Researchers Identify 8 New Biomarkers which May help Track Disease Activity in Lupus Nephritis
Researchers have discovered eight urinary proteins as novel biomarkers for tracking disease activity in lupus nephritis (LN). Of the eight biomarkers that emerged, L-selectin shows the most promise at tracking concurrent or pending disease flares, followed by urine Angptl4 and TGFβ1. Currently the gold standard for identifying and tracking LN is performing an invasive kidney biopsy, thus, research to identify urinary biomarkers to track LN is critical.
To identify the biomarkers, researchers screened 1,000 different proteins in urine samples from 24 participants, 15 of whom had active lupus and 12 of whom had kidney involvement. The study findings underscored that some urine proteins are overexpressed in people with lupus and vice versa.
While the research confirmed many proteins already known to be biomarkers of LN, several proteins emerged as novel biomarkers of LN: urine Angptl4, L-selectin, TPP1, transforming growth factor-β1 (TGFβ1), thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1), FOLR2, platelet-derived growth factor receptor-β (PDGF-Rβ) and PRX2. Notably, urine Angptl4, L-selectin, TPP1, TGFβ1, TSP-1, FOLR2 and PDGF-Rβ were able to successfully distinguish people with LN from people with lupus without LN, despite both groups having comparable disease activity scores.
These are exciting new findings, since the discovery of new biomarkers signal opportunities to find new ways of identifying, tracking and treating LN, a kidney-disease that develops in up to 60% of people with lupus. The researchers conclude more research is needed, particularly additional analysis of urine samples from people of diverse ethnic backgrounds should occur in order to further validate the biomarkers. Learn about how lupus affects the renal (kidney) system.