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Researchers Identify New Biomarker Which May Help Treat Lupus Nephritis
Researchers have discovered a protein, V-set Immunoglobulin-domain-containing 4 or VSIG4, as a new biomarker that may help as a therapeutic target for lupus nephritis (LN, lupus-related kidney disease) treatment. High levels of protein can indicate kidney damage and renal disease activity. Lupus is a complex autoimmune disease with LN being a common but serious consequence, making biomarker identification and patient monitoring vitally important for detection and treatment.
Using a new protein testing tool, the investigators found 13 proteins that were significantly elevated in people with LN. The presence of these 13 proteins could be related to autoimmune diseases and/or chronic kidney diseases. Researchers then began closely examining these markers, some of which have been studied in animal models but not humans. In the lab, VSIG4 expressed differently in acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease, compared to living donors. The protein showed promise in regulating inflammation and blocking inflammation of the kidney.
Further research is needed to determine the efficacy of VSIG4 as a marker for kidney activity. Additionally, more investigation is needed of the 13 proteins to determine their influence as biomarkers for LN. Learn more about lupus research and how lupus affects the kidneys.