Journal Article

Expression of human nephrin mRNA in diabetic nephropathy

Masao Toyoda, Daisuke Suzuki, Tomoya Umezono, Goro Uehara, Mayumi Maruyama, Masashi Honma, Takako Sakai and Hideto Sakai

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Published on behalf of European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Assoc

Volume 19, issue 2, pages 380-385
Published in print February 2004 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online February 2004 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI:
Expression of human nephrin mRNA in diabetic nephropathy

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Background. Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is associated with functional changes in the filtration barrier, and microalbuminuria is a strong predictor of the development of overt DN. Nephrin is a novel podocyte-specific protein which localizes at the slit diaphragm. This study examines the expression of nephrin mRNA in the kidneys of type 2 diabetics with DN.

Methods. Renal tissues were obtained from 13 type 2 diabetics with DN. We also examined samples from five patients with minimal change nephrotic syndrome (MCNS) and five normal kidneys (normals) as control. The severity of DN was classified into two grades based on histopathological findings. DN grade 1 (DN1 = seven patients) presented mild mesangial expansion, and DN grade 2 (DN2 = six patients) moderate mesangial expansion. Nephrin mRNA was quantitated and localized by in situ hybridization.

Results. Cells positive for nephrin mRNA were detected exclusively in glomerular epithelial cells. The percentage of cells positive for nephrin mRNA in DN2 was significantly lower than in MCNS and normal kidneys. Furthermore, there was an inverse correlation between the percentage of cells positive for nephrin mRNA and extent of proteinuria.

Conclusion. The low expression of nephrin mRNA may be closely linked to development and/or progression of proteinuria in human diabetic nephropathy.

Keywords: diabetic nephropathy; in situ hybridization; nephrin; proteinuria

Journal Article.  2912 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Nephrology

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