Author(s): Zhou H, Cheruvanky A, Hu X, Matsumoto T, Hiramatsu N,
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Abstract Urinary exosomes are excreted from all nephron segments and constitute a rich source of intracellular kidney injury biomarkers. To study whether they contain transcription factors, we collected urine from two acute kidney injury models (cisplatin or ischemia-reperfusion), two podocyte injury models (puromycin-treated rats or podocin-Vpr transgenic mice) and from patients with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, acute kidney injury and matched controls. Exosomes were isolated by differential centrifugation and found to contain activating transcription factor 3 (ATF3) and Wilms Tumor 1 (WT-1) proteins detected by Western blot. These factors were found in the concentrated exosomal fraction, but not in whole urine. ATF3 was continuously present in urine exosomes of the rat models following acute injury at times earlier than the increase in serum creatinine. ATF3 was found in exosomes isolated from patients with acute kidney injury but not from patients with chronic kidney disease or controls. Urinary WT-1 was present in animal models before significant glomerular sclerosis and in 9/10 patients with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis but not in 8 controls. Our findings suggest that transcription factor ATF3 may provide a novel renal tubular cell biomarker for acute kidney injury while WT-1 may detect early podocyte injury. Measurement of urinary exosomal transcription factors may offer insight into cellular regulatory pathways.
This article was published in Kidney Int
and referenced in Journal of Cardiovascular Diseases & Diagnosis