Mice have been found to be susceptible to spontaneous renal localization of immune deposits. However, the significance of these immune deposits is still debated. We investigated the immunopathogenesis of a naturally occurring glomerulopathy associated with progressive proteinuria and glomerulosclerosis in 75 BALB/c mice. The mice were divided into five groups of 15 and killed at the age of 1, 3, 6, 12, or 18 months for laboratory and renal pathologic studies. These mice showed persistently increasing serum levels of immune complexes, a marked increase of glomerular immune deposits which were capable of fixing C3, and interstitial infiltration of lymphocytes and plasma cells, followed by the occurrence of proteinuria, mesangiopathy, and glomerulosclerosis. Our findings suggest that an immune system mediated process occurred in the kidneys of the mice tested.
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