Emerging biomarkers and metabolomics for assessing toxic nephropathy and acute kidney injury (AKI) in neonatology

M. Mussap, A. Noto, V. Fanos, J. N. Van Den Anker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Identification of novel drug-induced toxic nephropathy and acute kidney injury (AKI) biomarkers has been designated as a top priority by the American Society of Nephrology. Increasing knowledge in the science of biology and medicine is leading to the discovery of still more new biomarkers and of their roles in molecular pathways triggered by physiological and pathological conditions. Concomitantly, the development of the so-called "omics" allows the progressive clinical utilization of a multitude of information, from those related to the human genome (genomics) and proteome (proteomics), including the emerging epigenomics, to those related to metabolites (metabolomics). In preterm newborns, one of the most important factors causing the pathogenesis and the progression of AKI is the interaction between the individual genetic code, the environment, the gestational age, and the disease. By analyzing a small urine sample, metabolomics allows to identify instantly any change in phenotype, including changes due to genetic modifications. The role of liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS), proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR), and other emerging technologies is strategic, contributing basically to the sudden development of new biochemical and molecular tests. Urine neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (uNGAL) and kidney injury molecule-1 (KIM-1) are closely correlated with the severity of kidney injury, representing noninvasive sensitive surrogate biomarkers for diagnosing, monitoring, and quantifying kidney damage. To become routine tests, uNGAL and KIM-1 should be carefully tested in multicenter clinical trials and should be measured in biological fluids by robust, standardized analytical methods.

Original languageEnglish
Article number602526
JournalBioMed Research International
Publication statusPublished - 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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