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Lupus Nephritis

Renal mTOR a potential clinical biomarker in lupus nephritis

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A new study found that mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) activation is a potential biomarker of disease activity and may help predict clinical prognosis in patients with lupus nephritis (LN)/

In the retrospective study, renal biopsies from 187 patients with LN, 20 patients with diabetic nephropathy (DN), 10 patients with minimal change disease (MCD), and 10 controls, were analyzed. mTORC1/2 activation was evaluated by immunohistochemistry and multiplexed immunofluorescence.

Compared with patients with MCD and controls, mTORC1/2 in patients with LN was significantly activated in podocytes, mesangial cells, endothelial cells, and tubular epithelial cells. The glomerular mTORC1 activation was higher in LN patients than DN patients. mTORC1 activation strongly correlated with serum albumin, complement C3, proteinuria, and pathological biomarkers of LN, including crescent formation, interstitial inflammation, and fibrosis; this correlation was not seen in mTORC2 activation.

Researchers identified mTORC1 activation as a prognostic marker in patients with LN.

Increased complement activation, antigen presentation, and phagocytosis were observed in patients with LN with mTORC1 activation.

Mao Z, Tan Y, Tao Jet al. Renal mTORC1 activation is associated with disease activity and prognosis in lupus nephritis. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2022;keac037. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/keac037. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35040950.