PMID: 7056856Feb 1, 1982

Induction of membranous nephropathy in rabbits by administration of an exogenous cationic antigen

The Journal of Clinical Investigation
W A BorderA H Cohen


We examined the role of antigenic electrical charge as a determinant of glomerular immune complex localization in the rabbit. Serum sickness nephritis was induced in groups of New Zealand white rabbits by daily 25-mg intravenous injections of bovine serum albumin (BSA) chemically modified to be cationic (pI > 9.5) or more anionic (pI, 3.5-4.6); an additional group received unmodified native BSA (pI, 4.5-5.1). Factors known to influence immune complex localization, e.g., molecular size of the administered antigen and resulting circulating immune complexes, immunogenicity, and disappearance time from the circulation were examined and found to be similar for both anionic and cationic BSA. Charge modification did increase the nonimmune clearance of cationic and anionic BSA compared with native BSA. Injected cationic BSA was shown in paired label experiments to bind directly to glomeruli compared with native BSA. The renal lesion produced by cationic BSA was markedly different from that found in rabbits given anionic or native BSA. Animals receiving cationic BSA uniformly developed generalized diffuse granular capillary wall deposits of IgG, C3, and BSA detected after 2 wk of injections and increasing until death at 6 wk. Qualitativ...Continue Reading


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