Glomerulonephritis in idiopatic mixed cryoglobulinemia represents perhaps a glomerular damage by immune complexes. In this study, a sigmoidal-like curve was obtained after addition of 13 different mixed cryoglobulins to both autologous and isologous platelet-rich plasma, tested in platelet aggregometer. The lag phase of the curve corresponds to platelet phagocytosis of cryoglobulin-binding ferritin, as shown in electron microscopy and the optical density decrease phase corresponds to the aggregation of platelets that shows the same ultrastructural characteristics of ADP-induced platelet aggregation. This platelet aggregation is inhibited by different drugs. Intraglomerular platelet aggregation by cryoglobulins might play a key role in determining the glomerular damage in cryoglobulinemia by the release of nucleotides and vasoactive amines.

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