FRRB Project 1737173 - PLA2R-autoreactivE B-cell subsets in membranous nePhropaThy: Identification of outcome predictors and novel insights into Disease pathogenesis

Name and Surname of PI

Federica Casiraghi

Project Acronym


Project ID


Host Institution

Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri IRCCS - Milan

Pathology of Interest

Membranous Nephropathy

Research Area


Project Start Date

1 March 2021

Project End Date

29 February 2024


€ 579.040,00

Type of Project



Membranous Nephropathy (MN) is a renal disease caused by auto-antibodies directed against the phospholipase A2 receptor (PLA2R), a protein expressed on the surface of kidney podocytes. Treatment with a drug that depletes B cells – the cells that are ultimately responsible for antibody production – induces remission of the disease in MN patients. However, 40% of them do not respond to this therapy, and 30% of patients relapse after initially achieving remission. The reasons for this non-homogeneous efficacy are largely unknown. The aim of this project is to evaluate the frequency, characteristics and survival of the specific B cell subset that secretes anti-PLA2R autoantibodies in MN patients. Results of this project will provide insight into disease pathogenesis, allow to differentiate a priori patients who may benefit from anti B-cell or alternative treatment strategies, and lead to the discovery of novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of MN.