Immunological interrelations between placenta and kidney have become a matter of interest with regard to the pathogenesis of preeclampsia. Kidney morphology of Lewis rats was studied following repeated transplantations of heterologous or syngeneic placental tissue. In most of the heterologous placenta-recipient animals, diffuse severe glomerular lesions were found, similar to those seen in women with preeclampsia. In the strongly responding recipients, endothelial cell swelling, narrowing of capillary lumina and proliferation of mesangial matrix were observed. Patchy areas of fluorescence associated with dense IgG deposition, as well as fibrin deposits demonstrated in the affected glomeruli, were correlated with histologic changes. The use of syngeneic placenta as a transplant did not cause histological or immunohistological changes. These findings support the view that differences in histocompatibility antigens between mother and fetus may be involved in the pathogenesis of the nephropathy in preeclampsia.

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