Indexed on: 18 Apr '15Published on: 18 Apr '15Published in: BMC Nephrology
Kidney injury molecule-1 (KIM-1) is expressed in tubular epithelial cells after injury and may have a role in the development of renal graft fibrosis. In this study we evaluated the molecular and protein expressions of KIM-1 in dysfunctional allografts and also mRNA KIM-1 expression in urine as potential biomarkers of graft fibrosis.Protein and mRNA levels in renal tissue and urinary sediment cells of 69 kidney transplant recipients that undertook for-cause graft biopsies were evaluated by immunohistochemistry and real-time polymerase chain reaction. The histopathology was classified according to the 2007 Banff schema.KIM-1 protein expression was increased in biopsies with interstitial fibrosis and tubular atrophy (IF/TA) compared with biopsies showing acute calcineurin inhibitor nephrotoxicity (CIN) (P <0.05). Kidney tissue KIM-1 mRNA signaling (in) was increased in biopsies with IF/TA compared with all other groups (P <0.05). In the urine cells KIM-1 mRNA was also increased in patients with IF/TA compared with patients with acute CIN (P <0.05). Significant correlations were found between KIM-1 protein and mRNA levels in tissue, between mRNA expressions in tissue and urine and between protein tissue expression and gene expression in the urine.KIM-1 seems to be a marker of kidney graft fibrosis. Urinary KIM-1 mRNA may become a useful non-invasive biomarker of the injuries that can trigger intra-graft fibrotic processes, such as interstitial fibrosis and tubular atrophy.