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Oncotarget. 2016 Oct 18;7(42):67868-67879. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.12014.

Biomarkers to detect membranous nephropathy in Chinese patients.

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Department of Nephrology, Institute of Nephrology, Ruijin Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai, China.


Anti-M-type phospholipase A2 receptor (anti-PLA2R) is a widely accepted biomarker for clinical idiopathic membranous neurophathy (IMN). However, its ability to differentiate between IMN and secondary MN (SMN) is controversial. The objective of this study was to assess clinical MN biomarkers in blood, tissue and urine samples from Chinese patients. In total, 195 MN patients and 70 patients with other glomerular diseases were prospectively enrolled in the study. Participants were followed up for average of 17 months (range 3-39 months). Anti-PLA2R and anti-THSD7A (thrombospondin type-1 domain-containing 7A) were detected only in MN patient sera and not in controls. Serum anti-THSD7A and THSD7A-positive biopsies were detected in 1/18 and 2/18 PLA2R-negative MN cases, respectively. PLA2R and THSD7A were detected in 72.27% and 40% of SMN cases, respectively. While serum positivity for both anti-PLA2R and anti-THSD7A at the time of renal biopsy was specific to MN patients, neither antigen could discriminate between primary and secondary MN. We also found that high urinary levels of retinol binding protein (RBP) predicted poor proteinuria outcomes in study participants. Patients with low or medium urinary RBP levels achieved remission more frequently than those with high RBP.


Immune response; Immunity; Immunology and Microbiology Section; PLA2R; THSD7A; chronic kidney disease; membranous nephropathy; retinol binding protein

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