This study determines Immunoglobulin A (IgA) nephropathy (IgAN) is an important cause of chronic and end-stage kidney disease. IgAN pathogenesis is incompletely understood. In particular, we cannot adequately explain the heterogeneity in clinical and histologic features and severities that characterizes IgAN. This limits patient stratification to appropriate and effective treatments and the development of disease-targeted therapies. Studies of the role of the alternative, lectin, and terminal complement pathways in IgAN have enhanced our understanding of disease pathogenesis and inform the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. For example, recent genetic, serologic, and immunohistologic evidence suggests that imbalances between the main alternative complement pathway regulator protein (factor H) and competitor proteins that deregulate complement activity (factor H–related proteins 1 and 5, FHR1, and FHR5) associate with IgAN severity: a relative abundance of FHR1 and FHR5 amplifies complement-dependent inflammation and exacerbates kidney injury.


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