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Plasma neutrophil gelatinase associated lipocalin (NGAL) is associated with kidney function in uraemic patients before and after kidney transplantation

DOI: 10.1186/1471-2369-13-8

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NGAL was measured using a validated in-house Time-Resolved Immuno-flourometric assay (TRIFMA). Repeated measurements differed by < 10% and mean values were used for statistical analyses. Spearman rank order correlation analysis and the Kruskal-Wallis non-parametric test were used to evaluate the association of NGAL concentrations with clinical parameters.Plasma NGAL levels before transplantation in the Tx and uraemic groups were significantly higher than in the healthy controls (1,251 μg/L, 1,478 μg/L vs. 163 μg/L, p < 0.0001). In the Tx group NGAL concentrations were associated with serum creatinine (R = 0.51, p < 0.0001), duration of end-stage renal failure (R = 0.41, p = 0.002) and leukocyte count (R = 0.29, p < 0.026). At 3 and 12 months plasma NGAL concentrations declined to 223 μg/L and 243 μg/L, respectively and were associated with homocysteine (R = 0.39, p = 0.0051 and R = 0.47, p = 0.0007).Plasma NGAL is a novel marker of kidney function, which correlates to duration of end-stage renal failure (ESRD) and serum creatinine in uraemic patients awaiting kidney transplantation. Plasma NGAL is associated with homocysteine in transplanted patients. The prognostic value of these findings requires further studies.Neutrophil gelatinase associated lipocalin (NGAL) also known as Lipocalin 2 or Lcn2 is a 25 kDa protein identified originally as a protein associated with matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9) of human neutrophils [1]. Lipocalins are extracellular proteins which share a common tertiary structure that forms a barrel-like hydrophobic ligand binding site [2]. When bound to MMP-9, NGAL protects it from proteolytic degradation sustaining the proteolytic activity of MMP-9. No specific receptor for NGAL has yet been identified. However, the endocytosis low density lipoprotein receptor Megalin has been shown to bind NGAL with high affinity suggesting that NGAL is taken up by host cells [3]. NGAL has been suggested as a bacteriostatic agent indicating involvement of N

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