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      Messenger RNA Expression of Podocyte-Associated Molecules in the Urinary Sediment of Patients with Diabetic Nephropathy

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          Abstract

          Background: Podocyte loss plays an important role in the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy. We hypothesize that messenger RNA expression of podocyte-associated molecules in urinary sediment may provide important clinical information in patients with diabetic nephropathy. Method: We studied 21 patients with biopsy-proven diabetic nephropathy and 9 healthy controls. The mRNA expression of nephrin, podocin, synaptopodin, Wilms’ tumor-1 (WT-1) and α-actinin-4 in urinary sediment were measured by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction. The degree of histological damage was quantified by morphometric analysis. Patients were then followed for an average of 25.63 ± 10.76 months. The rate of glomerular filtration rate (GFR) decline was calculated by the least-square regression. Results: There were significant differences in nephrin, podocin, synaptopodin, α-actinin-4 (p < 0.01 for all comparisons) and WT-1 (p = 0.028) expression between patients and normal controls. Urinary nephrin expression was significantly correlated with proteinuria (r = 0.502, p = 0.020); urinary synaptopodin was significantly correlated with proteinuria (r = 0.585, p = 0.005), serum creatinine (r = 0.516, p = 0.017) and estimated GFR (r = –0.560, p = 0.008), and urinary WT-1 expression was significantly correlated with the degree of tubulointerstitial fibrosis (r = 0.558, p = 0.009). There was no significant correlation between GFR decline and urinary expression of target genes. Conclusion: Urinary mRNA expressions of nephrin, podocin, synaptopodin, WT-1 and α-actinin-4 are higher in patients with diabetic nephropathy than in normal controls. Urinary nephrin and synaptopodin expressions are correlated with baseline clinical parameters such as proteinuria or renal function, while WT-1 expression is related to the degree of histological damage. Our results suggest that urinary mRNA expression of podocyte-associated molecules may be used for risk stratification of diabetic nephropathy.

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          Most cited references 29

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          Nephrin expression is reduced in human diabetic nephropathy: evidence for a distinct role for glycated albumin and angiotensin II.

          We studied the distribution of nephrin in renal biopsies from 17 patients with diabetes and nephrotic syndrome (7 type 1 and 10 type 2 diabetes), 6 patients with diabetes and microalbuminuria (1 type 1 and 5 type 2 diabetes), and 10 normal subjects. Nephrin expression was semiquantitatively evaluated by measuring immunofluorescence intensity by digital image analysis. We found an extensive reduction of nephrin staining in both type 1 (67 +/- 9%; P < 0.001) and type 2 (65 +/- 10%; P < 0.001) diabetic patients with diabetes and nephrotic syndrome when compared with control subjects. The pattern of staining shifted from punctate/linear distribution to granular. In patients with microalbuminuria, the staining pattern of nephrin also showed granular distribution and reduction intensity of 69% in the patient with type 1 diabetes and of 62 +/- 4% (P < 0.001) in the patients with type 2 diabetes. In vitro studies on human cultured podocytes demonstrated that glycated albumin and angiotensin II reduced nephrin expression. Glycated albumin inhibited nephrin synthesis through the engagement of receptor for advanced glycation end products, whereas angiotensin II acted on cytoskeleton redistribution, inducing the shedding of nephrin. This study indicates that the alteration in nephrin expression is an early event in proteinuric patients with diabetes and suggests that glycated albumin and angiotensin II contribute to nephrin downregulation.
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            Less than obvious - statistical treatment of data below the detection limit

             Dennis Helsel (1990)
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              Urinary podocyte loss is a more specific marker of ongoing glomerular damage than proteinuria.

              Podocyte loss contributes to the development of glomerulosclerosis. Although podocyte detachment has been recognized as a new mechanism of podocyte loss in glomerular diseases, its time course and relationship to disease activity are not known. Urinary excretion of viable podocytes was quantified in two models of transient glomerular injury, i.e., rats with puromycin aminonucleoside-induced nephrosis (PAN) and mesangioproliferative nephropathy (anti-Thy 1.1 nephritis model), as well as in a model of continuous glomerular injury, i.e., hypertensive nephropathy (5/6-nephrectomy model), and in aging rats. The number of glomerular Wilm's tumor (WT)-1-positive podocytes and the glomerular expression of cell-cycle proteins in vivo were assessed. Urinary podocyte loss occurred in both primary (PAN) and secondary (anti-Thy 1.1 nephritis) in parallel to the onset of proteinuria. However, subsequently proteinuria persisted despite remission of podocyturia. In continuous glomerular injury, i.e., after 5/6-nephrectomy, podocyturia paralleled the course of proteinuria and of systemic hypertension, whereas no podocyturia became detectable during normal aging (up to 12 mo). Despite podocyte detachment of varying degrees, no decrease in glomerular podocyte counts (i.e., WT-1 positive nuclei) was noted in either disease model. Podocyturia in the PAN and anti-Thy 1.1 nephritis model was preceded by entry of glomerular podocytes into the cell cycle, i.e., cyclin D1, cdc2, and/or proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) expression. Podocyturia is a widespread phenomenon in glomerular disease and not simply a reflection of proteinuria because it is limited to phases of ongoing glomerular injury. The data suggest that podocyturia may become a more sensitive means to assess the activity of glomerular damage than proteinuria.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                NEC
                Nephron Clin Pract
                10.1159/issn.1660-2110
                Nephron Clinical Practice
                S. Karger AG
                1660-2110
                2007
                July 2007
                26 June 2007
                : 106
                : 4
                : c169-c179
                Affiliations
                Departments of aMedicine and Therapeutics and bAnatomical and Cellular Pathology, Prince of Wales Hospital, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, SAR, China
                Article
                104428 Nephron Clin Pract 2007;106:c169–c179
                10.1159/000104428
                17596726
                © 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                Page count
                Figures: 4, Tables: 2, References: 39, Pages: 1
                Categories
                Original Paper

                Cardiovascular Medicine, Nephrology

                Urinalysis, Nephrin, Diabetes mellitus

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