A nephritic condition was developed by infecting Swiss Webster albino mice with the malarial parasite Plasmodium berghei NK 65. These animals were tested for urinary protein and the presence of circulating immune complexes using reagent strips and a polyethylene glycol (PEG) precipitation assay. The circulating immune complexes were isolated from the sera using both affinity chromatography and PEG precipitation and from the kidney by acid elution. The isolated complexes were dissociated into their individual components and analyzed by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). The components of the complexes were transferred to nitrocellulose sheets and probed for the presence of malarial antigens using a rabbit anti-P berghei antisera. The overall humoral response to the malarial parasite was evaluated using a radial immunodiffusion assay. The present study confirmed that the malarial-infected animals not only developed the nephritic condition (as evident by the high levels of proteinuria) but also, as indicated by the PEG assay, have the presence of high levels of circulating immune complexes in their serum. The apparent absence in the SDS gels of any abnormal protein bands followed by the inability of the Western blot to reveal any malarial antigens provides some of the strongest evidence to date that these malarial proteins are not directly involved in the circulating immune complexes believed to be responsible for producing this nephritic condition.
Lee, Clarence and Toran, Eric, "Isolation and analysis of nephritic-producing immune complexes in Plasmodium berghei-infected mice" (1995). Department of Biology Faculty Publications. 215.