Publications by authors named "Matthias Kretzler"

308 Publications

Pro-cachectic factors link experimental and human chronic kidney disease to skeletal muscle wasting programs.

J Clin Invest 2021 Jun;131(11)

Michigan Medicine, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.

Skeletal muscle wasting is commonly associated with chronic kidney disease (CKD), resulting in increased morbidity and mortality. However, the link between kidney and muscle function remains poorly understood. Here, we took a complementary interorgan approach to investigate skeletal muscle wasting in CKD. We identified increased production and elevated blood levels of soluble pro-cachectic factors, including activin A, directly linking experimental and human CKD to skeletal muscle wasting programs. Single-cell sequencing data identified the expression of activin A in specific kidney cell populations of fibroblasts and cells of the juxtaglomerular apparatus. We propose that persistent and increased kidney production of pro-cachectic factors, combined with a lack of kidney clearance, facilitates a vicious kidney/muscle signaling cycle, leading to exacerbated blood accumulation and, thereby, skeletal muscle wasting. Systemic pharmacological blockade of activin A using soluble activin receptor type IIB ligand trap as well as muscle-specific adeno-associated virus-mediated downregulation of its receptor ACVR2A/B prevented muscle wasting in different mouse models of experimental CKD, suggesting that activin A is a key factor in CKD-induced cachexia. In summary, we uncovered a crosstalk between kidney and muscle and propose modulation of activin signaling as a potential therapeutic strategy for skeletal muscle wasting in CKD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI135821DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8159690PMC
June 2021

Perspectives in systems nephrology.

Cell Tissue Res 2021 May 24. Epub 2021 May 24.

Department of Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.

Chronic kidney diseases (CKD) are a major health problem affecting approximately 10% of the world's population and posing increasing challenges to the healthcare system. While CKD encompasses a broad spectrum of pathological processes and diverse etiologies, the classification of kidney disease is currently based on clinical findings or histopathological categorizations. This descriptive classification is agnostic towards the underlying disease mechanisms and has limited progress towards the ability to predict disease prognosis and treatment responses. To gain better insight into the complex and heterogeneous disease pathophysiology of CKD, a systems biology approach can be transformative. Rather than examining one factor or pathway at a time, as in the reductionist approach, with this strategy a broad spectrum of information is integrated, including comprehensive multi-omics data, clinical phenotypic information, and clinicopathological parameters. In recent years, rapid advances in mathematical, statistical, computational, and artificial intelligence methods enable the mapping of diverse big data sets. This holistic approach aims to identify the molecular basis of CKD subtypes as well as individual determinants of disease manifestation in a given patient. The emerging mechanism-based patient stratification and disease classification will lead to improved prognostic and predictive diagnostics and the discovery of novel molecular disease-specific therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00441-021-03470-3DOI Listing
May 2021

Perspectives on a Way Forward to Implementation of Precision Medicine in Patients With Diabetic Kidney Disease; Results of a Stakeholder Consensus-Building Meeting.

Front Pharmacol 2021 4;12:662642. Epub 2021 May 4.

Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacology, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands.

This study aimed to identify from different stakeholders the benefits and obstacles of implementing precision medicine in diabetic kidney disease (DKD) and to build consensus about a way forward in order to treat, prevent, or even reverse this disease. As part of an ongoing effort of moving implementation of precision medicine in DKD forward, a two-day consensus-building meeting was organized with different stakeholders involved in drug development and patient care in DKD, including patients, patient representatives, pharmaceutical industry, regulatory agencies representatives, health technology assessors, healthcare professionals, basic scientists, and clinical academic researchers. The meeting consisted of plenary presentations and discussions, and small group break-out sessions. Discussion topics were based on a symposium, focus groups and literature search. Benefits, obstacles and potential solutions toward implementing precision medicine were discussed. Results from the break-out sessions were presented in plenary and formed the basis of a broad consensus discussion to reach final conclusions. Throughout the meeting, participants answered several statement and open-ended questions on their mobile device, using a real-time online survey tool. Answers to the statement questions were analyzed descriptively. Results of the open-ended survey questions, the break-out sessions and the consensus discussion were analyzed qualitatively. Seventy-one participants from 26 countries attended the consensus-building meeting in Amsterdam, April 2019. During the opening plenary on the first day, the participants agreed with the statement that precision medicine is the way forward in DKD ( = 57, median 90, IQR [75-100]). Lack of efficient tools for implementation in practice and generating robust data were identified as significant obstacles. The identified benefits, e.g., improvement of the benefit-risk ratio of treatment, offer substantive incentives to find solutions for the identified obstacles. Earlier and increased multi-stakeholder collaboration and specific training may provide solutions to alter clinical and regulatory guidelines that lie at the basis of both obstacles and solutions. At the end of the second day, the opinion of the participants toward precision medicine in DKD was somewhat more nuanced ( = 45, median 83, IQR [70-92]) and they concluded that precision medicine is important way forward in improving the treatment of patients with DKD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2021.662642DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8132196PMC
May 2021

Urinary EGF and MCP-1 and risk of CKD after cardiac surgery.

JCI Insight 2021 Jun 8;6(11). Epub 2021 Jun 8.

Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

BACKGROUNDAssessment of chronic kidney disease (CKD) risk after acute kidney injury (AKI) is based on limited markers primarily reflecting glomerular function. We evaluated markers of cell integrity (EGF) and inflammation (monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, MCP-1) for predicting long-term kidney outcomes after cardiac surgery.METHODSWe measured EGF and MCP-1 in postoperative urine samples from 865 adults who underwent cardiac surgery at 2 sites in Canada and the United States and assessed EGF and MCP-1's associations with the composite outcome of CKD incidence or progression. We used single-cell RNA-Seq (scRNA-Seq) of AKI patient biopsies to perform transcriptomic analysis of programs corregulated with the associated genes.RESULTSOver a median (IQR) follow-up of 5.8 (4.2-7.1) years, 266 (30.8%) patients developed the composite CKD outcome. Postoperatively, higher levels of urinary EGF were protective and higher levels of MCP-1 were associated with the composite CKD outcome (adjusted HR 0.83, 95% CI 0.73-0.95 and 1.10, 95% CI 1.00-1.21, respectively). Intrarenal scRNA-Seq transcriptomes in patients with AKI-defined cell populations revealed concordant changes in EGF and MCP-1 levels and underlying molecular processes associated with loss of EGF expression and gain of CCL2 (encoding MCP-1) expression.CONCLUSIONUrinary EGF and MCP-1 were each independently associated with CKD after cardiac surgery. These markers may serve as noninvasive indicators of tubular damage, supported by tissue transcriptomes, and provide an opportunity for novel interventions in cardiac surgery.TRIAL REGISTRATIONClinicalTrials.gov NCT00774137.FUNDINGThe NIH funded the TRIBE-AKI Consortium and Kidney Precision Medicine Project. Yale O'Brien Kidney Center, American Heart Association, Patterson Trust Fund, Dr. Adam Linton Chair in Kidney Health Analytics, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, ICES, Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Academic Medical Organization of Southwestern Ontario, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University, Lawson Health Research Institute, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Human Cell Atlas Kidney Seed Network.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/jci.insight.147464DOI Listing
June 2021

Uncovering genetic mechanisms of hypertension through multi-omic analysis of the kidney.

Nat Genet 2021 05 6;53(5):630-637. Epub 2021 May 6.

Centre for Biostatistics, School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Biology and Health, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK.

The kidney is an organ of key relevance to blood pressure (BP) regulation, hypertension and antihypertensive treatment. However, genetically mediated renal mechanisms underlying susceptibility to hypertension remain poorly understood. We integrated genotype, gene expression, alternative splicing and DNA methylation profiles of up to 430 human kidneys to characterize the effects of BP index variants from genome-wide association studies (GWASs) on renal transcriptome and epigenome. We uncovered kidney targets for 479 (58.3%) BP-GWAS variants and paired 49 BP-GWAS kidney genes with 210 licensed drugs. Our colocalization and Mendelian randomization analyses identified 179 unique kidney genes with evidence of putatively causal effects on BP. Through Mendelian randomization, we also uncovered effects of BP on renal outcomes commonly affecting patients with hypertension. Collectively, our studies identified genetic variants, kidney genes, molecular mechanisms and biological pathways of key relevance to the genetic regulation of BP and inherited susceptibility to hypertension.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-021-00835-wDOI Listing
May 2021

Angiotensin II up-regulates sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 expression and SGLT2 inhibitor attenuates Ang II-induced hypertensive renal injury in mice.

Clin Sci (Lond) 2021 Apr;135(7):943-961

Département de Médecine, Université de Montréal, Centre de recherche du Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CRCHUM), Tour Viger-Pavillon R, 900 Saint Denis Street, Montréal, Quebec H2X 0A9, Canada.

Clinical trials indicate that sodium/glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors (SGLT2i) improve kidney function, yet, the molecular regulation of SGLT2 expression is incompletely understood. Here, we investigated the role of the intrarenal renin-angiotensin system (RAS) on SGLT2 expression. In adult non-diabetic participants in the Nephrotic Syndrome Study Network (NEPTUNE, n=163), multivariable linear regression analysis showed SGLT2 mRNA was significantly associated with angiotensinogen (AGT), renin, and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) mRNA levels (P<0.001). In vitro, angiotensin II (Ang II) dose-dependently stimulated SGLT2 expression in HK-2, human immortalized renal proximal tubular cells (RPTCs); losartan and antioxidants inhibited it. Sglt2 expression was increased in transgenic (Tg) mice specifically overexpressing Agt in their RPTCs, as well as in WT mice with a single subcutaneous injection of Ang II (1.44 mg/kg). Moreover, Ang II (1000 ng/kg/min) infusion via osmotic mini-pump in WT mice for 4 weeks increased systolic blood pressure (SBP), glomerulosclerosis, tubulointerstitial fibrosis, and albuminuria; canaglifozin (Cana, 15 mg/kg/day) reversed these changes, with the exception of SBP. Fractional glucose excretion (FeGlu) was higher in Ang II+Cana than WT+Cana, whereas Sglt2 expression was similar. Our data demonstrate a link between intrarenal RAS and SGLT2 expression and that SGLT2i ameliorates Ang II-induced renal injury independent of SBP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1042/CS20210094DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8131957PMC
April 2021

Gene expression profiles of diabetic kidney disease and neuropathy in eNOS knockout mice: Predictors of pathology and RAS blockade effects.

FASEB J 2021 May;35(5):e21467

Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.

Diabetic kidney disease (DKD) and diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) are two common diabetic complications. However, their pathogenesis remains elusive and current therapies are only modestly effective. We evaluated genome-wide expression to identify pathways involved in DKD and DPN progression in db/db eNOS-/- mice receiving renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAS)-blocking drugs to mimic the current standard of care for DKD patients. Diabetes and eNOS deletion worsened DKD, which improved with RAS treatment. Diabetes also induced DPN, which was not affected by eNOS deletion or RAS blockade. Given the multiple factors affecting DKD and the graded differences in disease severity across mouse groups, an automatic data analysis method, SOM, or self-organizing map was used to elucidate glomerular transcriptional changes associated with DKD, whereas pairwise bioinformatic analysis was used for DPN. These analyses revealed that enhanced gene expression in several pro-inflammatory networks and reduced expression of development genes correlated with worsening DKD. Although RAS treatment ameliorated the nephropathy phenotype, it did not alter the more abnormal gene expression changes in kidney. Moreover, RAS exacerbated expression of genes related to inflammation and oxidant generation in peripheral nerves. The graded increase in inflammatory gene expression and decrease in development gene expression with DKD progression underline the potentially important role of these pathways in DKD pathogenesis. Since RAS blockers worsened this gene expression pattern in both DKD and DPN, it may partly explain the inadequate therapeutic efficacy of such blockers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1096/fj.202002387RDOI Listing
May 2021

IGFBP-1 expression is reduced in human type 2 diabetic glomeruli and modulates β1-integrin/FAK signalling in human podocytes.

Diabetologia 2021 Jul 24;64(7):1690-1702. Epub 2021 Mar 24.

Bristol Renal, Bristol Medical School, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.

Aims/hypothesis: Podocyte loss or injury is one of the earliest features observed in the pathogenesis of diabetic kidney disease (DKD), which is the leading cause of end-stage renal failure worldwide. Dysfunction in the IGF axis, including in IGF binding proteins (IGFBPs), is associated with DKD, particularly in the early stages of disease progression. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential roles of IGFBPs in the development of type 2 DKD, focusing on podocytes.

Methods: IGFBP expression was analysed in the Pima DKD cohort, alongside data from the Nephroseq database, and in ex vivo human glomeruli. Conditionally immortalised human podocytes and glomerular endothelial cells were studied in vitro, where IGFBP-1 expression was analysed using quantitative PCR and ELISAs. Cell responses to IGFBPs were investigated using migration, cell survival and adhesion assays; electrical cell-substrate impedance sensing; western blotting; and high-content automated imaging.

Results: Data from the Pima DKD cohort and from the Nephroseq database demonstrated a significant reduction in glomerular IGFBP-1 in the early stages of human type 2 DKD. In the glomerulus, IGFBP-1 was predominantly expressed in podocytes and controlled by phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)-forkhead box O1 (FoxO1) activity. In vitro, IGFBP-1 signalled to podocytes via β1-integrins, resulting in increased phosphorylation of focal-adhesion kinase (FAK), increasing podocyte motility, adhesion, electrical resistance across the adhesive cell layer and cell viability.

Conclusions/interpretation: This work identifies a novel role for IGFBP-1 in the regulation of podocyte function and that the glomerular expression of IGFBP-1 is reduced in the early stages of type 2 DKD, via reduced FoxO1 activity. Thus, we hypothesise that strategies to maintain glomerular IGFBP-1 levels may be beneficial in maintaining podocyte function early in DKD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00125-021-05427-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8187213PMC
July 2021

Annexin A1 alleviates kidney injury by promoting the resolution of inflammation in diabetic nephropathy.

Kidney Int 2021 Mar 3. Epub 2021 Mar 3.

The Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, Institute of Systems Biomedicine, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Beijing, China; Key Laboratory of Molecular Cardiovascular Science, Ministry of Education, Beijing, China; Key Laboratory of Cardiovascular Molecular Biology and Regulatory Peptides, Ministry of Health, Beijing, China; Beijing Key Laboratory of Cardiovascular Receptors Research, Beijing, China; Department of Physiology and Pathophysiology, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing, China; China National Clinical Research Center for Neurological Diseases, Tiantan Hospital, Advanced Innovation Center for Human Brain Protection, The Capital Medical University, Beijing, China. Electronic address:

Since failed resolution of inflammation is a major contributor to the progression of diabetic nephropathy, identifying endogenously generated molecules that promote the physiological resolution of inflammation may be a promising therapeutic approach for this disease. Annexin A1 (ANXA1), as an endogenous mediator, plays an important role in resolving inflammation. Whether ANXA1 could affect established diabetic nephropathy through modulating inflammatory states remains largely unknown. In the current study, we found that in patients with diabetic nephropathy, the levels of ANXA1 were upregulated in kidneys, and correlated with kidney function as well as kidney outcomes. Therefore, the role of endogenous ANXA1 in mouse models of diabetic nephropathy was further evaluated. ANXA1 deficiency exacerbated kidney injuries, exhibiting more severe albuminuria, mesangial matrix expansion, tubulointerstitial lesions, kidney inflammation and fibrosis in high fat diet/streptozotocin-induced-diabetic mice. Consistently, ANXA1 overexpression ameliorated kidney injuries in mice with diabetic nephropathy. Additionally, we found Ac2-26 (an ANXA1 mimetic peptide) had therapeutic potential for alleviating kidney injuries in db/db mice and diabetic Anxa1 knockout mice. Mechanistic studies demonstrated that intracellular ANXA1 bound to the transcription factor NF-κB p65 subunit, inhibiting its activation thereby modulating the inflammatory state. Thus, our data indicate that ANXA1 may be a promising therapeutic approach to treating and reversing diabetic nephropathy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.kint.2021.02.025DOI Listing
March 2021

APOL1 genotype-associated morphologic changes among patients with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis.

Pediatr Nephrol 2021 Mar 1. Epub 2021 Mar 1.

Division of Pediatric Nephrology, Brenner Children's Hospital, Wake Forest University, Winston Salem, NC, USA.

Background: The G1 and G2 alleles of apolipoprotein L1 (APOL1) are common in the Black population and associated with increased risk of focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). The molecular mechanisms linking APOL1 risk variants with FSGS are not clearly understood, and APOL1's natural absence in laboratory animals makes studying its pathobiology challenging.

Methods: In a cohort of 90 Black patients with either FSGS or minimal change disease (MCD) enrolled in the Nephrotic Syndrome Study Network (58% pediatric onset), we used kidney biopsy traits as an intermediate outcome to help illuminate tissue-based consequences of APOL1 risk variants and expression. We tested associations between APOL1 risk alleles or glomerular APOL1 mRNA expression and 83 light- or electron-microscopy traits measuring structural and cellular kidney changes.

Results: Under both recessive and dominant models in the FSGS patient subgroup (61%), APOL1 risk variants were significantly correlated (defined as FDR <0.1) with decreased global mesangial hypercellularity, decreased condensation of cytoskeleton, and increased tubular microcysts. No significant correlations were detected in MCD cohort. Independent of risk alleles, glomerular APOL1 expression in FSGS patients was not correlated with morphologic features.

Conclusions: While APOL1-associated FSGS is associated with two risk alleles, both one and two risk alleles are associated with cellular/tissue changes in this study of FSGS patients. Our lack of discovery of a large group of tissue differences in FSGS and no significant difference in MCD may be due to the lack of power but also supports investigating whether machine learning methods may more sensitively detect APOL1-associated changes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00467-021-04990-4DOI Listing
March 2021

Rationale and design of the Kidney Precision Medicine Project.

Kidney Int 2021 03;99(3):498-510

Renal-Electrolyte Division, Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Renal Section, Veterans Administration Pittsburgh Healthcare System, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) and acute kidney injury (AKI) are common, heterogeneous, and morbid diseases. Mechanistic characterization of CKD and AKI in patients may facilitate a precision-medicine approach to prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. The Kidney Precision Medicine Project aims to ethically and safely obtain kidney biopsies from participants with CKD or AKI, create a reference kidney atlas, and characterize disease subgroups to stratify patients based on molecular features of disease, clinical characteristics, and associated outcomes. An additional aim is to identify critical cells, pathways, and targets for novel therapies and preventive strategies. This project is a multicenter prospective cohort study of adults with CKD or AKI who undergo a protocol kidney biopsy for research purposes. This investigation focuses on kidney diseases that are most prevalent and therefore substantially burden the public health, including CKD attributed to diabetes or hypertension and AKI attributed to ischemic and toxic injuries. Reference kidney tissues (for example, living-donor kidney biopsies) will also be evaluated. Traditional and digital pathology will be combined with transcriptomic, proteomic, and metabolomic analysis of the kidney tissue as well as deep clinical phenotyping for supervised and unsupervised subgroup analysis and systems biology analysis. Participants will be followed prospectively for 10 years to ascertain clinical outcomes. Cell types, locations, and functions will be characterized in health and disease in an open, searchable, online kidney tissue atlas. All data from the Kidney Precision Medicine Project will be made readily available for broad use by scientists, clinicians, and patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.kint.2020.08.039DOI Listing
March 2021

Nephrotic syndrome disease activity is proportional to its associated hypercoagulopathy.

Thromb Res 2021 05 16;201:50-59. Epub 2021 Feb 16.

Center for Clinical and Translational Research, Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children's, Columbus, OH, USA; Division of Hematology/Oncology/Blood & Marrow Transplantation, Department of Pediatrics, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, OH, USA. Electronic address:

Introduction: Nephrotic syndrome (NS) is associated with an acquired hypercoagulopathy that drives its strong predilection for life-threatening thrombosis. We previously demonstrated that hypercoagulopathy is proportional to NS disease severity in animal models. Therefore, hypercoagulopathy and disease severity may inform thrombosis risk and better guide therapeutic decision making. The objective of this study was thus to establish the relationship between disease severity and hypercoagulopathy in human NS.

Materials And Methods: Thrombin generation assays (TGA) were performed on biorepository plasma samples from a prospective longitudinal NS cohort study. TGA was also determined on a separate cohort of incident NS patients. Multivariable regression was used to build NS-hypercoagulopathy relationship models.

Results: Endogenous thrombin potential (ETP) was the TGA parameter most strongly correlated with NS severity and was proportional to conventional measures of NS disease activity including proteinuria, hypercholesterolemia, and hypoalbuminemia. The overall disease activity model was well correlated with ETP (R = 0.38). The relationship with disease activity was confirmed in the second cohort. These models further revealed that ETP is related to disease activity in a manner dependent on remission status.

Conclusion: Consistent with our previously reported animal model observations, we found that the combination of proteinuria, hypercholesterolemia, and hypoalbuminemia correlated with ETP-defined hypercoagulopathy. Hypercoagulopathy improved significantly with partial or complete NS remission. These data are expected to inform studies designed to stratify thrombotic risk for patients with NS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.thromres.2021.02.007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8096658PMC
May 2021

A multimodal and integrated approach to interrogate human kidney biopsies with rigor and reproducibility: guidelines from the Kidney Precision Medicine Project.

Physiol Genomics 2021 01 16;53(1):1-11. Epub 2020 Nov 16.

Washington University in Saint Louis School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri.

Comprehensive and spatially mapped molecular atlases of organs at a cellular level are a critical resource to gain insights into pathogenic mechanisms and personalized therapies for diseases. The Kidney Precision Medicine Project (KPMP) is an endeavor to generate three-dimensional (3-D) molecular atlases of healthy and diseased kidney biopsies by using multiple state-of-the-art omics and imaging technologies across several institutions. Obtaining rigorous and reproducible results from disparate methods and at different sites to interrogate biomolecules at a single-cell level or in 3-D space is a significant challenge that can be a futile exercise if not well controlled. We describe a "follow the tissue" pipeline for generating a reliable and authentic single-cell/region 3-D molecular atlas of human adult kidney. Our approach emphasizes quality assurance, quality control, validation, and harmonization across different omics and imaging technologies from sample procurement, processing, storage, shipping to data generation, analysis, and sharing. We established benchmarks for quality control, rigor, reproducibility, and feasibility across multiple technologies through a pilot experiment using common source tissue that was processed and analyzed at different institutions and different technologies. A peer review system was established to critically review quality control measures and the reproducibility of data generated by each technology before their being approved to interrogate clinical biopsy specimens. The process established economizes the use of valuable biopsy tissue for multiomics and imaging analysis with stringent quality control to ensure rigor and reproducibility of results and serves as a model for precision medicine projects across laboratories, institutions and consortia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/physiolgenomics.00104.2020DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7847045PMC
January 2021

Urinary excretion of epidermal growth factor and rapid loss of kidney function.

Nephrol Dial Transplant 2020 Oct 17. Epub 2020 Oct 17.

Metabolic and Renal Research Group, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway.

Background: Lower urinary excretion of the kidney tubule-specific biomarker epidermal growth factor (uEGF) is associated with increased risk of renal function [glomerular filtration rate (GFR)] loss in diabetes and in patients with established chronic kidney disease (CKD). We investigated whether uEGF is associated with rapid GFR decline or incident CKD in the general population.

Methods: Subjects without CKD or diabetes were recruited from the general population in Tromso, Norway [Renal Iohexol Clearance Survey (RENIS); N = 1249] and Groningen, the Netherlands [Prevention of REnal and Vascular END-stage disease (PREVEND); N = 4534], with a median follow-up of 5.6 and 7.4 years, respectively. GFR was measured by iohexol clearance in the RENIS and estimated using the CKD Epidemiology Collaboration creatinine-cystatin C equation in the PREVEND study. Rapid GFR decline was defined as an annual GFR loss >3.0 mL/min/1.73 m2 and in sensitivity analyses as subjects with the 10% steepest GFR slope within each cohort.

Results: Lower baseline uEGF excretion was associated with rapid GFR loss in both cohorts {RENIS, odds ratio [OR] per 1 μg/mmol lower uEGF 1.42 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.06-1.91], P = 0.02; PREVEND, OR 1.29 [95% CI 1.10-1.53], P < 0.01}, adjusted for baseline GFR, albumin:creatinine ratio and conventional CKD risk factors. Similar results were obtained using the outcome of the 10% steepest GFR slope in each cohort. Lower uEGF levels were associated with incident CKD in the combined analysis of both cohorts.

Conclusions: Lower uEGF levels are associated with increased risk of rapid GFR loss and incident CKD in the general population. This finding, together with previous findings in CKD and high-risk populations, supports that uEGF may serve as a broadly applicable biomarker representing the tubular component of the current glomerulus-centric clinical risk assessment system.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ndt/gfaa208DOI Listing
October 2020

SARS-CoV-2 receptor networks in diabetic and COVID-19-associated kidney disease.

Kidney Int 2020 12 8;98(6):1502-1518. Epub 2020 Oct 8.

Chronic Kidney Disease Section, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Phoenix, Arizona, USA.

COVID-19 morbidity and mortality are increased via unknown mechanisms in patients with diabetes and kidney disease. SARS-CoV-2 uses angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) for entry into host cells. Because ACE2 is a susceptibility factor for infection, we investigated how diabetic kidney disease and medications alter ACE2 receptor expression in kidneys. Single cell RNA profiling of kidney biopsies from healthy living donors and patients with diabetic kidney disease revealed ACE2 expression primarily in proximal tubular epithelial cells. This cell-specific localization was confirmed by in situ hybridization. ACE2 expression levels were unaltered by exposures to renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitors in diabetic kidney disease. Bayesian integrative analysis of a large compendium of public -omics datasets identified molecular network modules induced in ACE2-expressing proximal tubular epithelial cells in diabetic kidney disease (searchable at hb.flatironinstitute.org/covid-kidney) that were linked to viral entry, immune activation, endomembrane reorganization, and RNA processing. The diabetic kidney disease ACE2-positive proximal tubular epithelial cell module overlapped with expression patterns seen in SARS-CoV-2-infected cells. Similar cellular programs were seen in ACE2-positive proximal tubular epithelial cells obtained from urine samples of 13 hospitalized patients with COVID-19, suggesting a consistent ACE2-coregulated proximal tubular epithelial cell expression program that may interact with the SARS-CoV-2 infection processes. Thus SARS-CoV-2 receptor networks can seed further research into risk stratification and therapeutic strategies for COVID-19-related kidney damage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.kint.2020.09.015DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7543950PMC
December 2020

Modelling kidney disease using ontology: insights from the Kidney Precision Medicine Project.

Nat Rev Nephrol 2020 11 16;16(11):686-696. Epub 2020 Sep 16.

Department of Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.

An important need exists to better understand and stratify kidney disease according to its underlying pathophysiology in order to develop more precise and effective therapeutic agents. National collaborative efforts such as the Kidney Precision Medicine Project are working towards this goal through the collection and integration of large, disparate clinical, biological and imaging data from patients with kidney disease. Ontologies are powerful tools that facilitate these efforts by enabling researchers to organize and make sense of different data elements and the relationships between them. Ontologies are critical to support the types of big data analysis necessary for kidney precision medicine, where heterogeneous clinical, imaging and biopsy data from diverse sources must be combined to define a patient's phenotype. The development of two new ontologies - the Kidney Tissue Atlas Ontology and the Ontology of Precision Medicine and Investigation - will support the creation of the Kidney Tissue Atlas, which aims to provide a comprehensive molecular, cellular and anatomical map of the kidney. These ontologies will improve the annotation of kidney-relevant data, and eventually lead to new definitions of kidney disease in support of precision medicine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41581-020-00335-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8012202PMC
November 2020

COVID-19 and Diabetes: A Collision and Collusion of Two Diseases.

Diabetes 2020 12 16;69(12):2549-2565. Epub 2020 Sep 16.

Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Diabetes, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has infected >22.7 million and led to the deaths of 795,000 people worldwide. Patients with diabetes are highly susceptible to COVID-19-induced adverse outcomes and complications. The COVID-19 pandemic is superimposing on the preexisting diabetes pandemic to create large and significantly vulnerable populations of patients with COVID-19 and diabetes. This article provides an overview of the clinical evidence on the poorer clinical outcomes of COVID-19 infection in patients with diabetes versus patients without diabetes, including in specific patient populations, such as children, pregnant women, and racial and ethnic minorities. It also draws parallels between COVID-19 and diabetes pathology and suggests that preexisting complications or pathologies in patients with diabetes might aggravate infection course. Finally, this article outlines the prospects for long-term sequelae after COVID-19 for vulnerable populations of patients with diabetes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2337/dbi20-0032DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7679769PMC
December 2020

Transcriptome analysis of primary podocytes reveals novel calcium regulated regulatory networks.

FASEB J 2020 11 15;34(11):14490-14506. Epub 2020 Sep 15.

Department of Medicine, University of Münster, Münster, Germany.

Podocytes are pivotal in establishing the selective permeability of the glomerular filtration barrier. Recently, we showed that an increase of the intracellular calcium ion concentration [Ca ] causes a rapid and transient actin reset (CaAR) measurable through live imaging microscopy using lifeact-mCherry as an actin dye in different cell types including the podocyte. This and other studies show the critical role [Ca ] and the actin cytoskeleton play in podocyte homeostasis. To further investigate the role of [Ca ] and the actin cytoskeleton in podocytes, we used a double fluorescent reporter mouse model to establish a primary podocyte culture system. We treated these podocytes temporarily with a Calcium Ionophore and facultatively with Latrunculin A, an inhibitor of actin polymerization. Unbiased genome wide transcriptional analysis identified a transcriptional response in podocytes to elevated [Ca ] levels, affecting mRNA levels of PDGF-BB, RICTOR, and MIR17HG as mediators of Ca -signaling. Comparison of the ex vivo transcriptional response from the primary podocyte culture with glomerular transcripts across a wide spectrum of CKD disease confirmed co-regulation of transcript sets, establishing the disease relevance of the model system. Our findings demonstrate novel [Ca ] regulated gene networks in podocytes deepening our understanding of podocyte biology and disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1096/fj.201902493RRDOI Listing
November 2020

The longitudinal relationship between patient-reported outcomes and clinical characteristics among patients with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis in the Nephrotic Syndrome Study Network.

Clin Kidney J 2020 Aug 5;13(4):597-606. Epub 2019 Aug 5.

Division of Pediatric Nephrology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.

Background: Understanding the relationship between clinical and patient-reported outcomes (PROs) will help support clinical care and future clinical trial design of novel therapies for focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS).

Methods: FSGS patients ≥8 years of age enrolled in the Nephrotic Syndrome Study Network completed Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System PRO measures of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) (children: global health, mobility, fatigue, pain interference, depression, anxiety, stress and peer relationships; adults: physical functioning, fatigue, pain interference, sleep impairment, mental health, depression, anxiety and social satisfaction) at baseline and during longitudinal follow-up for a maximum of 5 years. Linear mixed-effects models were used to determine which demographic, clinical and laboratory features were associated with PROs for each of the eight children and eight adults studied.

Results: There were 45 children and 114 adult FSGS patients enrolled that had at least one PRO assessment and 519 patient visits. Multivariable analyses among children found that edema was associated with global health (-7.6 points, P = 0.02) and mobility (-4.2, P = 0.02), the number of reported symptoms was associated with worse depression (-2.7 per symptom, P = 0.009) and anxiety (-2.3, P = 0.02) and the number of emergency room (ER) visits in the prior 6 months was associated with worse mobility (-2.8 per visit, P < 0.001) and fatigue (-2.4, P = 0.03). Multivariable analyses among adults found the number of reported symptoms was associated with worse function in all eight PROMIS measures and the number of ER visits was associated with worse fatigue, pain interference, sleep impairment, depression, anxiety and social satisfaction. Laboratory markers of disease severity (i.e. proteinuria, estimated glomerular filtration rate and serum albumin) did not predict PRO in multivariable analyses, with the single exception of complete remission and better pain interference scores among children (+9.3, P  0.03).

Conclusions: PROs provide important information about HRQoL for persons with FSGS that is not captured solely by the examination of laboratory-based markers of disease. However, it is critical that instruments capture the patient experience and FSGS clinical trials may benefit from a disease-specific instrument more sensitive to within-patient changes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ckj/sfz092DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7467600PMC
August 2020

Estimated GFR Trajectories in Pediatric and Adult Nephrotic Syndrome: Results From the Nephrotic Syndrome Study Network (NEPTUNE).

Kidney Med 2020 Jul-Aug;2(4):407-417. Epub 2020 Jun 5.

Division of Nephrology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.

Rationale & Objective: Surrogate outcomes for end-stage kidney disease often assume linear changes, which may not reflect true estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) trajectories. This study's objective was to characterize nonlinear eGFR trajectories in nephrotic syndrome.

Study Design: Observational cohort study.

Setting & Participants: Nephrotic Syndrome Study Network (NEPTUNE) is a multicenter study of adult and pediatric patients with proteinuria enrolled at clinically indicated kidney biopsy or initial presentation of disease (pediatric only).

Predictors: Patient demographic, clinical, and pathology variables at study enrollment and follow-up time.

Outcome: eGFR was calculated using the Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration (patients ≥ 18 years old) or modified Chronic Kidney Disease in Children Study-Schwartz (patients < 18 years) formulas. The probability of nonlinearity (PNL) was calculated for individual eGFR trajectories.

Analytical Approach: Associations between predictors and PNL were assessed using multivariable linear regression.

Results: 453 patients with ≥3 eGFR measurements and 1 or more year of follow-up were included (median follow-up, 3.6 years). Median PNL was 0.052; 56% and 16% had PNL < 10% and >50%, respectively. In both adults and pediatric patients, higher baseline eGFR was associated with higher PNL, whereas longer follow-up time was associated with lower PNL. Higher urine protein-creatinine ratio and steroid use were also associated with higher PNL in adults. Higher percentages of tubular atrophy and foot-process effacement were associated with lower and higher PNLs, respectively, in adults.

Limitations: Relatively short follow-up time, inability to assess acute kidney injury events, and variable eGFR measurement frequency across patients.

Conclusions: Although increasing follow-up time resulted in more linear trajectories, nonlinear eGFR trajectories were common in this cohort. Future studies in nephrotic syndrome should consider novel outcomes that do not rely on linearity assumptions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.xkme.2020.03.006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7406843PMC
June 2020

Soluble RARRES1 induces podocyte apoptosis to promote glomerular disease progression.

J Clin Invest 2020 10;130(10):5523-5535

Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York, USA.

Using the Nephrotic Syndrome Study Network Consortium data set and other publicly available transcriptomic data sets, we identified retinoic acid receptor responder protein 1 (RARRES1) as a gene whose expression positively correlated with renal function decline in human glomerular disease. The glomerular expression of RARRES1, which is largely restricted to podocytes, increased in focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) and diabetic kidney disease (DKD). TNF-α was a potent inducer of RARRES1 expression in cultured podocytes, and transcriptomic analysis showed the enrichment of cell death pathway genes with RARRES1 overexpression. The overexpression of RARRES1 indeed induced podocyte apoptosis in vitro. Notably, this effect was dependent on its cleavage in the extracellular domain, as the mutation of its cleavage site abolished the apoptotic effect. Mechanistically, the soluble RARRES1 was endocytosed and interacted with and inhibited RIO kinase 1 (RIOK1), resulting in p53 activation and podocyte apoptosis. In mice, podocyte-specific overexpression of RARRES1 resulted in marked glomerular injury and albuminuria, while the overexpression of RARRES1 cleavage mutant had no effect. Conversely, podocyte-specific knockdown of Rarres1 in mice ameliorated glomerular injury in the setting of adriamycin-induced nephropathy. Our study demonstrates an important role and the mechanism of RARRES1 in podocyte injury in glomerular disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI140155DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7524479PMC
October 2020

Prognostic imaging biomarkers for diabetic kidney disease (iBEAt): study protocol.

BMC Nephrol 2020 06 29;21(1):242. Epub 2020 Jun 29.

Department of Emergency and Organ Transplantation, Nephrology Unit, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy.

Background: Diabetic kidney disease (DKD) remains one of the leading causes of premature death in diabetes. DKD is classified on albuminuria and reduced kidney function (estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR)) but these have modest value for predicting future renal status. There is an unmet need for biomarkers that can be used in clinical settings which also improve prediction of renal decline on top of routinely available data, particularly in the early stages. The iBEAt study of the BEAt-DKD project aims to determine whether renal imaging biomarkers (magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound (US)) provide insight into the pathogenesis and heterogeneity of DKD (primary aim) and whether they have potential as prognostic biomarkers in DKD (secondary aim).

Methods: iBEAt is a prospective multi-centre observational cohort study recruiting 500 patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) and eGFR ≥30 ml/min/1.73m. At baseline, blood and urine will be collected, clinical examinations will be performed, and medical history will be obtained. These assessments will be repeated annually for 3 years. At baseline each participant will also undergo quantitative renal MRI and US with central processing of MRI images. Biological samples will be stored in a central laboratory for biomarker and validation studies, and data in a central data depository. Data analysis will explore the potential associations between imaging biomarkers and renal function, and whether the imaging biomarkers improve the prediction of DKD progression. Ancillary substudies will: (1) validate imaging biomarkers against renal histopathology; (2) validate MRI based renal blood flow measurements against HO positron-emission tomography (PET); (3) validate methods for (semi-)automated processing of renal MRI; (4) examine longitudinal changes in imaging biomarkers; (5) examine whether glycocalyx and microvascular measures are associated with imaging biomarkers and eGFR decline; (6) explore whether the findings in T2D can be extrapolated to type 1 diabetes.

Discussion: iBEAt is the largest DKD imaging study to date and will provide valuable insights into the progression and heterogeneity of DKD. The results may contribute to a more personalised approach to DKD management in patients with T2D.

Trial Registration: Clinicaltrials.gov ( NCT03716401 ).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12882-020-01901-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7323369PMC
June 2020

Proteomic Analysis Identifies Distinct Glomerular Extracellular Matrix in Collapsing Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis.

J Am Soc Nephrol 2020 08 19;31(8):1883-1904. Epub 2020 Jun 19.

Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, Department of Medicine, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky

Background: The mechanisms leading to extracellular matrix (ECM) replacement of areas of glomerular capillaries in histologic variants of FSGS are unknown. This study used proteomics to test the hypothesis that glomerular ECM composition in collapsing FSGS (cFSGS) differs from that of other variants.

Methods: ECM proteins in glomeruli from biopsy specimens of patients with FSGS not otherwise specified (FSGS-NOS) or cFSGS and from normal controls were distinguished and quantified using mass spectrometry, verified and localized using immunohistochemistry (IHC) and confocal microscopy, and assessed for gene expression. The analysis also quantified urinary excretion of ECM proteins and peptides.

Results: Of 58 ECM proteins that differed in abundance between cFSGS and FSGS-NOS, 41 were more abundant in cFSGS and 17 in FSGS-NOS. IHC showed that glomerular tuft staining for cathepsin B, cathepsin C, and annexin A3 in cFSGS was significantly greater than in other FSGS variants, in minimal change disease, or in membranous nephropathy. Annexin A3 colocalized with cathepsin B and C, claudin-1, phosphorylated ERK1/2, and CD44, but not with synaptopodin, in parietal epithelial cells (PECs) infiltrating cFSGS glomeruli. Transcripts for cathepsins B and C were increased in FSGS glomeruli compared with normal controls, and urinary excretion of both cathepsins was significantly greater in cFSGS compared with FSGS-NOS. Urinary excretion of ECM-derived peptides was enhanced in cFSGS, although analysis did not identify enhanced excretion of peptides derived from cathepsin B or C.

Conclusions: ECM differences suggest that glomerular sclerosis in cFSGS differs from that in other FSGS variants. Infiltration of activated PECs may disrupt ECM remodeling in cFSGS. These cells and their cathepsins may be therapeutic targets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1681/ASN.2019070696DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7460901PMC
August 2020

A role for NPY-NPY2R signaling in albuminuric kidney disease.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2020 07 19;117(27):15862-15873. Epub 2020 Jun 19.

Bristol Renal, Bristol Medical School, University of Bristol, Bristol BS1 3NY, United Kingdom;

Albuminuria is an independent risk factor for the progression to end-stage kidney failure, cardiovascular morbidity, and premature death. As such, discovering signaling pathways that modulate albuminuria is desirable. Here, we studied the transcriptomes of podocytes, key cells in the prevention of albuminuria, under diabetic conditions. We found that was significantly down-regulated in insulin-resistant vs. insulin-sensitive mouse podocytes and in human glomeruli of patients with early and late-stage diabetic nephropathy, as well as other nondiabetic glomerular diseases. This contrasts with the increased plasma and urinary levels of NPY that are observed in such conditions. Studying NPY-knockout mice, we found that NPY deficiency in vivo surprisingly reduced the level of albuminuria and podocyte injury in models of both diabetic and nondiabetic kidney disease. In vitro, podocyte NPY signaling occurred via the NPY2 receptor (NPY2R), stimulating PI3K, MAPK, and NFAT activation. Additional unbiased proteomic analysis revealed that glomerular NPY-NPY2R signaling predicted nephrotoxicity, modulated RNA processing, and inhibited cell migration. Furthermore, pharmacologically inhibiting the NPY2R in vivo significantly reduced albuminuria in adriamycin-treated glomerulosclerotic mice. Our findings suggest a pathogenic role of excessive NPY-NPY2R signaling in the glomerulus and that inhibiting NPY-NPY2R signaling in albuminuric kidney disease has therapeutic potential.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2004651117DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7355002PMC
July 2020

SARS-CoV-2 receptor networks in diabetic kidney disease, BK-Virus nephropathy and COVID-19 associated acute kidney injury.

medRxiv 2020 May 13. Epub 2020 May 13.

COVID-19 morbidity and mortality is significantly increased in patients with diabetes and kidney disease via unknown mechanisms. SARS-CoV-2 uses angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) for entry into human host cells, and ACE2 levels in target cells may influence SARS-CoV-2 susceptibility. We investigated how pre-existing conditions and drug treatments alter receptor expression in kidney tissue. Using single cell RNA profiling (scRNAseq) to assess ACE2 and associated SARS-CoV-2 proteases in healthy living donors (LD) kidneys, diabetic kidney disease (DKD), and in kidney injury during viral infection, ACE2 expression was primarily associated with proximal tubular epithelial cells (PTEC). ACE2 mRNA expression levels were significantly upregulated in DKD versus LD, however, ACE2 levels were not altered by exposures to renin angiotensin aldosterone system (RAAS) inhibitors. ACE2+ expression signatures were defined by differential expression analysis and characterized by Bayesian integrative analysis of a large compendium of public -omics datasets, resulting in the identification of network modules induced in ACE2 positive PTEC in DKD and BK virus nephropathy. These ACE2 upregulated cell programs were linked to viral entry, immune activation, endomembrane reorganization, and RNA processing and overlapped significantly with the cellular responses induced by SARS-CoV-2 infection. Similar cellular programs were activated in ACE2-positive PTEC isolated in a urine sample from a COVID19 patient with acute kidney injury, suggesting a consistent ACE2-coregulated expression program that may interact with SARS-Cov-2 infection processes. The SARS-CoV-2 receptor associated gene signatures could seed further research into therapeutic strategies for COVID-19. Functional networks of gene expression signatures are available for further exploration to researchers at HumanBase (hb.flatironinstitute.org/covid-kidney).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2020.05.09.20096511DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7241118PMC
May 2020

Integrated multi-omics approaches to improve classification of chronic kidney disease.

Nat Rev Nephrol 2020 11 18;16(11):657-668. Epub 2020 May 18.

Division of Nephrology, Department of Internal Medicine, Michigan Medicine, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.

Chronic kidney diseases (CKDs) are currently classified according to their clinical features, associated comorbidities and pattern of injury on biopsy. Even within a given classification, considerable variation exists in disease presentation, progression and response to therapy, highlighting heterogeneity in the underlying biological mechanisms. As a result, patients and clinicians experience uncertainty when considering optimal treatment approaches and risk projection. Technological advances now enable large-scale datasets, including DNA and RNA sequence data, proteomics and metabolomics data, to be captured from individuals and groups of patients along the genotype-phenotype continuum of CKD. The ability to combine these high-dimensional datasets, in which the number of variables exceeds the number of clinical outcome observations, using computational approaches such as machine learning, provides an opportunity to re-classify patients into molecularly defined subgroups that better reflect underlying disease mechanisms. Patients with CKD are uniquely poised to benefit from these integrative, multi-omics approaches since the kidney biopsy, blood and urine samples used to generate these different types of molecular data are frequently obtained during routine clinical care. The ultimate goal of developing an integrated molecular classification is to improve diagnostic classification, risk stratification and assignment of molecular, disease-specific therapies to improve the care of patients with CKD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41581-020-0286-5DOI Listing
November 2020

Nomenclature for kidney function and disease: report of a Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) Consensus Conference.

Kidney Int 2020 06 9;97(6):1117-1129. Epub 2020 Mar 9.

Executive Managing Editor, Kidney International.

The worldwide burden of kidney disease is rising, but public awareness remains limited, underscoring the need for more effective communication by stakeholders in the kidney health community. Despite this need for clarity, the nomenclature for describing kidney function and disease lacks uniformity. In June 2019, Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) convened a Consensus Conference with the goal of standardizing and refining the nomenclature used in the English language to describe kidney function and disease, and of developing a glossary that could be used in scientific publications. Guiding principles of the conference were that the revised nomenclature should be patient-centered, precise, and consistent with nomenclature used in the KDIGO guidelines. Conference attendees reached general consensus on the following recommendations: (i) to use "kidney" rather than "renal" or "nephro-" when referring to kidney disease and kidney function; (ii) to use "kidney failure" with appropriate descriptions of presence or absence of symptoms, signs, and treatment, rather than "end-stage kidney disease"; (iii) to use the KDIGO definition and classification of acute kidney diseases and disorders (AKD) and acute kidney injury (AKI), rather than alternative descriptions, to define and classify severity of AKD and AKI; (iv) to use the KDIGO definition and classification of chronic kidney disease (CKD) rather than alternative descriptions to define and classify severity of CKD; and (v) to use specific kidney measures, such as albuminuria or decreased glomerular filtration rate (GFR), rather than "abnormal" or "reduced" kidney function to describe alterations in kidney structure and function. A proposed 5-part glossary contains specific items for which there was general agreement. Conference attendees acknowledged limitations of the recommendations and glossary, but they considered standardization of scientific nomenclature to be essential for improving communication.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.kint.2020.02.010DOI Listing
June 2020

Machine learning, the kidney, and genotype-phenotype analysis.

Kidney Int 2020 06 1;97(6):1141-1149. Epub 2020 Apr 1.

Center for Computational Biology, Flatiron Institute, Simons Foundation, New York, New York, USA; Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, USA; Department of Computer Science, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, USA. Electronic address:

With biomedical research transitioning into data-rich science, machine learning provides a powerful toolkit for extracting knowledge from large-scale biological data sets. The increasing availability of comprehensive kidney omics compendia (transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and genome sequencing), as well as other data modalities such as electronic health records, digital nephropathology repositories, and radiology renal images, makes machine learning approaches increasingly essential for analyzing human kidney data sets. Here, we discuss how machine learning approaches can be applied to the study of kidney disease, with a particular focus on how they can be used for understanding the relationship between genotype and phenotype.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.kint.2020.02.028DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8048707PMC
June 2020

JAK-STAT Activity in Peripheral Blood Cells and Kidney Tissue in IgA Nephropathy.

Clin J Am Soc Nephrol 2020 07 30;15(7):973-982. Epub 2020 Apr 30.

Department of Medicine, Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford, California

Background And Objectives: IgA nephropathy is the most common primary glomerular disease in the world. Marked by mesangial inflammation and proliferation, it generally leads to progressive kidney fibrosis. As the Janus kinase signal transducer and activator of transcription pathway has been implicated as an important mediator of diabetic kidney disease and FSGS, detailed investigation of this pathway in IgA nephropathy was undertaken to establish the basis for targeting this pathway across glomerular diseases.

Design, Setting, Participants, & Measurements: Well characterized patients with IgA nephropathy and controls were studied, allowing us to compare 77 patients with biopsy-proven IgA nephropathy with 45 healthy subjects. STAT phosphorylation was assessed in peripheral blood monocytes (PBMCs) by phosphoflow before and after cytokine stimulation. Kidney Janus kinase signal transducer and activator of transcription activity was studied by immunofluorescence and by transcriptomic studies. An STAT1 activity score was established using downstream transcriptional targets of pSTAT1 and associated with disease and clinical outcomes.

Results: We found PBMCs to have upregulated pSTAT production at baseline in patients with IgA nephropathy with a limited reserve to respond to cytokine stimulation compared with controls. Increased staining in glomerular mesangium and endothelium was seen for Jak-2 and pSTAT1 and in the tubulointerstitial for JAK2, pSTAT1, and pSTAT3. Activation of the Janus kinase signal transducer and activator of transcription pathway was further supported by increased pSTAT1 and pSTAT3 scores in glomerular and tubulointerstitial sections of the kidney (glomerular activation scores: 7.1 and 4.5, respectively; values: <0.001 and <0.001, respectively). Clinically, phosphoflow results associated with proteinuria and kidney function, and STAT1 activation associated with proteinuria but was not associated with progression.

Conclusions: Janus kinase signal transducer and activator of transcription signaling was activated in patients with IgA nephropathy compared with controls. There were altered responses in peripheral immune cells and increased message and activated proteins in the kidney. These changes variably related to proteinuria and kidney function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2215/CJN.11010919DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7341773PMC
July 2020