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Scand J Immunol. 2009 May;69(5):457-64. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3083.2009.02234.x. Epub 2008 Feb 6.

Levels of urinary complement factor H in patients with IgA nephropathy are closely associated with disease activity.

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Renal Division, Department of Medicine, Peking University First Hospital, Beijing, China.


Factor H plays a key inhibitory role in control of the activation of alternative pathway of complement system. The aim of the study was to investigate the predictive value of factor H as a biomarker of renal injury in IgA nephropathy (IgAN). Urine factor H concentration from 202 patients was measured and compared with that of 60 healthy volunteers. Forty-eight patients fulfilled Haas-I or II (group 1), 60 fulfilled Haas-III (group 2) and 94 fulfilled Haas-IV or V (group 3). Co-deposition of factor H and C3b in kidneys were investigated using confocal microscope. The levels of urinary factor H, when expressed as a ratio of urinary creatinine, were significantly higher in groups 3 than group 1 and 2, also significantly higher in group 2 than group 1. In addition, the levels of urinary factor H were significantly higher in those with factor H deposition in the kidney than those without deposition. The levels of urinary factor H may be a useful biomarker to evaluate kidney injury in IgAN.

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