PR J. L. KEMENY, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PR J. L. KEMENY, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Inflamed kidney. Light micrograph of a section through the kidney of a patient with membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (MPGN). This is a type of glomerulonephritis, an inflammation of the filtering structures (glomeruli) of the kidney. A glomerulus consists of a tightly coiled capillary and supporting cells. MPGN is caused by the accumulation of antibodies, which are produced by the body's immune system against infection, in the glomerular basement membrane. The accumulation causes fibrosis (formation of scar tissue), and leads to a reduction in blood flow through the glomeruli and so a reduction in filtration rate. Eventually the destruction of the tissue can cause kidney failure. Treatment is of the underlying cause, with dialysis or transplant in severe cases.
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