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Understanding the role of biomarkers in predicting treatment for lupus nephritis

Early research by Lupus Foundation of America Gina M. Finzi Memorial Fellowship Awardee Farnoosh Naderinabi, under the supervision of Dr. Murray Urowitz and Dr. Laura Whittall-Garcia, reveals a possible link between biomarkers in plasma and response to treatment lupus kidney disease or lupus nephritis (LN).

Levels of neutrophil extracellular trap cells, or “NETs,” (specifically, Elastase-DNA and Elastase-oxDNA complexes) in the plasma of 47 people with active lupus and 20 people with inactive disease were analyzed . NETs are like “traps” used by the immune system to stop and kill invading viruses and bacteria and can indicate an increased immune response. Those with active disease had higher levels of complexes and 17 (36.2%) had kidney involvement. This group also had higher levels of DNA-elastase, and those with proliferative LN also had higher levels of the same complex. Proliferative LN is associated with a higher risk of progression to end-stage renal disease.

To further test a possible connection of these complexes with LN, plasma levels at the time of renal thrust were assessed in another group of 113 individuals with active LN disease, 90 of whom underwent renal biopsy at the time of the thrust. Again, those with active proliferative LN exhibited higher levels of DNA-elastase.

Overall, those with higher levels of DNA-elastase did not respond well to LN treatment.

“Our hope is to increase the quality of life of lupus patients by preserving their kidney function. To achieve this goal, we need sensitive and specific biomarkers that can predict whether a patient will respond to available therapies and which will be the best option for each patient,” says Farnoosh Naderinabi, Gina M. Finzi Fellow of the Lupus Foundation. from America.

Studies indicate that over time, up to 60% of people with lupus will develop LN. A better understanding of potential biomarkers to predict response to LN treatment is important. Naderinabi’s research is helping to increase knowledge about the disease, ultimately moving closer to better treatment. Learn more about Naderinabi and her research efforts.