Podocyte injury and loss plays an important role in the pathogenesis and progression of many kidney diseases. Studies have shown that podocyte-related markers and products can be detected in the urine of patients with glomerular diseases such as focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, IgA nephropathy, lupus nephritis, diabetic nephropathy and pre-eclampsia. Therefore, detecting the loss of podocytes in the urine provides a useful noninvasive technique of gathering information about the disease type and/or activity of glomerular diseases. Currently, urine podocyte-related protein markers, mRNA, microRNA and exosomes have been used with varying degrees of success to study glomerular diseases. The determination of urinary podocyte loss may become an important noninvasive tool in the evaluation of glomerular diseases.
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