Urine protein test might help diagnose kidney damage from lupus

Feb 16, 2010

Simple urine tests for four proteins might be able to detect early kidney disease in people with lupus, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found in an animal study.

Although it might take years before such tests could be used clinically, the findings suggest they could pinpoint kidney disease better than tests currently in use, the researchers said.

"Our goal was to accurately detect something in the urine that appears only in disease," said Dr. Chandra Mohan, professor of internal medicine and immunology at UT Southwestern and senior author of the study, available online and in today's issue of The Journal of Immunology.

"If this testing regimen proves effective in humans, physicians might be able to predict and diagnose noninvasively, as well as monitor whether treatments are working."

Kidney disease is the major cause of death and disability in lupus patients, Dr. Mohan said. Early detection and treatment lead to a longer and better-quality life.

The researchers found that in mice, four proteins - protease, PGDS, SAP and SOD - show up in larger quantities in urine as kidney damage progresses. Each of these proteins is either present in humans or has a human equivalent. The researchers currently are studying whether the same correlation between urinary protein levels and disease occurs in humans.

Lupus is one of many that attack internal organs, tissues, joints and other parts of the body. The researchers focused on affecting the kidneys, the most common and serious form of lupus.

Currently, kidney damage in humans is detected by performing a kidney biopsy, Dr. Mohan said. A kidney biopsy involves taking a tissue sample with a needle, a process that is invasive and can be stressful to patients.

In the current study, the researchers used mice that have a condition similar to human lupus. They screened urine for proteins both before and after the mice showed symptoms of kidney disease and found that 71 proteins appeared in urine after the illness became physically evident.

The researchers then focused on four proteins that were present in high levels after symptoms appeared. These proteins or their analogs had not previously been known to be present in the urine of patients or mice with lupus kidney disease.

Dr. Mohan said monitoring urinary levels of these four proteins might also reveal more about the mechanisms of . Each protein is involved in a different biochemical process, so the stage of the disease at which each appears in urine might prove informative, he said.

Testing for these proteins might also have the potential to monitor kidney damage that results from diabetes, hypertension and other conditions, said Dr. Mohan.

Explore further: Flu season, early again, hitting hard in South and Midwest

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Researchers probe kidney damage, protection in lupus

Apr 21, 2009

Kidney damage associated with the autoimmune disease lupus is linked to a malfunction of immune cells that causes them to congregate in and attack the organs, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have discovered ...

Kidney transplants generally safe for lupus patients

Nov 02, 2009

Individuals with a history of lupus who receive a kidney transplant rarely develop the serious inflammatory condition lupus nephritis in their new organ, according to a paper being presented at the American Society of Nephrology's ...

Researchers pioneer kidney disease prediction method

Nov 05, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- A study into the relationship between antibodies and proteins in people with Lupus could mean earlier diagnosis of kidney disease in such patients, and lead the way for earlier diagnoses for ...

Recommended for you

Evidence-based recs issued for systemic care in psoriasis

14 hours ago

(HealthDay)—For appropriately selected patients with psoriasis, combining biologics with other systemic treatments, including phototherapy, oral medications, or other biologic, may result in greater efficacy ...

Bacteria in caramel apples kills at least four in US

14 hours ago

A listeria outbreak believed to originate from commercially packaged caramel apples has killed at least four people in the United States and sickened 28 people since November, officials said Friday.

Steroid-based treatment may answer needs of pediatric EoE patients

15 hours ago

A new formulation of oral budesonide suspension, a steroid-based treatment, is safe and effective in treating pediatric patients with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), according to a new study in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the official clinical practice journal ...

Discovery of genes that predispose a severe form of COPD

17 hours ago

A study by Ramcés Falfán-Valencia, researcher at the National Institute of Respiratory Diseases (INER), found that the mestizo Mexican population has a number of variations in certain genes that predispose ...

On the environmental trail of food pathogens

18 hours ago

Tracking one of the deadliest food contamination organisms through produce farms and natural environments alike, Cornell microbiologists are showing how to use big datasets to predict where the next outbreak could start.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.