ARTICLE: Identification and validation of urinary CXCL9 as a biomarker for diagnosis of acute interstitial nephritis
AUTHORS: Dennis G Moledina, Wassim Obeid, Rex N Smith, Ivy Rosales , Meghan E Sise, Gilbert Moeckel, Michael Kashgarian, Michael Kuperman, Kirk N Campbell, Sean Lefferts, Kristin Meliambro, Markus Bitzer, Mark A Perazella, Randy L Luciano, Jordan S Pober, Lloyd G Cantley, Robert B Colvin, F Perry Wilson, Chirag R Parikh
JOURNAL: J Clin Invest. 2023 Jul 3;133(13):e168950. doi: 10.1172/JCI168950.
Background: Acute tubulointerstitial nephritis (AIN) is one of the few causes of acute kidney injury with diagnosis-specific treatment options. However, due to the need to obtain a kidney biopsy for histological confirmation, AIN diagnosis can be delayed, missed, or incorrectly assumed. Here, we identify and validate urinary CXCL9, an IFN-γ-induced chemokine involved in lymphocyte chemotaxis, as a diagnostic biomarker for AIN.
Methods: In a prospectively enrolled cohort with pathologist-adjudicated histological diagnoses, termed the discovery cohort, we tested the association of 180 immune proteins measured by an aptamer-based assay with AIN and validated the top protein, CXCL9, using sandwich immunoassay. We externally validated these findings in 2 cohorts with biopsy-confirmed diagnoses, termed the validation cohorts, and examined mRNA expression differences in kidney tissue from patients with AIN and individuals in the control group.
Results: In aptamer-based assay, urinary CXCL9 was 7.6-fold higher in patients with AIN than in individuals in the control group (P = 1.23 × 10-5). Urinary CXCL9 measured by sandwich immunoassay was associated with AIN in the discovery cohort (n = 204; 15% AIN) independently of currently available clinical tests for AIN (adjusted odds ratio for highest versus lowest quartile: 6.0 [1.8-20]). Similar findings were noted in external validation cohorts, where CXCL9 had an AUC of 0.94 (0.86-1.00) for AIN diagnosis. CXCL9 mRNA expression was 3.9-fold higher in kidney tissue from patients with AIN (n = 19) compared with individuals in the control group (n = 52; P = 5.8 × 10-6).
Conclusion: We identified CXCL9 as a diagnostic biomarker for AIN using aptamer-based urine proteomics, confirmed this association using sandwich immunoassays in discovery and external validation cohorts, and observed higher expression of this protein in kidney biopsies from patients with AIN.
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