The Contribution of Complement to the Pathogenesis of IgA Nephropathy: Are Complement-Targeted Therapies Moving from Rare Disorders to More Common Diseases?
Primary IgA nephropathy (IgAN) is a leading cause of chronic kidney disease and kidney failure for which there is no disease-specific treatment. However, this could change, since novel therapeutic approaches are currently being assessed in clinical trials, including complement-targeting therapies. An improved understanding of the role of the lectin and the alternative pathway of complement in the pathophysiology of IgAN has led to the development of these treatment strategies. Recently, in a phase 2 trial, treatment with a blocking antibody against mannose-binding protein-associated serine protease 2 (MASP-2, a crucial enzyme of the lectin pathway) was suggested to have a potential benefit for IgAN. Now in a phase 3 study, this MASP-2 inhibitor for the treatment of IgAN could mark the start of a new era of complement therapeutics where common diseases can be treated with these drugs. The clinical development of complement inhibitors requires a better understanding by physicians of the biology of complement, the pathogenic role of complement in IgAN, and complement-targeted therapies. The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of the role of complement in IgAN, including the recent discovery of new mechanisms of complement activation and opportunities for complement inhibitors as the treatment of IgAN.
European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Association (??)