Urinary transforming growth factor beta-1 as a marker of renal dysfunction in sickle cell disease

Davoud Mohtat, Rosemary Thomas, Zangfang Du, Yaa Boakye, Thomas Moulton, Catherine Driscoll, Robert Woroniecki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Renal dysfunction affects 5-18% of patients with sickle cell disease (SCD). To date, no studies have described urinary levels of transforming growth factor β-1 (TGF-β1), a marker of fibrosis, and neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL), a marker of acute/chronic kidney disease, as biomarkers in identifying patients at risk of developing renal disease in SCD. We hypothesized that SCD subjects will have increased urinary excretion of TGF-β1 and NGAL compared with healthy controls (CTR). We examined 51 SCD subjects: 42 HbSS, 8 HbSC, and 1 HbSD. Sixteen out of 42 patients with HbSS were on hydroxyurea (HU). Urinary excretion of TGF-β1 was 26.4∈±∈1.5 pg/mgCr in SCD subjects vs 15. 0∈±∈2.4 pg/mgCr in CTR (p∈<∈0.00001). SCD patients with hemoglobin∈<∈9 g/dl had higher urinary TGF-β1 than patients with milder anemia (p∈=∈0.002). Urinary TGF-β1 trended lower in HbSS patients treated with HU (23.61∈±∈2.6 pg/mgCr), vs patients not on HU (27.69∈±∈1.8 pg/mgCr; p∈=∈0.055). There was no correlation between urinary TGF-β1 and microalbuminuria or estimated glomerular function. There was no difference in urinary NGAL in SCD patients vs CTR. We suggest that urinary TGF-β1 may serve as a marker of early renal injury in SCD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-280
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Nephrology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomarkers
  • Fibrosis progression
  • Sickle cell nephropathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Nephrology


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