It is well known that kidney injuries can tend to accompany many severe illnesses such as cardiac diseases, trauma and sepsis, and is an increasingly common and devastating complication in hospitalized patients. Despite improvements in health outcomes in many areas during recent years, mortality and morbidity rates associated with acute kidney injury (AKI) remain very high. Currently, the diagnosis of AKI is predominantly based on creatinine measurement in serum/plasma. However, creatinine levels start to increase late after the onset of disease, which leads to unavoidable delays in AKI diagnosis and makes treatment largely ineffective. Furthermore, creatinine concentration is considerably influenced by muscle mass and other factors that render its clinical use unreliable. Several new early biomarkers of AKI have been suggested recently and kidney injury molecule-1 (KIM-1) is among the most promising ones.
KIM-1 is expressed on the surface of tubular epithelial cells in the kidney. KIM-1 levels are undetectable in normal kidneys, whereas elevated KIM-1 expression was detected in the ischemic kidney in the animal model of disease, as well as in humans. KIM-1 concentration in the urine of healthy humans is less than 1 ng/ml. Meanwhile, following the ischemic kidney injury it could be elevated up to 3-7 ng/ml. KIM-1 levels begin to increase as early as 6 hours after an ischemic insult and remain elevated for a period of 48 hours post-injury. KIM-1 is not only a sensitive diagnostic marker but also has predictive value for AKI in patients undergoing cardiac surgery. Kidney tissue may suffer from ischemia as a result of drug-related response. Accordingly, KIM-1 could be utilized as a nephrotoxicity biomarker in preclinical studies of drug candidates and the Food and Drug Administration has recently recognized KIM-1 as an appropriate biomarker for renal injury in preclinical studies of pharmacologic agents. According to some publications, KIM-1 could also be used for detecting certain types of cancer.
Kidney injury molecule-1 is a transmembrane glycoprotein (339 amino acid residues in length) with an N-terminal ectodomain (270 a.a.r.) that contains immunoglobulin-like and mucin domains. The ectodomain of KIM-1 could be shed into urine upon ischemic insult and could be detected with the help of specific antibodies. Due to its simplicity and high specificity, immunodetection of KIM-1 is the method of choice for the clinical setting.
Advanced ImmunoChemical offers two monoclonal antibodies specific to the ectodomain of human KIM-1 (cat.# 2-KIM1) and recombinant human KIM-1 antigen (cat.#8-KIMrh). Antibodies constitute a pair that is suitable for the measurement of KIM-1 levels in urine by sandwich ELISA.