Generation of Urinary Albumin Fragments Does Not Require Proximal Tubular Uptake

Article, Other literature type English OPEN
Weyer, Kathrin ; Nielsen, Rikke ; Christensen, Erik I. ; Birn, Henrik (2012)
  • Publisher: American Society of Nephrology
  • Journal: Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, volume 23, issue 4, pages 591-596 (issn: 1533-3450, eissn: 1533-3450)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1681/ASN.2011101034
  • Subject: Brief Communication

Urinary albumin excretion is an important diagnostic and prognostic marker of renal function. Both animal and human urine contain large amounts of albumin fragments, but whether these fragments originate from renal tubular degradation of filtered albumin is unknown. Here, we used mice with kidneys lacking megalin and cubilin, the coreceptors that mediate proximal tubular endocytosis of albumin, to determine whether proximal tubular degradation of albumin forms the detectable urinary albumin fragments. After intravenous administration of 125I-labeled mouse albumin to knockout and control mice, we examined kidney uptake of albumin and urinary excretion of both intact albumin and its fragments using size exclusion chromatography. In control mice, all labeled albumin eluted as albumin fragments in the urine. In megalin/cubilin-deficient mice, we observed decreased uptake and degradation of albumin and increased urinary excretion of intact albumin; we did not, however, detect a decrease in the excretion of albumin fragments. These results show that the generation of urinary albumin fragments occurs independently of renal tubular uptake and degradation of albumin, suggesting that the pathophysiological implications of changes in urinary albumin fragments require reevaluation.
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