Aims/hypothesis. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder associated with T-cell mediated injury to multiple endocrine tissues. T-cell infiltration of the juxtaglomerular apparatus could be associated with changes in local renin angiotensin system activity and, thus, with changes in the renal microenvironment. We examined the frequency of juxtaglomerular apparatus T-cell infiltration early in Type 1 diabetes and tested whether this is associated with renal structure and function. Methods. We classified 89 Type 1 diabetic patients by immunohistochemical analysis as either juxtaglomerular apparatus T-cell positive (n=37) or T-cell negative (n=38). Borderline cases (n=14) were not considered further. Results. T-cell positive patients had a shorter duration of diabetes (6.7±2.5 years) than T-cell negative patients (9.2±5.0 years, p=0.011) and lower albumin excretion rate, but they had a similar glomerular filtration rate and blood pressure. Renal biopsy morphometric analysis showed similar glomerular basement membrane width and mesangial fractional volume in these two groups. However, glomerular capillary surface density (p=0.0012) and filtration surface per glomerulus (p=0.0155) were greater in the T-cell positive patients. Conclusion/Interpretation. Increased filtration surface per glomerulus could be associated with glomerular filtration rate preservation in diabetes. Thus, juxtaglomerular apparatus immunologic injury in Type 1 diabetes patients could delay the clinical consequences of diabetic nephropathy.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Acknowledgements. This work was primarily supported by
- Diabetic nephropathy
- Juxtaglomerular apparatus
- Type 1 diabetes