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Researchers investigate ways to detect lupus-associated kidney disease
Date:11/12/2007

DALLAS Nov. 13, 2007 High urinary levels of certain molecules might have the potential to serve as biomarkers for a potentially life-shortening kidney ailment caused by the autoimmune disease lupus, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have found.

Our studies suggest a quartet of molecules may have potential diagnostic significance, said Dr. Chandra Mohan, professor of internal medicine and senior author of a study available online at the Journal of Immunology. Given that early intervention in lupus nephritis is associated with better treatment outcome, it is imperative that disease activity in the kidney be diagnosed as early as possible.

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the bodys cells and tissues. In a normal immune system, foreign intruders are recognized by special immune cells that produce antibodies. In patients with lupus, however, the antibodies created start to attack the body itself. When the antibodies attack the kidneys, nephritis occurs, often shortening a patients life expectancy.

Dr. Mohan and colleagues screened urine from mice with lupus nephritis for the presence of four compounds VCAM-1, P-selection, TNFR-1 and CXCL 16. Previous research had suggested that these molecules are elevated in animal models of antibody-mediated nephritis. Dr. Mohan and his research team determined that the mice harbored increased levels of all four molecules in the urine, particularly at the peak of their lupus-associated kidney disease.

The most reliable method now available for monitoring renal disease in lupus patients is to measure the level of protein excreted in urine. As part of their study, the researchers also tested the urine of lupus patients and found that they not only had high protein levels in their urine, but also elevated levels of all four compounds.

It would be very beneficial to detect the presence of nephritis early in order to admini
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Contact: Erin Prather Stafford
erin.pratherstafford@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-3404
UT Southwestern Medical Center  
Source:Eurekalert

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