A glycomics approach to discover novel renal biomarkers in birds by administration of cisplatin and diclofenac to chickens

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Avian species have a unique renal structure and abundant blood flow into the kidneys. Although many birds die due to nephrotoxicity caused by chemicals, there are no early biomarkers for renal lesions. Uric acid level in blood, which is generally used as a renal biomarker, is altered when the kidney function is damaged by over 70%. Therefore, early biomarkers for kidney injury in birds are needed. In humans, glycomics has been at the forefront of biological and medical sciences, and glycans are used as biomarkers of diseases, such as carcinoma. In this study, a glycomics approach was used to screen for renal biomarkers in chicken. First, a chicken model of kidney damage was generated by injection of diclofenac or cisplatin, which cause acute interstitial nephritis (AIN) and acute tubular necrosis (ATN), respectively. The nephrotoxicity levels were determined by a blood chemical test and histopathological analysis. The plasma N-glycans were then analyzed to discover renal biomarkers in birds. Levels of 14 glycans increased between pre- and post administration in kidney-damaged chickens in the diclofenac group, and some of these glycans had the same presumptive composition as those in human renal carcinoma patients. Glycan levels did not change remarkably in the cisplatin group. It is possible that there are changes in glycan expression due to AIN, but they do not reflect ATN. Although further research is needed in other species of birds, glycans are potentially useful biomarkers for AIN in avian species.

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