Author(s): Hanaoka M, Gono T, Kawaguchi Y, Uchida K, Koseki Y,
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Abstract OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the use of urinary free light chains (FLCs) as a biomarker for proliferative LN and the potential association between the intensity of plasma cell infiltration of the kidney and urinary FLC levels in LN. METHODS: Forty-three SLE patients were consecutively enrolled in the study. These patients were divided into an International Society of Nephrology and Renal Pathology Society (ISN/RPS) class III/IV LN subset (n = 18) and an ISN/RPS class I/II/V (class non-III/IV) LN subset (n = 25). The expression of κ-LCs, λ-LCs, CD19 and CD138 in kidney specimens was also evaluated with immunohistochemical staining. To measure FLC levels before and after treatment, an additional six patients with class III/IV LN were consecutively enrolled. RESULTS: Urinary FLCs were significantly higher in the class III/IV LN subset than in the class non-III/IV LN subset. Urinary λ-FLC levels were significantly correlated with the urinary protein-creatinine ratio in the class III/IV LN subset (rs = 0.67, P < 0.01). Moreover, the LC-secreting CD19(-)/CD138(+) cell counts in the kidney specimens were higher in the class III/IV LN subset than in the class non-III/IV LN subset. Total urinary FLC levels were correlated with the numbers of CD138(+) cells in the kidney (r = 0.71, P = 0.03). Following treatment, urinary λ-FLCs could not be detected in any of the patients. CONCLUSION: The intensity of plasma cell infiltration of the kidney is associated with urinary FLC levels. Urinary FLCs are potentially useful biomarkers in ISN/RPS class III/IV LN or proliferative LN.
This article was published in Rheumatology (Oxford)
and referenced in Journal of Cytology & Histology