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      Biomarkers for Lupus Nephritis: A Critical Appraisal

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      Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology

      Hindawi Publishing Corporation

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          Abstract

          Kidney disease is one of the most serious manifestations of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Despite the improvement in the medical care of SLE in the past two decades, the prognosis of lupus nephritis remains unsatisfactory. Besides exploring more effective but less toxic treatment modalities that will further improve the remission rate, early detection and treatment of renal activity may spare patients from intensive immunosuppressive therapies and reduce renal damage. Conventional clinical parameters such as creatinine clearance, proteinuria, urine sediments, anti-dsDNA, and complement levels are not sensitive or specific enough for detecting ongoing disease activity in the lupus kidneys and early relapse of nephritis. Thus, novel biomarkers are necessary to enhance the diagnostic accuracy and sensitivity of lupus renal disease, prognostic stratification, monitoring of treatment response, and detection of early renal flares. This paper reviews promising biomarkers that have recently been evaluated in longitudinal studies of lupus nephritis.

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          Most cited references 100

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          Hepcidin, a putative mediator of anemia of inflammation, is a type II acute-phase protein.

          Hepcidin is a liver-made peptide proposed to be a central regulator of intestinal iron absorption and iron recycling by macrophages. In animal models, hepcidin is induced by inflammation and iron loading, but its regulation in humans has not been studied. We report that urinary excretion of hepcidin was greatly increased in patients with iron overload, infections, or inflammatory diseases. Hepcidin excretion correlated well with serum ferritin levels, which are regulated by similar pathologic stimuli. In vitro iron loading of primary human hepatocytes, however, unexpectedly down-regulated hepcidin mRNA, suggesting that in vivo regulation of hepcidin expression by iron stores involves complex indirect effects. Hepcidin mRNA was dramatically induced by interleukin-6 (IL-6) in vitro, but not by IL-1 or tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), demonstrating that human hepcidin is a type II acute-phase reactant. The linkage of hepcidin induction to inflammation in humans supports its proposed role as a key mediator of anemia of inflammation.
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            The TWEAK-Fn14 cytokine-receptor axis: discovery, biology and therapeutic targeting.

            TWEAK is a multifunctional cytokine that controls many cellular activities including proliferation, migration, differentiation, apoptosis, angiogenesis and inflammation. TWEAK acts by binding to Fn14, a highly inducible cell-surface receptor that is linked to several intracellular signalling pathways, including the nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) pathway. The TWEAK-Fn14 axis normally regulates various physiological processes, in particular it seems to play an important, beneficial role in tissue repair following acute injury. Furthermore, recent studies have indicated that TWEAK-Fn14 axis signalling may contribute to cancer, chronic autoimmune diseases and acute ischaemic stroke. This Review provides an overview of TWEAK-Fn14 axis biology and summarizes the available data supporting the proposal that both TWEAK and Fn14 should be considered as potential targets for the development of novel therapeutics.
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              Neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) as a marker of kidney damage.

              Neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) is a protein belonging to the lipocalin superfamily initially found in activated neutrophils, in accordance with its role as an innate antibacterial factor. However, it subsequently was shown that many other types of cells, including in the kidney tubule, may produce NGAL in response to various injuries. The increase in NGAL production and release from tubular cells after harmful stimuli of various kinds may have self-defensive intent based on the activation of specific iron-dependent pathways, which in all probability also represent the mechanism through which NGAL promotes kidney growth and differentiation. NGAL levels predict the future appearance of acute kidney injury after treatments potentially detrimental to the kidney and even the acute worsening of unstable nephropathies. Furthermore, recent evidence also suggests that NGAL somehow may be involved in the pathophysiological process of chronic renal diseases, such as polycystic kidney disease and glomerulonephritis. NGAL levels clearly correlate with severity of renal impairment, probably expressing the degree of active damage underlying the chronic condition. For all these reasons, NGAL may become one of the most promising next-generation biomarkers in clinical nephrology and beyond.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                J Biomed Biotechnol
                JBB
                Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
                Hindawi Publishing Corporation
                1110-7243
                1110-7251
                2010
                19 April 2010
                : 2010
                Affiliations
                Department of Medicine & Geriatrics, Tuen Mun Hospital and Center for Assessment and Treatment of Rheumatic Diseases, Pok Oi Hospital, Hong Kong
                Author notes

                Academic Editor: Charles Via

                Article
                10.1155/2010/638413
                2857808
                20414362
                Copyright © 2010 Chi Chiu Mok.

                This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Categories
                Review Article

                Molecular medicine

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