Interstitial Immunostaining and Renal Outcomes in Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibody-Associated Glomerulonephritis.
BACKGROUND: Immunopathologic features predict renal function at baseline and follow-up in antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated glomerulonephritis (GN). The interstitial infiltrate consists predominantly of T lymphocytes, but their pathophysiologic significance is unclear, especially in light of the success of B-cell-directed therapy. METHODS: Renal biopsies from 33 patients treated with cyclophosphamide (CYC; n = 17) or rituximab (RTX; n = 16) in the RTX in ANCA-associated vasculitis (RAVE) trial were classified according to the new ANCA GN classification. T- and B-cell infiltration in the interstitium was assessed by immunostaining for CD3 and CD20. Correlations of clinical and histologic parameters with renal function at set time points were examined. RESULTS: The mean (SD) baseline estimated glomerular filtration rate was 36 (20) mL/min/1.73 m2. ANCA GN class distribution was 46% focal, 33% mixed, 12% sclerotic and 9% crescentic. The interstitial infiltrate consisted of >50% CD3 positive cells in 69% of biopsies, but >50% CD20 positive cells only in 8% of biopsies. In a multiple linear regression model, only baseline glomerular filtration rate (GFR) correlated with GFR at 6, 12, and 18 months. Interstitial B- and T-cell infiltrates had no significant impact on long-term prognosis, independent of the treatment limb. A differential effect was noted only at 6 months, where a dense CD3 positive infiltrate predicted lower GFR in the RTX group and a CD20 positive infiltrate predicted higher GFR in the CYC group. CONCLUSIONS: In ANCA-associated GN, the interstitial infiltrate contains mainly T lymphocytes. However, it is neither reflecting baseline renal function nor predictive of response to treatment, regardless of the immunosuppression regimen employed.
Geetha, D; Sethi, S; De Vriese, AS; Specks, U; Kallenberg, CGM; Lim, N; Spiera, R; St Clair, EW; Merkel, PA; Seo, P; Monach, PA; Lepori, N; Fessler, BJ; Langford, CA; Hoffman, GS; Sharma, R; Stone, JH; Fervenza, FC; RAVE-ITN Research Group,
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