There have been several attempts to standardize the definition and increase reproducibility in classifying lupus nephritis (LN). The last was made by the International Society of Nephrology and Renal Pathology Society in 2003 where the introduction of Class IV subcategories (global and segmental) was introduced.Methods
We investigated whether this subdivision is important using a proteomics approach. All patients with renal biopsies along with their clinical outcome of LN were identified and regrouped according to the above 2003 classifications. Fresh-frozen renal biopsies of Class IV LN (global and segmental), antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitis and normal tissue were analyzed using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE) and mass spectrometry. Differentially expressed proteins were identified and subjected to principal component analysis (PCA), and post hoc analysis for the four sample groups.Results
PCA of 72 differentially expressed spots separated Class IV global and Class IV segmental from both normal and antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitis (ANCA). The 28 identified proteins were used in a post hoc analysis, and showed that IV-global and IV-segmental differ in several protein expression when compared with normal and ANCA. To confirm the proteomic results, a total of 78 patients (50 Class IV-Global and 28 Class IV-Segmental) were re-classified according to 2003 classification. There was no difference in therapy between the groups. The renal survival and patient survivals were similar in both groups.Conclusions
There is no strong evidence to support a different outcome between the two subcategories of Class-IV LN and, they should thus be treated the same until further studies indicate otherwise.