Detection of acute tubulointerstitial rejection by proteomic analysis of urinary samples in renal transplant recipients

Am J Transplant. 2005 Oct;5(10):2479-88. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2005.01053.x.


This study investigates proteomic analysis of urinary samples as a non-invasive method to detect acute rejection of renal allografts. Capillary electrophoresis coupled to mass spectrometry (CE-MS) was used to analyze urinary samples in 19 patients with different grades of subclinical or clinical acute rejection (BANFF Ia to IIb), 10 patients with urinary tract infection and 29 patients without evidence of rejection or infection. A distinct urinary polypeptide pattern identified 16 out of 17 cases of acute tubolointerstitial rejection, but was absent in two cases of vascular rejection. Urinary tract infection resulted in a different polypeptide pattern that allowed to differentiate between infection and acute rejection in all cases. Potentially confounding variables such as acute tubular lesions, tubular atrophy, tubulointerstitial fibrosis, calcineurin inhibitor toxicity, proteinuria, hematuria, allograft function and different immunosuppressive regimens did not interfere with test results. Blinded analysis of samples with and without rejection showed correct diagnosis by CE-MS in the majority of cases. Detection of acute rejection by CE-MS offers a promising non-invasive tool for the surveillance of renal allograft recipients. Further investigation is needed to establish polypeptide patterns in vascular rejection and to explore whether changes in the urinary proteome occur before the onset of histologically discernible rejection.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biopsy
  • Chemistry, Clinical / methods*
  • Electrophoresis, Capillary
  • Female
  • Graft Rejection / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Transplantation / methods*
  • Kidney Tubules / pathology*
  • Male
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Middle Aged
  • Peptides / urine
  • Proteinuria / diagnosis*
  • Proteinuria / pathology*
  • Proteomics / methods
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization
  • Time Factors
  • Urinary Tract Infections / diagnosis
  • Urine / chemistry
  • Urogenital System / pathology


  • Peptides