Nephrology, dialysis, transplantation : official publication of the European Dialysis and Transplant Association - European Renal Association

Increased levels of alpha-defensin (-1, -2 and -3) in type 1 diabetic patients with nephropathy.

PMID 18003664


Diabetic nephropathy is associated with low-grade inflammation and activation of the complement system. Defensins, as part of the innate immune system, may play a regulatory role in the complement cascade and may also augment the production of proinflammatory cytokines. The aim of this study was therefore to elucidate whether alpha-defensin is associated with diabetic nephropathy, low-grade inflammation and lipid profiles. Data were obtained from 189 patients with type 1 diabetes selected from the FinnDiane Study. Patients were divided into three groups according to their albumin excretion rate (AER) in three consecutive overnight or 24-h urine collections: normoalbuminuria (AER <20 microg/min or <30 mg/24 h), microalbuminuria (20 200 microg/min or >300 mg/24 h). Alpha-defensin was determined by a novel, solid-phase radioimmunoassay (RIA) based on a monoclonal antibody, which recognizes alpha-defensin isoforms 1-3. Total serum alpha-defensin (-1, -2 and -3) concentrations were higher (P < 0.001) in patients with macroalbuminuria compared to micro- and normoalbuminuria, but no difference was observed between normoalbuminuria and microalbuminuria. In multiple linear regression analysis alpha-defensin was associated with systolic blood pressure (P = 0.032), HDL-cholesterol (P = 0.013), total cholesterol (P = 0.008), age (P = 0.001) and estimated glomerular filtration rate (P = 0.001), but not with low-grade inflammatory markers. CONCLUSIONS; Serum alpha-defensin (-1, -2 and -3) concentrations are increased in type 1 diabetic patients with diabetic nephropathy.