Lipidomics: new insight into kidney disease

Adv Clin Chem. 2015;68:153-75. doi: 10.1016/bs.acc.2014.11.002. Epub 2015 Jan 7.


Due to the incidence of type-2 diabetes and hypertension, chronic kidney disease (CKD) has emerged as a major public health problem worldwide. CKD results in premature death from accelerated cardiovascular disease and various other complications. Early detection, careful monitoring of renal function, and response to therapeutic intervention are critical for prevention of CKD progression and its complications. Unfortunately, traditional biomarkers of renal function are insufficiently sensitive or specific to detect early stages of disease when therapeutic intervention is most effective. Therefore, more sensitive biomarkers of kidney disease are needed for early diagnosis, monitoring, and effective treatment. CKD results in profound changes in lipid and lipoprotein metabolism that, in turn, contribute to progression of CKD and its cardiovascular complications. Lipids and lipid-derived metabolites play diverse and critically important roles in the structure and function of cells, tissues, and biofluids. Lipidomics is a branch of metabolomics, which encompasses the global study of lipids and their biologic function in health and disease including identification of biomarkers for diagnosis, prognosis, prevention, and therapeutic response for various diseases. This review summarizes recent developments in lipidomics and its application to various kidney diseases including chronic glomerulonephritis, IgA nephropathy, chronic renal failure, renal cell carcinoma, diabetic nephropathy, and acute renal failure in clinical and experimental research. Analytical technologies, data analysis, as well as currently known metabolic biomarkers of kidney diseases are addressed. Future perspectives and potential limitations of lipidomics are discussed.

Keywords: Inflammation; Kidney diseases; Lipid profiling; Lipidomics; Mass spectrometry; Renal diseases; System biology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Kidney Diseases / metabolism*
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Lipids / physiology*
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Metabolomics


  • Lipids