July 2010 archive

New Kidney Injury Biomarker

Environmental Factor, July 2010


NIEHS-supported researchers have identified a new biomarker for kidney toxicology that could lead to better and faster diagnosis of kidney injury, with potential applications in the clinical setting as well as in drug development.

Acute kidney injury, including drug-induced toxicity, is a common and often fatal clinical condition with a mortality rate of 40-80 percent in intensive care settings. Nephrotoxicity in animal studies is a major factor in the failure of many candidate drugs because of the lack of precise biomarkers for monitoring early kidney injury.

The research team tested transmembrane tubular protein kidney injury molecule -1 (Kim-1) as a superior marker for kidney injury. Traditional markers of renal injury, such as blood urea nitrogen (BUN), serum creatinine (SCr), and N-acetyl-beta D-glucosaminidase (NAG), lack the sensitivity or specificity necessary to detect nephrotoxicity before considerable loss of function occurs.

The researchers used rat toxicology studies to compare the diagnostic performance of Kim-1 to BUN, SCr, and NAG as predictors of kidney tubule damage scored by histopathology. The results show that Kim-1 outperforms all three of the other markers in multiple rat model of kidney injury. The study authors conclude that Kim-1 measurement will significantly aid the prediction of human kidney toxicity in candidate drugs by early identification and elimination of compounds that are potentially nephrotoxic.

Citation: Vaidya VS, Ozer JS, Dieterle F, Collings FB, Ramirez V, Troth S, et al. 2010. Kidney injury molecule-1 outperforms traditional biomarkers of kidney injury in preclinical biomarker qualification studies. Nat Biotechnol 28(5):478-485.

Posted by Vishal Vaidya on Fri, 2 Jul 2010