BMC nephrology

TWEAK/Fn14 system and crescent formation in IgA nephropathy.

PMID 25885587


The TNF-like weak inducer of apoptosis (TWEAK) contributes to kidney inflammation producing secretion by renal cells. The present study examined whether the level of TWEAK is associated with histologic findings in patients with IgA nephropathy (IgAN). The levels of urinary TWEAK (uTWEAK) from 116 IgAN patients, 50 non-IgA kidney disease patients, and 50 healthy individuals were measured by ELISA. Histological findings of renal biopsy specimens of patients with IgAN were evaluated according to the Oxford classification and histological classification for IgAN in Japan. We investigated the expression of TWEAK/Fn14 in renal tissues of those patients and assessed the effect of TWEAK in glomerular mesangial cells and podocytes. The levels of uTWEAK in the patients with IgAN and other renal diseases were significantly higher than in the healthy controls (P < 0.001). In the IgAN patients, the levels of uTWEAK correlated significantly with urinary protein excretion and extracapillary proliferation (r = 0.54, P < 0.001 and r = 0.32, P < 0.001, respectively). In a comparison of the levels of uTWEAK at diagnosis with that of follow-up, the levels of uTWEAK in patients with clinical and partial remission decreased significantly. We showed not only increased expression of both TWEAK and Fn14 in IgAN patients with glomerular crescents but also TWEAK-induced cell motility in podocytes. The relationship between the levels of uTWEAK and clinicopathological findings observed in this study suggests that TWEAK/Fn14 system affects crescent formation and proteinuria in patients with IgAN.