Laminin a non-collagenous glycoprotein is a major component of the renal glomerular basement membrane and mesangium. Thus far eleven distinct chains have been described, permutations of which make up 15 laminin isoforms. Laminin molecules interact with cells and other matrix molecules during organ development and differentiation. We studied the distribution of laminin isoforms in patients with type 1 diabetic nephropathy, membranous nephropathy, membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis and IgA nephropathy/ Henoch-Schönlein purpura. Immunofluorescence microscopic studies with laminin-chain-specific antibodies to the α1, α2, α5, β1, β2 and γ1 chains detected α2, β1 and γ1 chain expression in the normal mesangium and α5, β2 and γ1 in normal glomerular basement membrane. Significantly, constituents of the glomerular basement membrane, α5, β2 and γ1 chains were overexpressed in kidneys with diabetic nephropathy. Initially the constituents of the mesangium increased commensurate with the degree of mesangial expansion and degree of diabetic nephropathy. Reduction in α2 chain intensity was observed with severe mesangial expansion and in the areas of nodular glomerulosclerosis. In addition, with late disease aberrant expression of α2 and β2 chains was observed in the mesangium. Glomerular basement membrane in renal disease overexpressed molecules normally present in that location. In summary, the alterations in basement membrane composition in various renal diseases seem to not only reflect the balance between synthesis and degradation of normal basement membrane constituents, but also their aberrant expression.
- diabetic nephropathy