Context: Membranous nephropathy is among the most common causes of nephrotic
syndrome in adults.
Evidence Acquisitions: PubMed, EBSCO, Web of Science, directory of open access journals
(DOAJ), EMBASE, and Google Scholar with keywords of phospholipase A2 receptor,
PLA2R, membranous nephropathy, nephrotic syndrome, idiopathic nephrotic syndrome
and glomerulonephritis have been searched.
Results: The recent finding that around 70%-80% of the idiopathic cases of membranous
nephropathy express Phospholipase A2 receptor (PLA2R) in their kidney biopsies and antiPLA2R
antibody in their serum was initially considered specific to the idiopathic cases.
However, more recent studies have shown that while PLA2R glycoprotein expression, and
anti-PLA2R antibodies, are specific to membranous nephropathy and are not seen in other
glomerulonephritides, they can be as frequently expressed in certain secondary forms of
Conclusions: In this communication we intend to briefly review the new data regarding
tissue and sero-positivity for PLA2R in different types of secondary membranous
nephropathy, as well as pathologic and immunofluorescence features of them as compared
to the idiopathic cases.