Background: Precise understanding of kidney disease activity is needed to design therapeutic strategies. CD147/basigin is involved in the pathogenesis of acute kidney injury and renal fibrosis through inflammatory cell infiltration. The present study examined the clinical relevance of CD147 in biopsy-proven kidney diseases that lead to the progression of chronic kidney disease. Methods: Kidney biopsy specimens and plasma and urine samples were obtained from patients with kidney diseases, including IgA nephropathy (IgAN), Henoch–Schönlein purpura nephritis (HSPN), diabetic kidney disease (DKD), focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), and membranous nephropathy (MN), who underwent renal biopsy between 2011 and 2014. Plasma and urinary CD147 levels were measured and evaluated for their ability to reflect histological features. Disease activity of IgAN tissues was evaluated according to the Oxford classification and the Japanese histological grading system. Results: In biopsy tissues, CD147 induction was detected in injured lesions representing renal inflammation. Plasma CD147 values correlated with eGFR in patients with inflammation-related kidney diseases such as IgAN, HSPN, and DKD. Particularly in IgAN patients, plasma CD147 levels were correlated with injured regions comprising more than 50% of glomeruli or with tubular atrophy/interstitial injury in biopsy tissues. Proteinuria showed a closer correlation with urinary values of CD147 and L-FABP. Of note, plasma and urinary CD147 levels showed a strong correlation with eGFR or proteinuria, respectively, only in DKD patients. Conclusion: Evaluation of plasma and urinary CD147 levels might provide key insights for the understanding of the activity of various kidney diseases.
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