Kidney injury molecule-1 expression in human kidney transplants with interstitial fibrosis and tubular atrophy.

Research paper by Aline Lima AL Nogare, Francisco Veríssimo FV Veronese, Virna Nowotny VN Carpio, Rosangela Munhoz RM Montenegro, José Alberto JA Pedroso, Karla Laís KL Pegas, Luiz Felipe LF Gonçalves, Roberto Ceratti RC Manfro

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.