Phospholipids were found to be a constant component of rat glomerular basement-membrane preparations. The concentration fell during preparation of basement membrane by sonication of whole glomeruli, but then remained constant despite continued sonication. The proportions of the individual phospholipids were different from those of whole renal tissue or of isolated glomeruli. The basement-membrane preparations had no (Na++K+)-activated adenosine triphosphatase activity, an enzyme that is bound to plasma membranes. The concentration of lipid P was decreased on exposure in vivo or in vitro to antiserum against basement membrane; 7 days after injection of antiserum there was a change in the phospholipid composition, with a relative increase in phosphatidylcholine and a decrease in sphingomyelin content. The metabolic turnover rate of the lipid P remaining in the membrane was normal, as determined by 32P incorporation. The loss of phospholipid was associated with decreases in the relative concentrations of hydroxyproline, hydroxylysine and glycine, and relative increases in proline, lysine, serine, threonine and valine. Administration of aminonucleoside and daunomycin produced proteinuria but did not cause a decrease in lipid P. Anticollagen and anti-lymphocyte sera that attached to the basement membrane but failed to produce proteinuria, also failed to affect the phospholipid content.

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