Alterations of type IV collagen α chains in patients with chronic acquired glomerulopathies: mRNA levels, protein expression and urinary loss

Simone Sanna-Cherchi, Maria Luisa Carnevali, Davide Martorana, Paolo Cravedi, Umberto Maggiore, Rossella Alinovi, Achiropita Bovino, Silvia Mattei, Guido Orlandini, Rita Gatti, Mario Savi, Yoshikazu Sado, Tauro M. Neri, Landino Allegri

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5 Scopus citations


Background: Type IV collagen is a major structural component of the normal kidney glomerulus. However, its role in chronic acquired glomerulopathies has been only partially elucidated. Methods: Urinary levels of col(IV)α1, col(IV)α3 and col(IV)α5 collagen chains were analyzed in 107 patients with chronic acquired glomerulopathies. In a subgroup of 33 patients, tissue mRNA levels, protein expression and urinary excretion were evaluated for all col(IV)α chains, from col(IV)α1 to col(IV)α5. The renal specimens were examined to get a semiquantitative score of the acute and chronic activity of the histological lesions. Urines obtained from 13 healthy subjects and 10 normal renal tissue samples were used as controls. Results: Urinary levels of col(IV)α1, col(IV)α3, col(IV)α5 chains were significantly higher in patients than in controls [p < 0.01 for all], while only col(IV)α1 and col(IV)α3 urinary excretion correlated with the degree of chronic histological damage [col(IV)α1 R = 0.44, p < 0.001; col(IV)α3: R = 0.47, p < 0.001]. Compared with controls, patients showed a renal expression of mRNA for col(IV)α5 chain significantly higher [p = 0.001], while having a significantly lower protein expression of col(IV)α3, col(IV)α4 and col(IV)α5 chains [p < 0.01 for all]. Conclusion: Patients with chronic acquired glomerulopathies show important alterations in the col(IV)α chain network mimicking some molecular features of the X-linked Alport's syndrome. Further studies are needed to show whether urinary levels of the col(IV)α chains may be used as markers for monitoring renal injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-137
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Nephrology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Gene expression
  • Glomerulonephritis
  • Glomerulosclerosis
  • Histological grading
  • Real-time PCR


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