Objective: A glycosylated transmembrane protein, CD147, has been implicated in regulating lymphocyte responsiveness and leukocyte recruitment. As lupus nephritis (LN) often follows a relapsing-remitting disease course, accurate understanding of the disease activity would be extremely helpful in improving prognosis. Unfortunately, neither clinical nor serological data can accurately reflect the histological features of LN. The present study investigated whether CD147 can accurately predict pathological features of LN. Methods: Plasma and spot urine samples were collected from 64 patients who underwent renal biopsy between 2008 and 2011. Disease activity for LN tissues was evaluated using the biopsy activity index, and compared to levels of biomarkers including CD147. Results: In LN tissues, CD147 induction was striking in injured glomeruli and infiltrating inflammatory cells, but not in damaged tubules representing atrophy. Plasma CD147 levels accurately reflected the histological disease activity. However, prediction using a single molecule would be quite difficult because of the complex pathogenesis of LN. The diagnostic accuracy of multiplex parameters indicated that the combination including plasma CD147 might yield excellent diagnostic abilities for guiding ideal LN therapy. Conclusion: Plasma CD147 levels might offer useful insights into disease activity as a crucial biomarker in patients with LN. Lupus (2014) 23, 342-352.
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