The aim of this study was to determine whether combined utilization of untimed single urine monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (uMCP-1) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-like weak inducer of apoptosis (uTWEAK) could serve as a screening test for proteinuria in patients with lupus nephritis (LN).
A case–control study that contained 39 biopsy-proven LN patients, 20 non-LN systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients, and 10 healthy controls (HCs) were carried out. Correlations between uMCP-1, uTWEAK, and traditional clinical markers were analyzed by Spearman correlation test. Diagnostic values of uMCP-1, uTWEAK, and urine albumin/creatinine ratio (uACR) in the assessment of proteinuria were investigated by receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves.
Biopsy-proven LN patients showed higher levels of uMCP-1 and uTWEAK than non-LN patients. uMCP-1 and uTWEAK were elevated in renal active patients (rSLEDAI ≥4). Both uMCP-1 and uTWEAK showed significant correlation with patients’ rSLEDAI, 24-hour urine proteinuria (24hr UP), and anti-double-stranded DNA (anti-dsDNA) antibodies. No correlations of these 2 biomarkers between cystatin C (Cys-C), creatinine (Cr), and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) were observed. An algorithm combining the moderate sensitivity of uMCP-1 and high specificity of uTWEAK displayed great specificity and sensitivity for proteinuria screening.
Both uMCP-1 and uTWEAK were positively correlated with the impairments of LN, and the combined utility of untimed single uMCP-1 and uTWEAK might be used as potential predictors for proteinuria in LN.