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Vascular mesangial channels in human nodular diabetic glomerulopathy

By Cossey LN, Hennigar RA, Bonsib S, Gown AM, Silva FG.
Hum Pathol. 2016 Feb;48:148-53. doi: 10.1016/j.humpath.2015.09.018. Epub 2015 Oct 3.

The presence of vascular mesangial channels has been reported in idiopathic nodular glomerulosclerosis and diabetic glomerulopathy. However, only limited information on the morphology and immunohistochemical phenotype of these channels is available. This study aims to describe the light and electron microscopic features of these channels and delineate their immunohistochemical phenotype. Thirty-eight cases of human nodular diabetic glomerulopathy with mesangial channels identified by light microscopy were prospectively selected (2010-2012). The cases were stained with CD31/periodic acid-Schiff combined stain. Selected cases were immunostained for CD34, podoplanin, ERG, and Ki-67. Frequent, small and peripheral vascular mesangial channels were seen in all cases, whereas larger and more centrally located vascular channels were also observed. Communication between peripheral capillary loops and peripheral vascular mesangial channels was seen as was communication between peripheral and central vascular mesangial channels. The vascular mesangial channel lining cells showed a typical endothelial phenotype with strong expression of CD31, CD34, and ERG by immunohistochemistry. The lymphatic channel marker podoplanin was negative in all channels, and the proliferation marker Ki-67 showed no evidence of increased proliferation. By electron microscopy, mesangial channels show angulated, irregular borders with lining cells compatible with endothelium and surrounded by mesangial matrix. No basement membranes were identified surrounding the mesangial channels. These findings support the existence of vascular mesangial channels in nodular diabetic glomerulopathy and suggest neovascularization and altered blood flow within these glomeruli.

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