Instructions for use Title Quantitative and Qualitative Urinary Cellular Patterns Correlate with Progression of Murine Glomerulonephritis
BACKGROUND Podocyte injury and its subsequent loss in urine play an important role in the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy; blockade of the renin-angiotensin system may ameliorate the damage. METHODS In a non-randomized setting, we studied 71 patients with diabetic nephropathy on a stable dose of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEI). In 37 patients, angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) was added (the combination group); ACEI alone was continued in the other 34 (the control group). The mRNA expressions of nephrin, podocin, and synaptopodin in urinary sediment were measured at 0 and 12 weeks. RESULTS Baseline glomerular filtration rate (GFR) correlated with the urinary expression of nephrin (r=0.320, P=0.007), podocin (r=0.336, P=0.004), and synaptopodin (r=0.350, P=0.003). After adjusting for the baseline expression, the combination group had a significantly lower urinary synaptopodin expression (7.49 (95% confidence interval CI, 0.62-115.29) vs 14.83 (95% CI, 1.03-241.43), P=0.026) than the control group after 12 weeks of treatment. The percentage change in urinary podocin expression over 12 weeks of treatment had a modest correlation with the rate of GFR decline in 1 year (r=-0.243, P=0.041). CONCLUSION In patients with diabetic nephropathy, urinary mRNA expression of podocyte markers correlated with baseline renal function. Urinary expression of synaptopodin was lower after 12 weeks of ACEI and ARB combination therapy. Our result suggests that serial measurement of urinary podocyte markers may have a value for the monitoring of therapeutic response.