BACKGROUND: Urine is a potentially rich source of biomarkers for monitoring kidney dysfunction. In this study, we have investigated the potential of soluble human leukocyte antigen (sHLA)-DR in the urine for noninvasive monitoring of renal transplant patients. METHODS: Urinary soluble HLA-DR levels were measured by sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in 103 patients with renal diseases or after renal transplantation. sHLA-DR in urine was characterized by Western blotting and mass spectrometry. RESULTS: Acute graft rejection was associated with a significantly elevated level of urinary sHLA-DR (P<0.0001), compared with recipients with stable graft function or healthy individuals. A receiver operating characteristic curve analysis showed the area under the curve to be 0.88 (P<0.001). At a selected threshold, the sensitivity was 80% and specificity was 98% for detection of acute renal transplant rejection. sHLA-DR was not exosomally associated and was of lower molecular weight compared with the HLA-DR expressed as heterodimer on the plasma membrane of antigen-presenting cells. CONCLUSIONS: sHLA-DR excreted into urine is a promising indicator of renal transplant rejection.
- Renal transplant rejection
- Soluble MHC