Abstract: FR-PO152

Urinary Mitochondrial DNA Level as a Biomarker of Diabetic Nephropathy

Session Information

  • Mitochondriacs and More
    November 03, 2017 | Location: Hall H, Morial Convention Center
    Abstract Time: 10:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Category: Chronic Kidney Disease (Non-Dialysis)

  • 301 CKD: Risk Factors for Incidence and Progression


  • Wei, Zhongping, The Chinese University of Hong Kong , Hong Kong, Shatin, NT, China

Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is the most common cause of end stage renal disease (ESRD). However, there is no reliable non-invasive biomarker for the diagnose or risk stratification of DN. Since mitochondrial dysfunction is involved in the progression of many kidney disease, we study the relation between urinary supernatant cell-free mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) level and renal dysfunction in DN.


We recruited 92 patients with biopsy-proven DN. Urinary supernatant mtDNA level was measured by digital polymerase chain reaction, and compared to clinical, biochemical, histological data, as well as renal function decline in the subsequent 24 months.


Mitochondrial DNA could be detected in all urine supernatant and renal biopsy specimens, with average levels 1421.0 ± 1827.5, and 286114.4 ± 193481.0 copies/µL, respectively. There was a modest but statistically significant inverse correlation between urinary supernatant and intra-renal mtDNA levels (r = -0.453, p = 0.012). Urinary supernatant mtDNA level had modest but statistically significant correlations, inversely with estimated glomerular filtration rate (GFR) (r = -0.214, p = 0.04), and positively with the severity of interstitial fibrosis (r = 0.300, p = 0.005). However, there was also no significant correlation between the rate of GFR decline in 2 years and urinary supernatant mtDNA level (r = -0.070, p = 0.5).


Urinary supernatant mtDNA level may reflect the severity of kidney damage and intra-renal mitochondrial depletion in DN. Further studies are needed to confirm its role as biomarker of diabetic nephropathy.


  • Government Support - Non-U.S.