Purpose: Serum soluble interleukin-2 receptor level is a sensitive and quantitative marker of lymphocyte activation. We determined levels of serum soluble interleukin-2 receptor in children with reflux nephropathy to evaluate its clinical significance in the prediction for the progression of renal injuries. Materials and Methods: Serum soluble interleukin-2 receptor values were determined in 63 children with reflux nephropathy. The group consisted of 37 boys and 26 girls 10 to 18 years old. T cells (naive and memory), B cells and macrophages were evaluated immunohistochemically in the scarred kidneys of 4 other patients (3 boys and 1 girl 5 to 16 years old) who underwent nephrectomy due to severe reflux nephropathy with little function seen on 99mtechnetium-dimercapto-succinic acid (DMSA) renal scan. Levels of serum soluble interleukin-2 receptor were measured by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. We simultaneously determined serum levels of creatinine and β2-microglobulin, and urinary levels of α1-microglobulin and microalbumin. Individual functions of the right and left kidneys were estimated by renal dimercapto-succinic acid uptake. Results: Levels of serum soluble interleukin-2 receptor in the patients who had low total uptake of DMSA (right uptake plus left uptake) were significantly higher than those from patients with normal total uptake. Levels of serum soluble interleukin- 2 receptor correlated significantly with levels of creatinine (r=0.616, p <0.0001) and β2-microglobulin (r=0.803, p <0.0001), and levels of urinary α1-microglobulin (r=0.753, p <0.0001) and microalbumin (r=0.673, p <0.0001). A significant negative correlation was observed between levels of serum soluble interleukin-2 receptor and total DMSA uptake values (right uptake plus left uptake r= -0.678, p <0.0001). In the scarred kidneys leukocyte infiltrates were markedly increased in fibrosed spaces. The predominant cell type in these lesions was memory T cells. Conclusions: These results suggest that elevated levels of serum soluble interleukin-2 receptor are likely to reflect activated T cells in the kidneys of patients with reflux nephropathy and may be a useful predictor of progression of renal injury in these children.
- Vesico-ureteral reflux
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