Background: New insights into the pathogenesis and treatment of diabetic renal disease may emerge from recent advances in proteomics using high-throughput mass spectrometry (MS) of urine.
Methods: Using a combination of online capillary electrophoresis (CE) and MS we evaluated urinary polypeptide patterns in four groups of type 2 diabetic patients matched for age, gender, and diabetes duration, including 20 normoalbuminuric patients with and 20 without diabetic retinopathy, 20 microalbuminuric patients with diabetic retinopathy, and 18 macroalbuminuric patients with diabetic retinopathy. Furthermore, changes in urinary polypeptide patterns during treatment with the angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) candesartan were evaluated in the macroalbuminuric patients in a randomized double-blinded, cross-over trial where each patient received treatment with placebo, candesartan 8, 16, and 32 mg daily each for 2 months.
Results: Overall, 4551 different polypeptides were found in the samples. Urinary polypeptide patterns were comparable in normo- (with and without diabetic retinopathy) and microalbuminuric patients, whereas distinct differences were found in macroalbuminuric patients. Differences in urinary polypeptide patterns between normo- and macroalbuminuric patients permitted the establishment of a "diabetic renal damage" pattern consisting of 113 polypeptides. Eleven of these polypeptides had been sequenced and identified. Candesartan treatment in macroalbuminuric patients significantly changed 15 of the 113 polypeptides in the diabetic renal damage pattern toward levels in normoalbuminuric patients. Change in the diabetic renal damage pattern was not candesartan dose-dependent but individual changes correlated with changes in urinary albumin excretion at each dose level.
Conclusion: CE-MS serves as a fast and sensitive tool for identification of biomarkers and urinary polypeptide patterns specific for macroalbuminuric type 2 diabetic patients and may be used to explore and monitor renoprotective effects of ARB.