Objective: This study evaluates the utility of urinary pro-thrombotic molecules such as tissue factor (TF), anti-thrombotic molecules such as tissue factor pathway inhibitor (TFPI), and fibrinolytic molecules such as plasmin and d-dimer as biomarkers of lupus nephritis (LN). Methods: Urine samples from 113 biopsy-proven LN patients (89 active LN and 24 inactive LN), 45 chronic kidney disease patients, and 41 healthy controls were examined for d-dimer, plasmin, TF, and TFPI levels by ELISA. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) analysis, multivariate regression analysis, and Bayesian network analysis were performed to assess the diagnostic value of the assayed molecules in LN. Results: Although urinary d-dimer, plasmin, TF, and TFPI were all elevated in active LN compared to all control groups, and correlated with rSLEDAI and SLICC RAS disease activity indices, urine plasmin emerged as the strongest independent predictor of eGFR and renal disease status, by multivariate regression analysis and Bayesian network analysis. Whereas urine plasmin discriminated active LN from inactive disease with an AUC of 0.84, the combination of urine plasmin and TFPI discriminated ALN from ILN with an AUC of 0.86, with both surpassing the specificity and positive predictive value of traditional markers such as anti-dsDNA and complement C3. Conclusion: Both thrombogenic and thrombolytic cascades appear to be upregulated in lupus nephritis, with proteins from both cascades appearing in the urine. Of the coagulation cascade proteins surveyed, urine plasmin emerges as the strongest predictor of eGFR and clinical renal disease in patients with LN.
- Lupus nephritis
- Tissue factor
- Tissue factor pathway inhibitor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy