The release of podocyte-derived microparticles into the urine may reflect early kidney injury in diabetes. We measured the urinary excretion of podocyte-derived microparticles in youth with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and related the values to blood pressure, renal function and blood glucose levels.
Cross-sectional, exploratory analysis of urine samples and clinical data from youth with type 1 (n = 53) and type 2 (n = 50) diabetes was carried out. Urinary podocyte-derived microparticle numbers, measured by flow cytometry, were assessed in relation to measures of blood glucose levels and renal function.
Podocyte-derived microparticle excretion (MPE) normalised to urinary creatinine (MP/UCr) was higher in type 1 vs type 2 diabetes (median [IQR] MP/UCr: 7.88 [8.97] vs 1.84 [8.62]; p < 0.0001), despite the type 2 diabetes group having higher blood pressure (systolic blood pressure, median [range]: 124 [110-154] vs 114 [94-143] mmHg) and higher proportions of microalbuminuria (44.0% vs 13.2%), but shorter time since diabetes diagnosis (median [range]: 1.2 [0.0-7.0] vs 6.4 [2.0-13.9] years), than the type 1 diabetes cohort. MPE in youth with type 1 diabetes was associated with blood glucose (p = 0.01) and eGFR (p = 0.03) but not HbA1c, systolic or diastolic blood pressure or urine albumin/creatinine ratio. After adjustment for age at baseline, duration of diabetes, sex and BMI, the association with eGFR remained significant (p = 0.04). No associations were found between MPE and these clinical variables in youth with type 2 diabetes.
Significant associations between podocyte MPE, blood glucose levels and eGFR were observed in youth with type 1 diabetes but not in those with type 2 diabetes, notwithstanding increased renal pathology in the type 2 diabetes cohort. These findings suggest that podocyte injury differs in the two diabetes cohorts. Graphical abstract.
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