Journal Article

Increased levels of α-defensin (-1, -2 and -3) in type 1 diabetic patients with nephropathy

M. Saraheimo, C. Forsblom, K. Pettersson-Fernholm, A. Flyvbjerg, P.-H. Groop and J. Frystyk

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

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

Volume 23, issue 3, pages 914-918
Published in print March 2008 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online November 2007 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI:
Increased levels of α-defensin (-1, -2 and -3) in type 1 diabetic patients with nephropathy

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Objective. Diabetic nephropathy is associated with low-grade inflammation and activation of the complement system. Defensins, as part of the innate immune system, may play a regulatory role in the complement cascade and may also augment the production of proinflammatory cytokines. The aim of this study was therefore to elucidate whether α-defensin is associated with diabetic nephropathy, low-grade inflammation and lipid profiles.

Research design and methods. Data were obtained from 189 patients with type 1 diabetes selected from the FinnDiane Study. Patients were divided into three groups according to their albumin excretion rate (AER) in three consecutive overnight or 24-h urine collections: normoalbuminuria (AER <20 μg/min or <30 mg/24 h), microalbuminuria (20 <AER <200 μg/min or 30 <AER <300 mg/24 h) and macroalbuminuria (>200 μg/min or >300 mg/24 h). α-Defensin was determined by a novel, solid-phase radioimmunoassay (RIA) based on a monoclonal antibody, which recognizes α-defensin isoforms 1–3.

Results. Total serum α-defensin (-1, -2 and -3) concentrations were higher (P < 0.001) in patients with macroalbuminuria compared to micro- and normoalbuminuria, but no difference was observed between normoalbuminuria and microalbuminuria. In multiple linear regression analysis α-defensin was associated with systolic blood pressure (P = 0.032), HDL-cholesterol (P = 0.013), total cholesterol (P = 0.008), age (P = 0.001) and estimated glomerular filtration rate (P = 0.001), but not with low-grade inflammatory markers.

Conclusions. Serum α-defensin (-1, -2 and -3) concentrations are increased in type 1 diabetic patients with diabetic nephropathy.

Keywords: blood lipids; diabetic nephropathy; α-defensin; low-grade inflammation

Journal Article.  3283 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Nephrology

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