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  • Miettinen, Jenni; Tainio, Juuso; Jahnukainen, Timo; Pakarinen, Mikko; Lauronen, Jouni; Jalanko, Hannu (2017)
    Anemia and low-grade inflammation are reported to be associated with impaired long-term graft outcome in renal transplant (RTx) recipients. In this study, hemoglobin (Hb) and inflammation marker levels were correlated with measured glomerular filtration rate (GFR) in 128 pediatric RTx recipients over a median follow-up period of 10 years. Serum levels of erythropoietin (EPO), hepcidin-25, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP) (hsCRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) were analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, and GFR was analyzed by Cr-51-EDTA clearance. The median levels of Hb (115 g/L), hsCRP (0.4 mg/L) and IL-6 (1.4 pg/mL) and the median erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR; 19 mm/h) remained stable after the first post-operative year. However, approximately half of the patients had a normocytic, normochromic anemia, and one-third had elevated levels of hsCRP (> 1 mg/L) and ESR (> 25 mm/h), indicating continuous low-grade inflammation. Low Hb levels preceded increased fibrosis in protocol biopsies taken at 1.5 and 3 years after transplantation and preceded decreased GFR by several years. Hb levels showed an inverse correlation with EPO levels (r = -0.206, p = 0.038) and ESR (r = -0.369, p <0.001), but not with hepcidin-25, hsCRP or IL-6 levels. The levels of the major inflammatory markers IL-6 and hsCRP did not show a significant correlation with GFR at either the early maintenance phase or later. In the multivariable analysis, low Hb levels performed better than any other marker with respect to predicting concomitant and subsequent GFR. Anemia, but not elevated inflammatory indices, was associated with poor concomitant and subsequent graft function during a 10-year follow-up in pediatric RTx patients.
  • Weseslindtner, Lukas; Hedman, Lea; Wang, Yilin; Strassl, Robert; Helanterä, Ilkka; Aberle, Stephan W.; Bond, Gregor; Hedman, Klaus (2020)
    In kidney transplant recipients (KTRs), BK polyomavirus (BKPyV) replication may progress to polyomavirus-associated nephropathy (PVAN). In this retrospective study, we assessed the chemokine CXCL10 in urine and blood samples consecutively acquired from 85 KTRs who displayed different stages of BKPyV replication and eventually developed PVAN. In parallel to progression toward PVAN, CXCL10 gradually increased in blood and urine, from baseline (prior to virus replication) to BKPyV DNAuria (median increase in blood: 42.15 pg/ml, P = 0.0156), from mere DNAuria to low- and high-level BKPyV DNAemia (median increase: 52.60 and 87.26 pg/ml, P = 0.0010 and P = 0.0002, respectively) and peaked with histologically confirmed PVAN (median increase: 145.00 pg/ml, P <0.0001). CXCL10 blood and urine levels significantly differed among KTRs with respect to simultaneous presence of human cytomegalovirus (P <0.001) as well as in relation to the clinical severity of respective BKPyV DNAemia episodes (P = 0.0195). CXCL-10 concentrations were particularly lower in KTRs in whom BKPyV DNAemia remained without clinical evidence for PVAN, as compared to individuals who displayed high decoy cell levels, decreased renal function and/or biopsy-proven PVAN (median blood concentration: 266.97 vs. 426.42 pg/ml, P = 0.0282). In conclusion, in KTRs CXCL10 rises in parallel to BKPyV replication and correlates with the gradual development of PVAN.