Over the past five years there has been a groundswell of evidence from numerous laboratories indicating that the erythrocytes of humans and other primates may play a key role in the handling of immune complexes (IC) in the circulation. Most of this work has been reported outside the traditional nephrology literature and, to date, there has been no comprehensive review of this rapidly expanding subject from the nephrology perspective. However, there have been two excellent reviews stressing the basic immunology aspects of this topic. It is the goal of this review to examine the experimental evidence suggesting an important role for erythrocyte/IC interactions in the primate and to discuss their potential clinical implications.
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