Blood markers reveal severity of common kidney disease

August 16, 2012

Increasing blood levels of particular proteins may act as warning signs for patients with one of the most common diseases of the kidney, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN). The findings could lead to better diagnosis and management of patients with the disease, called IgA nephropathy.

IgA nephropathy occurs when IgA1, a protein that helps the body fight certain infections, becomes modified and settles in the kidneys. This 'first hit' of the disease is followed by a 'second hit' when the patient's immune system mounts an antibody response against these modified IgA1 molecules. Over time, these events can damage the kidneys, which subsequently leak blood and protein in the urine, and can lead to hypertension and kidney failure.

To better characterize the disease, Francois Berthoux, MD (University Hospital of Saint-Etienne, France), Jan Novak, MD, PhD (University of Alabama at Birmingham), Hitoshi Suzuki, MD, PhD (Juntendo University, in Tokyo, Japan), and their colleagues studied blood samples from 97 patients with IgA nephropathy and compared them with samples from 60 individuals without the disease. They found that blood levels of both modified IgA1 and the antibodies that them increased in a stepwise fashion according to the severity of patients' disease. Also, patients with highest blood levels of antibodies against modified IgA1 at the time of diagnosis had the highest risks of eventually needing dialysis due to and of dying prematurely.

"This paper is a first step, and in the future we have to refine these tests to check the impact of different treatments on these serum biomarkers, and to imagine new therapies with direct impacts on modified IgA1 or on the specific against it," said Dr. Berthoux.

Explore further: Why some kidney disease patients can't repair blood vessels

More information: The article, entitled " Autoantibodies targeting galactose-deficient IgA1 associate with progression of IgA nephropathy," will appear online on August 16, 2012, doi: 10.1681/ASN.2012010053

Related Stories

Why some kidney disease patients can't repair blood vessels

October 27, 2011
In some kidney diseases, patients have high blood levels of a protein that blocks blood vessel repair, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology (JASN). Inhibiting ...

Better ways to predict kidney disease risk for African Americans

October 14, 2011
Compared to European Americans, African Americans are four to five times more likely to develop kidney failure. Also, family members of African Americans with kidney failure have an increased risk of developing kidney failure, ...

Researchers develop blood test to detect membranous nephropathy

December 1, 2011
Research conducted by a pair of physicians at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and Boston Medical Center (BMC) has led to the development of a test that can help diagnose membranous nephropathy in its early stages. ...

Kidney drugs hampered by high blood phosphate

August 18, 2011
High blood phosphate levels can set chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients on a rapid path to kidney failure, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology (JASN). To ...

Recommended for you

Anti-malaria drug shows promise as Zika virus treatment

November 17, 2017
A new collaborative study led by researchers at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) and UC San Diego School of Medicine has found that a medication used to prevent and treat malaria may also be effective ...

Scientists identify biomarkers that indicate likelihood of survival in infected patients

November 17, 2017
Scientists have identified a set of biomarkers that indicate which patients infected with the Ebola virus are most at risk of dying from the disease.

Research team unlocks secrets of Ebola

November 16, 2017
In a comprehensive and complex molecular study of blood samples from Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, published today (Nov. 16, 2017) in Cell Host and Microbe, a scientific team led by the University of Wisconsin-Madison has ...

Study raises possibility of naturally acquired immunity against Zika virus

November 16, 2017
Birth defects in babies born infected with Zika virus remain a major health concern. Now, scientists suggest the possibility that some women in high-risk Zika regions may already be protected and not know it.

A structural clue to attacking malaria's 'Achilles heel'

November 16, 2017
Researchers from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and PATH's Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI) have shed light on how the human immune system recognizes the malaria parasite though investigation of antibodies generated ...

Molecular pathway offers treatment targets for pulmonary fibrosis, related conditions

November 15, 2017
A study led by investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and University Health Network (UHN) in Toronto has identified a molecular pathway that appears to be critical to the development of fibrosis - scarring ...

0 comments

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.