suPAR and Team Nephrology
NYU Langone Medical Center, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Nephrology, CTSI, 227 E 30th Street, Room #110, New York, NY, USA
BMC Medicine 2014, 12:82 doi:10.1186/1741-7015-12-82Published: 20 May 2014
Primary focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) accounts for nearly 10 % of patients who require renal replacement therapy. Elevated circulating levels of soluble urokinase receptor (suPAR) have been identified as a biomarker to discriminate primary FSGS from other glomerulopathies. Subsequent reports have questioned the diagnostic utility of this test. In a study in BMC Medicine, Huang et al. demonstrate that urinary soluble urokinase receptor (suPAR) excretion assists in distinguishing primary FSGS from other glomerular diseases, and that high plasma suPAR concentrations are not directly linked to a decline in glomerular filtration rate (GFR). This observation suggests that further investigation of suPAR is warranted in patients with FSGS. It should be interpreted in light of a recent report that B7-1 is expressed in the podocytes of a subset of patients with FSGS, and that blocking this molecule may represent the first successful targeted intervention for this disease. These advances highlight the rapid pace of scientific progress in the field of nephrology. Nephrologists should work together, share resources, and expedite the design of protocols to evaluate these novel biomarkers in a comprehensive and scientifically valid manner.