with different forms of C3G treated with eculizumab, an anti-C5 humanized monoclonal antibody, are encouraging. Given the complexity of disease pathogenesis in C3G, a patient-tailored approach including a comprehensive workup of complement abnormalities is necessary to evaluate the best treatment options. Clinical trials assessing effectiveness of different complement blockers on the background of the individual complement profile are needed.
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    ABSTRACT: Crescentic glomerulonephritis is a rare condition in children and is typically associated with renal insufficiency. Dysfunction of the alternative complement pathway is an unusual aetiology with an unknown mechanism.
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