Glomerulonephritis, Membranoproliferative: Chronic glomerulonephritis characterized histologically by proliferation of MESANGIAL CELLS, increase in the MESANGIAL EXTRACELLULAR MATRIX, and a thickening of the glomerular capillary walls. This may appear as a primary disorder or secondary to other diseases including infections and autoimmune disease SYSTEMIC LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS. Various subtypes are classified by their abnormal ultrastructures and immune deposits. Hypocomplementemia is a characteristic feature of all types of MPGN.Glomerulonephritis: Inflammation of the renal glomeruli (KIDNEY GLOMERULUS) that can be classified by the type of glomerular injuries including antibody deposition, complement activation, cellular proliferation, and glomerulosclerosis. These structural and functional abnormalities usually lead to HEMATURIA; PROTEINURIA; HYPERTENSION; and RENAL INSUFFICIENCY.Complement C3 Nephritic Factor: An IgG autoantibody against the ALTERNATIVE PATHWAY C3 CONVERTASE, found in serum of patients with MESANGIOCAPILLARY GLOMERULONEPHRITIS. The binding of this autoantibody to C3bBb stabilizes the enzyme thus reduces the actions of C3b inactivators (COMPLEMENT FACTOR H; COMPLEMENT FACTOR I). This abnormally stabilized enzyme induces a continuous COMPLEMENT ACTIVATION and generation of C3b thereby promoting the assembly of MEMBRANE ATTACK COMPLEX and cytolysis.Kidney Glomerulus: A cluster of convoluted capillaries beginning at each nephric tubule in the kidney and held together by connective tissue.Glomerulonephritis, Membranous: A type of glomerulonephritis that is characterized by the accumulation of immune deposits (COMPLEMENT MEMBRANE ATTACK COMPLEX) on the outer aspect of the GLOMERULAR BASEMENT MEMBRANE. It progresses from subepithelial dense deposits, to basement membrane reaction and eventual thickening of the basement membrane.Cryoglobulinemia: A condition characterized by the presence of abnormal quantities of CRYOGLOBULINS in the blood. Upon cold exposure, these abnormal proteins precipitate into the microvasculature leading to restricted blood flow in the exposed areas.Nephrotic Syndrome: A condition characterized by severe PROTEINURIA, greater than 3.5 g/day in an average adult. The substantial loss of protein in the urine results in complications such as HYPOPROTEINEMIA; generalized EDEMA; HYPERTENSION; and HYPERLIPIDEMIAS. Diseases associated with nephrotic syndrome generally cause chronic kidney dysfunction.Glomerulonephritis, IGA: A chronic form of glomerulonephritis characterized by deposits of predominantly IMMUNOGLOBULIN A in the mesangial area (GLOMERULAR MESANGIUM). Deposits of COMPLEMENT C3 and IMMUNOGLOBULIN G are also often found. Clinical features may progress from asymptomatic HEMATURIA to END-STAGE KIDNEY DISEASE.Complement C3: A glycoprotein that is central in both the classical and the alternative pathway of COMPLEMENT ACTIVATION. C3 can be cleaved into COMPLEMENT C3A and COMPLEMENT C3B, spontaneously at low level or by C3 CONVERTASE at high level. The smaller fragment C3a is an ANAPHYLATOXIN and mediator of local inflammatory process. The larger fragment C3b binds with C3 convertase to form C5 convertase.Cryoglobulins: Abnormal immunoglobulins, especially IGG or IGM, that precipitate spontaneously when SERUM is cooled below 37 degrees Celsius. It is characteristic of CRYOGLOBULINEMIA.Proteinuria: The presence of proteins in the urine, an indicator of KIDNEY DISEASES.Immune Complex Diseases: Group of diseases mediated by the deposition of large soluble complexes of antigen and antibody with resultant damage to tissue. Besides SERUM SICKNESS and the ARTHUS REACTION, evidence supports a pathogenic role for immune complexes in many other IMMUNE SYSTEM DISEASES including GLOMERULONEPHRITIS, systemic lupus erythematosus (LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS, SYSTEMIC) and POLYARTERITIS NODOSA.Biopsy: Removal and pathologic examination of specimens in the form of small pieces of tissue from the living body.Complement Factor H: An important soluble regulator of the alternative pathway of complement activation (COMPLEMENT ACTIVATION PATHWAY, ALTERNATIVE). It is a 139-kDa glycoprotein expressed by the liver and secreted into the blood. It binds to COMPLEMENT C3B and makes iC3b (inactivated complement 3b) susceptible to cleavage by COMPLEMENT FACTOR I. Complement factor H also inhibits the association of C3b with COMPLEMENT FACTOR B to form the C3bB proenzyme, and promotes the dissociation of Bb from the C3bBb complex (COMPLEMENT C3 CONVERTASE, ALTERNATIVE PATHWAY).Hematuria: Presence of blood in the urine.Properdin: A 53-kDa protein that is a positive regulator of the alternate pathway of complement activation (COMPLEMENT ACTIVATION PATHWAY, ALTERNATIVE). It stabilizes the ALTERNATIVE PATHWAY C3 CONVERTASE (C3bBb) and protects it from rapid inactivation, thus facilitating the cascade of COMPLEMENT ACTIVATION and the formation of MEMBRANE ATTACK COMPLEX. Individuals with mutation in the PFC gene exhibit properdin deficiency and have a high susceptibility to infections.Glomerulosclerosis, Focal Segmental: A clinicopathological syndrome or diagnostic term for a type of glomerular injury that has multiple causes, primary or secondary. Clinical features include PROTEINURIA, reduced GLOMERULAR FILTRATION RATE, and EDEMA. Kidney biopsy initially indicates focal segmental glomerular consolidation (hyalinosis) or scarring which can progress to globally sclerotic glomeruli leading to eventual KIDNEY FAILURE.Kidney: Body organ that filters blood for the secretion of URINE and that regulates ion concentrations.Glomerular Basement Membrane: The layer of EXTRACELLULAR MATRIX that lies between the ENDOTHELIUM of the glomerular capillaries and the PODOCYTES of the inner or visceral layer of the BOWMAN CAPSULE. It is the product of these two cell types. It acts as a physical barrier and an ion-selective filter.Complement System Proteins: Serum glycoproteins participating in the host defense mechanism of COMPLEMENT ACTIVATION that creates the COMPLEMENT MEMBRANE ATTACK COMPLEX. Included are glycoproteins in the various pathways of complement activation (CLASSICAL COMPLEMENT PATHWAY; ALTERNATIVE COMPLEMENT PATHWAY; and LECTIN COMPLEMENT PATHWAY).Nephrosis, Lipoid: A kidney disease with no or minimal histological glomerular changes on light microscopy and with no immune deposits. It is characterized by lipid accumulation in the epithelial cells of KIDNEY TUBULES and in the URINE. Patients usually show NEPHROTIC SYNDROME indicating the presence of PROTEINURIA with accompanying EDEMA.Nephritis: Inflammation of any part of the KIDNEY.Kidney Diseases: Pathological processes of the KIDNEY or its component tissues.Complement Pathway, Alternative: Complement activation initiated by the interaction of microbial ANTIGENS with COMPLEMENT C3B. When COMPLEMENT FACTOR B binds to the membrane-bound C3b, COMPLEMENT FACTOR D cleaves it to form alternative C3 CONVERTASE (C3BBB) which, stabilized by COMPLEMENT FACTOR P, is able to cleave multiple COMPLEMENT C3 to form alternative C5 CONVERTASE (C3BBB3B) leading to cleavage of COMPLEMENT C5 and the assembly of COMPLEMENT MEMBRANE ATTACK COMPLEX.Antigen-Antibody Complex: The complex formed by the binding of antigen and antibody molecules. The deposition of large antigen-antibody complexes leading to tissue damage causes IMMUNE COMPLEX DISEASES.Anti-Glomerular Basement Membrane Disease: An autoimmune disease of the KIDNEY and the LUNG. It is characterized by the presence of circulating autoantibodies targeting the epitopes in the non-collagenous domains of COLLAGEN TYPE IV in the basement membranes of kidney glomeruli (KIDNEY GLOMERULUS) and lung alveoli (PULMONARY ALVEOLI), and the subsequent destruction of these basement membranes. Clinical features include pulmonary alveolar hemorrhage and glomerulonephritis.Nephritis, Interstitial: Inflammation of the interstitial tissue of the kidney. This term is generally used for primary inflammation of KIDNEY TUBULES and/or surrounding interstitium. For primary inflammation of glomerular interstitium, see GLOMERULONEPHRITIS. Infiltration of the inflammatory cells into the interstitial compartment results in EDEMA, increased spaces between the tubules, and tubular renal dysfunction.Hepatitis C: INFLAMMATION of the LIVER in humans caused by HEPATITIS C VIRUS, a single-stranded RNA virus. Its incubation period is 30-90 days. Hepatitis C is transmitted primarily by contaminated blood parenterally, and is often associated with transfusion and intravenous drug abuse. However, in a significant number of cases, the source of hepatitis C infection is unknown.Blood Protein Electrophoresis: Electrophoresis applied to BLOOD PROTEINS.Hemolytic-Uremic Syndrome: A syndrome that is associated with microvascular diseases of the KIDNEY, such as RENAL CORTICAL NECROSIS. It is characterized by hemolytic anemia (ANEMIA, HEMOLYTIC); THROMBOCYTOPENIA; and ACUTE RENAL FAILURE.Immunoglobulin G: The major immunoglobulin isotype class in normal human serum. There are several isotype subclasses of IgG, for example, IgG1, IgG2A, and IgG2B.Fluorescent Antibody Technique: Test for tissue antigen using either a direct method, by conjugation of antibody with fluorescent dye (FLUORESCENT ANTIBODY TECHNIQUE, DIRECT) or an indirect method, by formation of antigen-antibody complex which is then labeled with fluorescein-conjugated anti-immunoglobulin antibody (FLUORESCENT ANTIBODY TECHNIQUE, INDIRECT). The tissue is then examined by fluorescence microscopy.Antibodies, Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic: Autoantibodies directed against cytoplasmic constituents of POLYMORPHONUCLEAR LEUKOCYTES and/or MONOCYTES. They are used as specific markers for GRANULOMATOSIS WITH POLYANGIITIS and other diseases, though their pathophysiological role is not clear. ANCA are routinely detected by indirect immunofluorescence with three different patterns: c-ANCA (cytoplasmic), p-ANCA (perinuclear), and atypical ANCA.Kidney Transplantation: The transference of a kidney from one human or animal to another.Lupus Nephritis: Glomerulonephritis associated with autoimmune disease SYSTEMIC LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS. Lupus nephritis is histologically classified into 6 classes: class I - normal glomeruli, class II - pure mesangial alterations, class III - focal segmental glomerulonephritis, class IV - diffuse glomerulonephritis, class V - diffuse membranous glomerulonephritis, and class VI - advanced sclerosing glomerulonephritis (The World Health Organization classification 1982).Glomerular Mesangium: The thin membranous structure supporting the adjoining glomerular capillaries. It is composed of GLOMERULAR MESANGIAL CELLS and their EXTRACELLULAR MATRIX.Immunosuppressive Agents: Agents that suppress immune function by one of several mechanisms of action. Classical cytotoxic immunosuppressants act by inhibiting DNA synthesis. Others may act through activation of T-CELLS or by inhibiting the activation of HELPER CELLS. While immunosuppression has been brought about in the past primarily to prevent rejection of transplanted organs, new applications involving mediation of the effects of INTERLEUKINS and other CYTOKINES are emerging.Microscopy, Electron: Microscopy using an electron beam, instead of light, to visualize the sample, thereby allowing much greater magnification. The interactions of ELECTRONS with specimens are used to provide information about the fine structure of that specimen. In TRANSMISSION ELECTRON MICROSCOPY the reactions of the electrons that are transmitted through the specimen are imaged. In SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPY an electron beam falls at a non-normal angle on the specimen and the image is derived from the reactions occurring above the plane of the specimen.Basement Membrane: A darkly stained mat-like EXTRACELLULAR MATRIX (ECM) that separates cell layers, such as EPITHELIUM from ENDOTHELIUM or a layer of CONNECTIVE TISSUE. The ECM layer that supports an overlying EPITHELIUM or ENDOTHELIUM is called basal lamina. Basement membrane (BM) can be formed by the fusion of either two adjacent basal laminae or a basal lamina with an adjacent reticular lamina of connective tissue. BM, composed mainly of TYPE IV COLLAGEN; glycoprotein LAMININ; and PROTEOGLYCAN, provides barriers as well as channels between interacting cell layers.Hepacivirus: A genus of FLAVIVIRIDAE causing parenterally-transmitted HEPATITIS C which is associated with transfusions and drug abuse. Hepatitis C virus is the type species.Vasculitis: Inflammation of any one of the blood vessels, including the ARTERIES; VEINS; and rest of the vasculature system in the body.Retrospective Studies: Studies used to test etiologic hypotheses in which inferences about an exposure to putative causal factors are derived from data relating to characteristics of persons under study or to events or experiences in their past. The essential feature is that some of the persons under study have the disease or outcome of interest and their characteristics are compared with those of unaffected persons.Autoantibodies: Antibodies that react with self-antigens (AUTOANTIGENS) of the organism that produced them.Serum Sickness: Immune complex disease caused by the administration of foreign serum or serum proteins and characterized by fever, lymphadenopathy, arthralgia, and urticaria. When they are complexed to protein carriers, some drugs can also cause serum sickness when they act as haptens inducing antibody responses.Lipodystrophy: A collection of heterogenous conditions resulting from defective LIPID METABOLISM and characterized by ADIPOSE TISSUE atrophy. Often there is redistribution of body fat resulting in peripheral fat wasting and central adiposity. They include generalized, localized, congenital, and acquired lipodystrophy.Plasma Cell Granuloma, Pulmonary: A tumor-like inflammatory lesion of the lung that is composed of PLASMA CELLS and fibrous tissue. It is also known as an inflammatory pseudotumor, often with calcification and measuring between 2 and 5 cm in diameter.Granuloma, Plasma Cell: A slow-growing benign pseudotumor in which plasma cells greatly outnumber the inflammatory cells.Subphrenic Abscess: Accumulation of purulent EXUDATES beneath the DIAPHRAGM, also known as upper abdominal abscess. It is usually associated with PERITONITIS or postoperative infections.Pseudotumor Cerebri: A condition marked by raised intracranial pressure and characterized clinically by HEADACHES; NAUSEA; PAPILLEDEMA, peripheral constriction of the visual fields, transient visual obscurations, and pulsatile TINNITUS. OBESITY is frequently associated with this condition, which primarily affects women between 20 and 44 years of age. Chronic PAPILLEDEMA may lead to optic nerve injury (see OPTIC NERVE DISEASES) and visual loss (see BLINDNESS).Orbital Pseudotumor: A nonspecific tumor-like inflammatory lesion in the ORBIT of the eye. It is usually composed of mature LYMPHOCYTES; PLASMA CELLS; MACROPHAGES; LEUKOCYTES with varying degrees of FIBROSIS. Orbital pseudotumors are often associated with inflammation of the extraocular muscles (ORBITAL MYOSITIS) or inflammation of the lacrimal glands (DACRYOADENITIS).Purpura, Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic: An acquired, congenital, or familial disorder caused by PLATELET AGGREGATION with THROMBOSIS in terminal arterioles and capillaries. Clinical features include THROMBOCYTOPENIA; HEMOLYTIC ANEMIA; AZOTEMIA; FEVER; and thrombotic microangiopathy. The classical form also includes neurological symptoms and end-organ damage, such as RENAL FAILURE.Purpura, Thrombocytopenic: Any form of purpura in which the PLATELET COUNT is decreased. Many forms are thought to be caused by immunological mechanisms.Plasma Exchange: Removal of plasma and replacement with various fluids, e.g., fresh frozen plasma, plasma protein fractions (PPF), albumin preparations, dextran solutions, saline. Used in treatment of autoimmune diseases, immune complex diseases, diseases of excess plasma factors, and other conditions.Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic: Thrombocytopenia occurring in the absence of toxic exposure or a disease associated with decreased platelets. It is mediated by immune mechanisms, in most cases IMMUNOGLOBULIN G autoantibodies which attach to platelets and subsequently undergo destruction by macrophages. The disease is seen in acute (affecting children) and chronic (adult) forms.Plasmapheresis: Procedure whereby plasma is separated and extracted from anticoagulated whole blood and the red cells retransfused to the donor. Plasmapheresis is also employed for therapeutic use.ADAM Proteins: A family of membrane-anchored glycoproteins that contain a disintegrin and metalloprotease domain. They are responsible for the proteolytic cleavage of many transmembrane proteins and the release of their extracellular domain.