Elevated serum interleukin–7 level in idiopathic steroid–sensitive nephrotic syndrome

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Background:Several cytokines have a pathological association with idiopathic steroid–sensitive nephrotic syndrome (ISSNS) in inducing proteinuria or regulating T cells. Because interleukin (IL)–7 plays important roles in regulating T–cell proliferation and sustaining naïve or memory T cells, IL–7 is one of the candidate cytokines in the pathogenesis of ISSNS. Very little is known, however, about the association of IL–7 with ISSNS. To clarify the IL–7 dynamics in children with ISSNS, serum IL–7 level was investigated, from the nephrotic phase before steroid treatment (STx; group A1) to the remission phase with STx (group A2) and without STx (group A3).Methods:Eighteen children with ISSNS were included in the present study. A total of 25 paired samples were analyzed for groups A1 and A2, and a total of 10 paired samples for groups A1, A2, and A3 due to recurrence. Two control groups (with normal urinalysis, group B; or with nephrotic syndrome other than ISSNS, group C), matched for age and gender, were also included. Serum cytokine level was measured on bead–based assay.Results:Each serum IL–7 level in groups A1 and A3 was higher than each serum IL–7 level of groups C and B, respectively. The group A2 serum IL–7 level was higher than that of group A1. There was no statistical significance of serum IL–7 level between group A1 and group A3.Conclusion:Serum IL–7 level was elevated in children with ISSNS regardless of the status of the disease. This brings us one step closer to a better understanding of the pathophysiology of ISSNS in children.

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