-- Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, Nov. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have
pinpointed certain markers in urine that may indicate acute kidney
injury (AKI), a finding they believe could lead to a simple urine
test to diagnose AKI early and prevent kidney failure.
AKI usually doesn't show obvious physical symptoms, which is why
researchers are eager to find other signs of disease.
The study found that urine samples from mice and humans with AKI
had elevated levels of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1)
as well as its mRNA (the template for protein synthesis).
This suggests that the gene that encodes MCP-1 and its mRNA is
activated in patients with AKI, said the researchers.
Previous studies have found MCP-1, which plays a role in
recruiting immune cells to injured or infected sites in the body,
in the joints of patients with rheumatoid arthritis and in the
urine of people with lupus.
Using a new technique called chromatin immunoprecipitation
assay, the scientists were also able to show changes in proteins
(known as histones) that can activate the gene that produces MCP-1.
This is the first study to show that these protein modifiers can be
detected in human urine.
The research will be published in an upcoming issue of the
Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.
"This is a new diagnostic test that provides information about what processes are actually inducing acute kidney injury; however, a much larger prospective study is required to ultimately determine clinical utility," wrote Dr. Richard Zager of the clinical research division at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and colleagues in a news release from the publisher.
The U.S. National Kidney Disease Education Program explains how
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