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    Use of immunosuppressive drugs is still unavoidable in kidney-transplanted patients. Since their discovery, calcineurin inhibitors (CNI) have been considered the first-line immunosuppressive agents, in spite of their known nephrotoxicity. Chronic CNI toxicity (CNIT) may lead to kidney fibrosis, a threatening scenario for graft survival. However, there is still controversy regarding CNIT diagnosis, monitoring and therapeutic management, and their specific effects at the molecular level are not fully known. Aiming to better characterize CNIT patients, in the present study, we collected urine from kidney-transplanted patients treated with CNI who (i) had a normal kidney function, (ii) suffered CNIT, or (iii) presented interstitial fibrosis and tubular atrophy (IFTA). Urinary extracellular vesicles (uEV) were enriched and the proteome was analyzed to get insight into changes happening during CNI. Members of the uroplakin and plakin families were significantly upregulated in the CNIT group, suggesting an important role in CNIT processes. Although biomarkers cannot be asserted from this single pilot study, our results evidence the potential of uEV as a source of non-invasive protein biomarkers for a better detection and monitoring of this renal alteration in kidney-transplanted patients.


    Laura Carreras-Planella, Javier Juega, Omar Taco, Laura Cañas, Marcella Franquesa, Ricardo Lauzurica, Francesc Enric Borràs. Proteomic Characterization of Urinary Extracellular Vesicles from Kidney-Transplanted Patients Treated with Calcineurin Inhibitors. International journal of molecular sciences. 2020 Oct 14;21(20)

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    PMID: 33066346

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