Quantitative podocyte parameters predict human native kidney and allograft half-lives.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


JCI Insight, Volume 1, Issue 7 (2016)




<strong>BACKGROUND: </strong>Kidney function decreases with age. A potential mechanistic explanation for kidney and allograft half-life has evolved through the realization that linear reduction in glomerular podocyte density could drive progressive glomerulosclerosis to impact both native kidney and allograft half-lives.

<strong>METHODS: </strong>Predictions from podometrics (quantitation of podocyte parameters) were tested using independent pathologic, functional, and outcome data for native kidneys and allografts derived from published reports and large registries.

<strong>RESULTS: </strong>With age, native kidneys exponentially develop glomerulosclerosis, reduced renal function, and end-stage kidney disease, projecting a finite average kidney life span. The slope of allograft failure rate versus age parallels that of reduction in podocyte density versus age. Quantitative modeling projects allograft half-life at any donor age, and rate of podocyte detachment parallels the observed allograft loss rate.

<strong>CONCLUSION: </strong>Native kidneys are designed to have a limited average life span of about 100-140 years. Allografts undergo an accelerated aging-like process that accounts for their unexpectedly short half-life (about 15 years), the observation that older donor age is associated with shorter allograft half-life, and the fact that long-term allograft survival has not substantially improved. Podometrics provides potential readouts for these processes, thereby offering new approaches for monitoring and intervention.

<strong>FUNDING: </strong>National Institutes of Health.