Analysing the composition and structure kidney filters which control what passes into our urine and what the body holds on to could soon lead to a test that may tell if someone is susceptible to kidney disease even before known symptoms appear, says a new study.
"What we are hoping is that this research will help develop a test that picks up kidney disease or even just a susceptibility to kidney disease before any damage has been done," said Rachel Lennon from The University of Manchester in Britain.
The researchers wanted to know why some people are more susceptible to kidney disease because of their race and gender.
"It is well-known that impaired kidney function is more common in Afro-Caribbean individuals compared to those from a Caucasian background, and in men compared to women," she explained.
For the new study, the researchers focussed on the structure around the cells within the kidney tissue to understand what might be contributing to the development of kidney disease.
They used mass spectrometry to analyse the tissue from mice with different genetic backgrounds and sexes, some of which were more susceptible to kidney failure.
The sample of tissue was from the kidney filters which control what passes into our urine and what the body holds on to.
The team found that not only was the composition of the filter different but also the structure.
"The most surprising thing about our findings were that the mice weren’t actually exhibiting any symptoms of kidney disease and were all still in full health despite having this different structure in their filters. Their kidneys appeared to be functioning normally," Lennon pointed out.
Their findings were published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.