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1.  Human Cytomegalovirus (HCMV) US2 Protein Interacts with Human CD1d (hCD1d) and Down-Regulates Invariant NKT (iNKT) Cell Activity 
Molecules and Cells  2013;36(5):455-464.
To avoid host immune surveillance, human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) encoded endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-membrane glycoprotein US2, which interferes with antigen presenting mechanism of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class Ia and class II molecules. However, not many attempts have been made to study the effect of HCMV US2 on the expression of MHC class Ib molecules. In this study, we examined the effect of HCMV US2 on the expression and function of human CD1d (hCD1d), which presents glycolipid antigens to invariant NKT (iNKT) cells. Our results clearly showed that the physiological interaction between ER lumenal domain of HCMV US2 and α3 domain of hCD1d was observed within ER. Compared with mature form of hCD1d, immature form of hCD1d is more susceptible to ubiquitin-dependent proteasomal degradation mediated by HCMV US2. Moreover, the ectopic expression of HCMV US2 leads to the down-modulation of iNKT cell activity without significant change of hCD1d expression. These results will advance our understanding of the function of HCMV US2 in immune evasive mechanisms against anti-viral immunity of iNKT cells.
PMCID: PMC3887943  PMID: 24213674
antigen presentation; HCMV US2 protein; human CD1d; human cytomegalovirus; invariant NKT cell
2.  No expression of porcine endogenous retrovirus after pig to monkey xenotransplantation 
Laboratory Animal Research  2014;30(2):90-93.
This study was performed to investigate the expression of two porcine endogenous retrovirus (PERV) elements, PERV gag and full-length conserved PERV, in blood cells collected periodically from organ-recipient monkeys that underwent pig to non-human primate xenotransplantation. The heart and kidney-respectively acquired from α-1,3-galactosyltransferase knockout (GT-KO) pigs that survived for24 and 25 days-were xenografted into cynomolgus monkeys. The two PERV elements expressed in the xenografted GT-KO pig organs were not present in the blood cells of the recipient monkeys. In the present study, we deduced that PERVs are not transmitted during GT-KO pig to monkey xenotransplantation.
PMCID: PMC4079837  PMID: 24999364
PERV transmission; GT-KO pigs; cynomolgus monkey; xenotransplantation; blood cells
3.  KNOW-CKD (KoreaN cohort study for Outcome in patients With Chronic Kidney Disease): design and methods 
BMC Nephrology  2014;15:80.
The progression and complications of chronic kidney disease should differ depending on the cause (C), glomerular filtration rate category (G), and albuminuria (A). The KNOW-CKD (KoreaN Cohort Study for Outcome in Patients With Chronic Kidney Disease), which is a prospective cohort study, enrolls subjects with chronic kidney disease stages 1 to 5 (predialysis).
Nine nephrology centers in major university hospitals throughout Korea will enroll approximately 2,450 adults with chronic kidney disease over a 5-year period from 2011 to 2015. The participating individuals will be monitored for approximately 10 years until death or until end-stage renal disease occurs. The subjects will be classified into subgroups based on the following specific causes of chronic kidney disease: glomerulonephritis, diabetic nephropathy, hypertensive nephropathy, polycystic kidney disease, and others. The eligible subjects will be evaluated at baseline for socio-demographic information, detailed personal/family history, office BP, quality of life, and health behaviors. After enrollment in the study, thorough assessments, including laboratory tests, cardiac evaluation and radiologic imaging, will be performed according to the standardized protocol. The biospecimen samples will be collected regularly. A renal event is defined by >50% decrease in estimated GFR (eGFR) from the baseline values, doubling of serum creatinine, or end-stage renal disease. The primary composite outcome consists of renal events, cardiovascular events, and death. As of September 2013, 1,470 adult chronic kidney disease subjects were enrolled in the study, including 543 subjects with glomerulonephritis, 317 with diabetic nephropathy, 294 with hypertensive nephropathy and 249 with polycystic kidney disease.
As the first large-scale chronic kidney disease cohort study to be established and maintained longitudinally for up to 10 years, the KNOW-CKD will help to clarify the natural course, complication profiles, and risk factors of Asian populations with chronic kidney disease.
Trial registration
No. NCT01630486 at
PMCID: PMC4050398  PMID: 24884708
KNOW-CKD; Chronic kidney disease; Cohort; Etiology; Progression; Complication; Natural course
4.  KNOW-KT (KoreaN cohort study for outcome in patients with kidney transplantation: a 9-year longitudinal cohort study): study rationale and methodology 
BMC Nephrology  2014;15:77.
Asian patients undergoing kidney transplantation (KT) generally have better renal allograft survival and a lower burden of cardiovascular disease than those of other racial groups. The KNOW-KT aims to explore allograft survival rate, cardiovascular events, and metabolic profiles and to elucidate the risk factors in Korean KT patients.
KNOW-KT is a multicenter, observational cohort study encompassing 8 transplant centers in the Republic of Korea. KNOW-KT will enroll 1,000 KT recipients between 2012 and 2015 and follow them up to 9 years. At the time of KT and at pre-specified intervals, clinical information, laboratory test results, and functional and imaging studies on cardiovascular disease and metabolic complications will be recorded. Comorbid status will be assessed by the age-adjusted Charlson co-morbidity index. Medication adherence and information on quality of life (QoL) will be monitored periodically. The QoL will be assessed by the Kidney Disease Quality of Life Short Form. Donors will include both living donors and deceased donors whose status will be assessed by the Kidney Donor Risk Index. Primary endpoints include graft loss and patient mortality. Secondary endpoints include renal functional deterioration (a decrease in eGFR to <30 mL/min/1.73 m2), acute rejection, cardiovascular event, albuminuria, new-onset diabetes after transplant, and QoL. Data on other adverse outcomes including episodes of infection, malignancy, recurrence of original renal disease, fracture, and hospitalization will also be collected. A bio-bank has been established for the acquisition of DNA, RNA, and protein from serum and urine samples of recipients at regular intervals. Bio-samples from donors will also be collected at the time of KT. KNOW-KT was registered in an international clinical trial registry (NCT02042963 at on January 20th, 2014.
The KNOW-KT, the first large-scale cohort study in Asian KT patients, is expected to represent the Asian KT population and provide information on their natural course, complications, and risk factors for complications.
PMCID: PMC4022441  PMID: 24884405
Cohort study; Complication; Kidney transplantation; KNOW-KT; Risk factor
5.  Hyperuricemia and deterioration of renal function in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease 
BMC Nephrology  2014;15:63.
The role of hyperuricemia in disease progression of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) has not been defined well. We investigated the association of serum uric acid (sUA) with renal function and the effect of hypouricemic treatment on the rate of renal function decline.
This is a single-center, retrospective, observational cohort study. A total of 365 patients with ADPKD who had estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) ≥ 15 mL/min/1.73 m2 and who were followed up for > 1 year were included in our analysis. Hyperuricemia was defined by a sUA level of ≥ 7.0 mg/dL in male and ≥ 6.0 mg/dL in female or when hypouricemic medications were prescribed.
Hyperuricemia was associated with reduced initial eGFR, independent of age, sex, hypertension, albuminuria, and total kidney volume. During a median follow-up period of over 6 years, patients with hyperuricemia showed a faster annual decline in eGFR (−6.3% per year vs. −0.9% per year, p = 0.008). However, after adjusting for age, sex, hypertension and initial eGFR, sUA was no longer associated with either annual eGFR decline or the development of ESRD. Among 53 patients who received hypouricemic treatment, the annual eGFR decline appeared to be attenuated after hypouricemic treatment (pretreatment vs. posttreatment: −5.3 ± 8. 2 vs. 0.2 ± 6.2 mL/min/1.73 m2 per year, p = 0.001 by Wilcoxon signed-rank test).
Although hyperuricemia was associated with reduced eGFR, it was not an independent factor for renal progression in ADPKD. However, the correction of hyperuricemia may attenuate renal function decline in some patients with mild renal insufficiency.
PMCID: PMC4021172  PMID: 24739095
Glomerular filtration rate; Hyperuricemia; Polycystic kidney; Autosomal dominant; Uric acid
6.  Impact of Combined Acute Rejection on BK Virus-Associated Nephropathy in Kidney Transplantation 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2013;28(12):1711-1715.
BK virus-associated nephropathy (BKVAN) is one of the major causes of allograft dysfunction in kidney transplant (KT) patients. We compared BKVAN combined with acute rejection (BKVAN/AR) with BKVAN alone in KT patients. We retrospectively analyzed biopsy-proven BKVAN in KT patients from 2000 to 2011 at Seoul National University Hospital. Among 414 biopsies from 951 patients, biopsy-proven BKVAN was found in 14 patients. Nine patients had BKVAN alone, while 5 patients had both BKVAN and acute cellular rejection. BKVAN in the BKVAN alone group was detected later than in BKVAN/AR group (21.77 vs 6.39 months after transplantation, P=0.03). Serum creatinine at diagnosis was similar (2.09 vs 2.00 mg/dL). Histological grade was more advanced in the BKVAN/AR group (P=0.034). Serum load of BKV, dose of immunosuppressants, and tacrolimus level showed a higher tendency in the BKVAN alone group; however it was not statistically significant. After anti-rejection therapy, immunosuppression was reduced in the BKVAN/AR group. Renal functional deterioration over 1 yr after BKVAN diagnosis was similar between the two groups (P=0.665). These findings suggest that the prognosis of BKVAN/AR after anti-rejection therapy followed by anti-BKV therapy might be similar to that of BKVAN alone after anti-BKV therapy.
PMCID: PMC3857364  PMID: 24339698
Acute Rejection; BK Virus; Kidney Diseases; Kidney Transplantation
7.  Expression Analysis of Combinatorial Genes Using a Bi-Cistronic T2A Expression System in Porcine Fibroblasts 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e70486.
In pig-to-primate xenotransplantation, multiple transgenic pigs are required to overcome a series of transplant rejections. The generation of multiple transgenic pigs either by breeding or the introduction of several mono-cistronic vectors has been hampered by the differential expression patterns of the target genes. To achieve simultaneous expression of multiple genes, a poly-cistronic expression system using the 2A peptide derived from the Thosea asigna virus (T2A) can be considered an alternative choice. Before applying T2A expression system to pig generation, the expression patterns of multiple genes in this system should be precisely evaluated. In this study, we constructed several bi-cistronic T2A expression vectors, which combine target genes that are frequently used in the xenotransplantation field, and introduced them into porcine fibroblasts. The proteins targeted to the same or different subcellular regions were efficiently expressed without affecting the localization or expression levels of the other protein. However, when a gene with low expression efficiency was inserted into the upstream region of the T2A sequences, the expression level of the downstream gene was significantly decreased compared with the expression efficiency without the insertion. A small interfering RNA targeting one gene in this system resulted in the significant downregulation of both the target gene and the other gene, indicating that multiple genes combined into a T2A expression vector can be considered as a single gene in terms of transcription and translation. In summary, the efficient expression of a downstream gene can be achieved if the expression of the upstream gene is efficient.
PMCID: PMC3726604  PMID: 23922997
8.  Successfully Treated Escherichia coli-Induced Emphysematous Cyst Infection with Combination of Intravenous Antibiotics and Intracystic Antibiotics Irrigation in a Patient with Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2013;28(6):955-958.
A 62-yr-old woman with an autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) was admitted to our hospital for further evaluation of intermittent fever, nausea and left flank discomfort. The computed tomography (CT) scan revealed a gas-forming, infectious cyst of approximately 8.1 cm in size in left kidney lower pole. Escherichia coli was identified from the cyst fluid culture examination. Her symptoms improved only after the concomitant use of intravenous ciprofloxacin and an intracystic irrigation of ciprofloxacin through a percutaneous cystostomy drainage. Our case presents the successfully treated emphysematous cyst infection with combination of intravenous antibiotics and intracystic antibiotic therapy instead of surgical management.
PMCID: PMC3678017  PMID: 23772165
Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease; Escherichia coli; Emphysematous
9.  Cinacalcet lowering of serum fibroblast growth factor-23 concentration may be independent from serum Ca, P, PTH and dose of active vitamin D in peritoneal dialysis patients: a randomized controlled study 
BMC Nephrology  2013;14:112.
Elevated serum level of fibroblast growth factor-23 (FGF23) is associated with adverse outcomes in dialyzed patients.
The CUPID study compared the efficacy of a cinacalcet-based regimen with conventional care (vitamin D and P binders) for achieving the stringent NKF-K/DOQI targets for peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients. Additionally, we analyzed change in FGF23 levels between two treatments to explore the cinacalcet effect in lowering FGF23.
Multicenter, open-labeled, randomized controlled study.
Seven university-affiliated hospitals in Korea.
Overall, 66 peritoneal dialysis patients were enrolled.
Sixty six patients were randomly assigned to treatment with either cinacalcet + oral vitamin D (cinacalcet group, n = 33) or oral vitamin D alone (control group, n = 33) to achieve K/DOQI targets. CUPID included a 4-week screening for vitamin D washout, a 12-week dose-titration, and a 4-week assessment phases. We calculated mean values of iPTH, Ca, P, Ca x P, during assessment phase and final FGF23 to assess the outcome.
Main outcome measures
Achievement of >30% reduction of iPTH from baseline (primary) and FGF23 reduction (secondary).
72.7% (n = 24) of the cinacalcet group and 93.9% (n = 31) of the control group completed the study. Cinacalcet group received 30.2 ± 18.0 mg/day of cinacalcet and 0.13 ± 0.32 μg/d oral vitamin D (P < 0.001 vs. control with 0.27 ± 0.18 μg/d vitamin D). The proportion of patients who reached the primary endpoint was not statistically different (48.5% vs. 51.5%, cinacalcet vs. control, P = 1.000). After treatment, cinacalcet group experienced a significant reduction in FGF23 levels (median value from 3,960 to 2,325 RU/ml, P = 0.002), while an insignificant change was shown for control group (from 2,085 to 2,415 RU/ml). The percent change of FGF23 after treatment was also significantly different between the two groups (− 42.54% vs. 15.83%, P = 0.008). After adjustment, cinacalcet treatment was independently associated with the serum FGF23 reduction.
Cinacalcet treatment was independently associated with the reduction of FGF23 in our PD patients.
Trial registration
Controlled trials NCT01101113
PMCID: PMC3669111  PMID: 23705925
Cinacalcet; Fibroblast growth factor 23; Peritoneal dialysis
10.  CD70–CD27 ligation between neural stem cells and CD4+ T cells induces Fas–FasL-mediated T-cell death 
Neural stem cells (NSCs) are among the most promising candidates for cell replacement therapy in neuronal injury and neurodegenerative diseases. One of the remaining obstacles for NSC therapy is to overcome the alloimmune response on NSCs by the host.
To investigate the mechanisms of immune modulatory function derived from the interaction of human NSCs with allogeneic T cells, we examined the immune regulatory effects of human NSCs on allogeneic T cells in vitro.
Significantly, NSCs induced apoptosis of allogeneic T cells, in particular CD4+ T cells. Interaction of CD70 on NSCs and CD27 on CD4+ T cells mediated apoptosis of T cells. Thus, blocking CD70–CD27 interaction prevented NSC-mediated death of CD4+ T cells.
We present a rational explanation of NSC-induced immune escape in two consecutive stages. First, CD70 constitutively expressed on NSCs engaged CD27 on CD4+ T cells, which induced Fas ligand expression on CD4+ T cells. Second, CD4+ T-cell apoptosis was followed by Fas–Fas ligand interaction in the CD4+ T cells.
PMCID: PMC3706991  PMID: 23692980
Neural stem cells; Co-stimulatory molecules; Immune escape mechanism
11.  Chronic asymptomatic pyuria precedes overt urinary tract infection and deterioration of renal function in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease 
BMC Nephrology  2013;14:1.
Urinary tract infection (UTI) occurs in 30%-50% of individuals with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD). However, the clinical relevance of asymptomatic pyuria in ADPKD patients remains unknown.
We retrospectively reviewed medical records of 256 ADPKD patients who registered to the ADPKD clinic at Seoul National University Hospital from Aug 1999 to Aug 2010. We defined the asymptomatic pyuria as more than 5-9 white blood cells in high-power field with no related symptoms or signs of overt UTI. Patients were categorized into 2 groups depending on its duration and frequency: Group A included non-pyuria and transient pyuria patients; Group B included recurrent and persistent pyuria patients. The association between asymptomatic pyuria and both the development of overt UTI and the deterioration of renal function were examined.
With a mean follow-up duration of 65.3 months, 176 (68.8%) out of 256 patients experienced 681 episodes of asymptomatic pyuria and 50 episodes of UTI. The annual incidence of asymptomatic pyuria was 0.492 episodes/patient/year. The patients in group B showed female predominance (58.5% vs. 42.0%, P=0.01) and experienced an upper UTI more frequently (hazard ratio: 4.612, 95% confidence interval: 1.735-12.258; P=0.002, adjusted for gender and hypertension). The annual change in estimated glomerular filtration rate (ΔeGFR) was significantly larger in magnitude in group B than in group A (-2.7±4.56 vs. -1.17±5.8, respectively; P=0.01). Age and Group B found to be the independent variables for ΔeGFR and developing end-stage renal disease (16.0% vs. 4.3%, respectively; P=0.001).
Chronic asymptomatic pyuria may increase the risk of developing overt UTI and may contribute to declining renal function in ADPKD.
PMCID: PMC3545884  PMID: 23295127
Polycystic kidney disease; Chronic renal failure; Glomerular filtration rate; Pyuria; Urinary tract infection
12.  Chronic allograft injury by subclinical borderline change: evidence from serial protocol biopsies in kidney transplantation 
This study investigated the impact of subclinical borderline changes on the development of chronic allograft injury in patients using a modern immunosuppression protocol.
Seventy patients with stable renal allograft function and who underwent protocol biopsies at implantation, 10 days and 1 year after transplantation were included and classified based on biopsy findings at day 10. The no rejection (NR) group included 33 patients with no acute rejection. The treatment (Tx) group included 21 patients with borderline changes following steroid pulse therapy, and the nontreatment (NTx) group included 16 patients with borderline changes nontreated.
The Banff Chronicity Score (BChS) and modified BChS (MBChS) were not different among the three groups at implantation (P = 0.48) or on day 10 (P = 0.96). Surprisingly, the NTx group had more prominent chronic scores at the 1-year biopsy, including BChS (3.07 ± 1.33, P = 0.005) and MBChS (3.14 ± 1.41, P = 0.008) than those in the Tx and NR group, and deterioration of BChS was more noticeable in the NTx group (P = 0.037), although renal function was stable (P = 0.66). No difference in chronic injury scores was observed between the Tx and NR groups at the 1-year biopsy.
Subclinical borderline changes can be a risk factor for chronic allograft injury and should be considered for antirejection therapy.
PMCID: PMC3514476  PMID: 23230552
Borderline change; Chronic allograft injury; Kidney transplantation; Protocol kidney biopsy; Steroid pulse therapy
13.  Generation and Characterization of Human Heme Oxygenase-1 Transgenic Pigs 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e46646.
Xenotransplantation using transgenic pigs as an organ source is a promising strategy to overcome shortage of human organ for transplantation. Various genetic modifications have been tried to ameliorate xenograft rejection. In the present study we assessed effect of transgenic expression of human heme oxygenase-1 (hHO-1), an inducible protein capable of cytoprotection by scavenging reactive oxygen species and preventing apoptosis caused by cellular stress during inflammatory processes, in neonatal porcine islet-like cluster cells (NPCCs). Transduction of NPCCs with adenovirus containing hHO-1 gene significantly reduced apoptosis compared with the GFP-expressing adenovirus control after treatment with either hydrogen peroxide or hTNF-α and cycloheximide. These protective effects were diminished by co-treatment of hHO-1 antagonist, Zinc protoporphyrin IX. We also generated transgenic pigs expressing hHO-1 and analyzed expression and function of the transgene. Human HO-1 was expressed in most tissues, including the heart, kidney, lung, pancreas, spleen and skin, however, expression levels and patterns of the hHO-1 gene are not consistent in each organ. We isolate fibroblast from transgenic pigs to analyze protective effect of the hHO-1. As expected, fibroblasts derived from the hHO-1 transgenic pigs were significantly resistant to both hydrogen peroxide damage and hTNF-α and cycloheximide-mediated apoptosis when compared with wild-type fibroblasts. Furthermore, induction of RANTES in response to hTNF-α or LPS was significantly decreased in fibroblasts obtained from the hHO-1 transgenic pigs. These findings suggest that transgenic expression of hHO-1 can protect xenografts when exposed to oxidative stresses, especially from ischemia/reperfusion injury, and/or acute rejection mediated by cytokines. Accordingly, hHO-1 could be an important candidate molecule in a multi-transgenic pig strategy for xenotransplantation.
PMCID: PMC3465346  PMID: 23071605
14.  Change in Body Compositions of Asian Recipients after Kidney Transplantation 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2012;27(10):1182-1187.
Kidney transplantation and accompanying medical conditions may result in changes in body composition. Such changes have been evaluated in Caucasian recipients, but not in Asian recipients. Herein, we conducted a study on Asian recipients because Asians have a different body composition from Caucasians. A total of 50 Asian recipients was enrolled as a prospective cohort. Using bioelectrical impedance analysis, body composition (muscle and fat mass) was assessed after 2 weeks (baseline), and at 1, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months following kidney transplantation. To find predictors related to changes, the data were analyzed by multivariate analysis using forward selection. All of the patients had good graft function during the study period. Patients gained approximately 3 kg within 1 yr of kidney transplantation. The proportion of muscle mass significantly decreased (Ptrend = 0.001) and the proportion of fat mass significantly increased over time (Ptrend = 0.002). The multivariate results revealed that male recipients, deceased donor type, and low protein intake were associated with an increase in fat mass and a decrease in muscle mass. The results from this study may help to investigate differences in body composition changes between races, as well as the factors related to these changes.
PMCID: PMC3468754  PMID: 23091315
Asian; Body Composition; Fat; Kidney Transplantation; Muscle
15.  Urinary N-acetyl-β-D glucosaminidase as a surrogate marker for renal function in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease: 1 year prospective cohort study 
BMC Nephrology  2012;13:93.
Renal failure is one of the most serious complications associated with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD). To date, early markers have failed to predict renal function deterioration at the early stages. This 1-year prospective study evaluated N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase (NAG) as a new surrogate marker for renal function in ADPKD.
A total of 270 patients were enrolled in the study, and we measured urinary NAG, β2-microglobulin, neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) and kidney injury molecule-1 (KIM-1) prospectively for 1 year to compare their predictive values for renal function.
Baseline urinary NAG/Cr was negatively correlated with estimated glomerular filtration rate (GFR) (r2 = 0.153, P < 0.001) and positively correlated with total kidney volume (TKV) (r2 = 0.113, P < 0.001). Among other biomarkers, urinary NAG/Cr better discriminated patients with decreased renal function from those with conserved renal function, showing the largest area under the curve (AUC 0.794). Immunohistochemical study revealed strong staining along the cyst-lining epithelial cells as well as the nearby compressed tubular epithelial cells. However, both single and repeated measurements of urinary NAG/Cr failed to predict renal function decline in 1 year.
Urinary NAG/Cr may be a useful surrogate marker for renal function in ADPKD patients.
PMCID: PMC3465238  PMID: 22935351
Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease; Biomarkers; Renal function
16.  Clinical Relevance of Pretransplant HLA Class II Donor-specific Antibodies in Renal Transplantation Patients with Negative T-cell Cytotoxicity Crossmatches 
Annals of Laboratory Medicine  2012;32(2):139-144.
We evaluated the clinical relevance of pretransplant donor-specific HLA antibodies (DSA) in renal transplantation patients who had negative T-cell cytotoxicity crossmatches.
From 328 consecutive renal transplant recipients, we selected 28 patients who had positive pretransplant (historical or at the time of transplantation) flow cytometry crossmatches, but negative T-cell cytotoxicity crossmatches at the time of transplantation. The presence of DSA and its level at the time of transplantation were retrospectively tested using Luminex single antigen assays.
DSA was present in 16 (57.1%) of 28 patients. Biopsy-proven acute rejection (9 patients) occurred more frequently in patients with DSA than in those without DSA (56.3% vs. 0.0%; P=0.003). The positivity rate of class II DSA was significantly higher in patients with antibody-mediated rejection (AMR) than in those without AMR (100% vs. 21.7%; P=0.003). However, the positivity rate of class I DSA was not different between the two groups (40% vs. 40.9%). Among patients with class II DSA, those with AMR tended to have higher antibody levels (median fluorescence intensity, MFI) than those without AMR (16,359 vs. 5,910; P=0.056). A cut-off MFI value of 4,487 for class II DSA predicted the occurrence of AMR with good sensitivity and specificity (100% and 87.0%).
In patients with negative T-cell cytotoxicity crossmatches, the presence of class II DSA and its level at the time of transplantation were associated with the occurrence of AMR. Pretransplant DSA measurement with Luminex single antigen assay would be useful in renal transplantation.
PMCID: PMC3289779  PMID: 22389881
Donor-specific HLA antibodies; Renal transplantation; Antibody-mediated rejection
17.  Outcome of Early Initiation of Peritoneal Dialysis in Patients with End-Stage Renal Failure 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2012;27(2):170-176.
Recent studies reported that early initiation of hemodialysis may increase mortality. However, studies that assessed the influence of early initiation of peritoneal dialysis (PD) yielded controversial results. In the present study, we evaluated the prognosis of early initiation of PD on the various outcomes of end stage renal failure patients by using propensity-score matching methods. Incident PD patients (n = 491) who started PD at SNU Hospital were enrolled. The patients were divided into 'early starters (n = 244)' and 'late starters (n = 247)' on the basis of the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) at the start of dialysis. The calculated propensity-score was used for one-to-one matching. After propensity-score-based matching (n = 136, for each group), no significant differences were observed in terms of all-cause mortality (P = 0.17), technique failure (P = 0.62), cardiovascular event (P = 0.96) and composite event (P = 0.86) between the early and late starters. Stratification analysis in the propensity-score quartiles (n = 491) exhibited no trend toward better or poorer survival in terms of all-cause mortality. In conclusion, early commencement of PD does not reduce the mortality risk and other outcomes. Although the recent guidelines suggest that initiation of dialysis at higher eGFR, physicians should not determine the time to initiate PD therapy simply rely on the eGFR alone.
PMCID: PMC3271290  PMID: 22323864
Peritoneal Dialysis; End Stage Renal Failure; Dialysis Initiation; Propensity Score Match; Outcome; Survival
18.  Functional improvement of porcine neonatal pancreatic cell clusters via conformal encapsulation using an air-driven encapsulator 
Transplantation of islet cells into diabetic patients is a promising therapy, provided that the islet cells are able to evade host immune rejection. With improved islet viability, this strategy may effectively reverse diabetes. We applied 2% calcium alginate to generate small and large capsules to encapsulate porcine neonatal pancreatic cell clusters (NPCCs) using an air-driven encapsulator. After encapsulation, the viability was assessed at 1, 4, 7, 14 and 28 days and secretion of functional insulin in response to glucose stimulation were tested at days 14 and 28. Selective permeability of the small alginate capsules was confirmed using various sizes of isothiocyanate-labeled dextran (FITC-dextran). Encapsulation of NPCCs was performed without islet protrusion in the small and large capsules. The viability of NPCCs in all experimental groups was greater than 90% at day 1 and then gradually decreased after day 7. The NPCCs encapsulated in large capsules showed significantly lower viability (79.50 ± 2.88%) than that of naïve NPCCs and NPCCs in small capsule (86.83 ± 2.32%, 87.67 ± 2.07%, respectively) at day 7. The viability of naïve NPCCs decreased rapidly at day 14 (75.67 ± 1.75%), whereas the NPCCs encapsulated in small capsules maintained (82.0 ± 2.19%). After 14 and 28 days NPCCs' function in small capsules (2.67 ± 0.09 and 2.13 ± 0.09) was conserved better compared to that of naïve NPCCs (2.04 ± 0.25 and 1.53 ± 0.32, respectively) and NPCCs in large capsules (2.04 ± 0.34 and 1.13 ± 0.10, respectively), as assessed by a stimulation index. The small capsules also demonstrated selective permeability. With this encapsulation technique, small capsules improved the viability and insulin secretion of NPCCs without islet protrusion.
PMCID: PMC3277894  PMID: 22020445
alginic acid; diabetes mellitus type 1; insulin-secreting cells; islets of Langerhans transplantation; tissue therapy
19.  Lower Residual Renal Function is a Risk Factor for Depression and Impaired Health-Related Quality of Life in Korean Peritoneal Dialysis Patients 
We retrospectively evaluated demographic and biochemical parameters associated with depression and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in maintenance peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients. This study included 105 patients maintaining PD at Seoul National University Hospital. Data were collected from electronic medical record. Korean Beck's Depression Inventory and Korean version of Kidney Disease Quality of Life short form, version 1.3 were used to evaluate depression and HRQOL, respectively. Moderate to severe depression was found in 24.8% of patients. Patients with lower normalized protein equivalent of nitrogen appearance (nPNA) (< 1.2 g/kg/day), lower weekly renal Kt/Vurea (< 0.2), and lower serum albumin level (≤ 4.0 g/dL) were associated with depression (P < 0.05). Among them, lower weekly renal Kt/Vurea was the only independent risk factor associated with depression (OR = 3.1, P = 0.007). Depressed patients showed significantly lower scores in every dimension of HRQOL (P < 0.001). Lower weekly renal Kt/Vurea (β = 0.24, P = 0.005) and lower nPNA (β = 0.15, P = 0.03) were the independent risk factors associated with lower kidney dialysis component summary, whereas lower plasma hemoglobin level was the consistent risk factor for lower physical component summary (β = 0.22, P = 0.03) and mental component summary (β = 0.22, P = 0.01). Depression is a prevalent psychological problem in PD population. Residual renal function is the most important factor associated with depression and impaired HRQOL in PD patients.
PMCID: PMC3247777  PMID: 22219616
Peritoneal Dialysis; Depression; Health-Related Quality of Life; Residual Renal Function; Beck's Depression Inventory; KDQOL-SF
20.  Pharmacokinetic Profiles of Ceftazidime after Intravenous Administration in Patients Undergoing Automated Peritoneal Dialysis▿ 
The pharmacokinetics (PK) of ceftazidime after intravenous (i.v.) administration during automated peritoneal dialysis (APD) and their dependence on peritoneal membrane transport are the targets of the present study. Eleven patients receiving a single i.v. dose of ceftazidime (15 mg/kg of body weight) (seven males, median [interquatile] age, 59 [36 to 62]) were recruited. Serum and dialysate samples were collected at the beginning, middle, and end of each of the five dwells during a 24-h period, with dwells 1, 2, and 3 using an automated cycler (designated on-cycler) and dwells 4 and 5 being manual exchanges (designated off-cycler), together with urine collection during the same period. Population PK analysis was employed to estimate the PK parameters. Peritoneal equilibration tests were performed for all patients, and correlations between peritoneal clearance (CLPD) for ceftazidime and dialysate-to-plasma ratios for creatinine (D/Pcr) were obtained using the Spearman's product correlation coefficient (ρ). Ceftazidime renal clearance (CLrenal) was 0.052 ml/min/kg, and CLPD was 0.063 ± 0.050 ml/min/kg. CLPD for on- and off-cycler were 0.071 and 0.058 ml/min/kg (P = 0.164), respectively. A significant correlation between CLPD and D/Pcr was observed, with one outlier excluded, suggesting that CLPD for ceftazidime during APD is dependent upon the peritoneal small-solute transport rate. A model prediction yielded adequate serum and dialysate concentrations of ceftazidime throughout a 24-h period for sensitive organisms (MIC, 8 μg/ml) by either i.v. (at 15 mg/kg) or intraperitoneal (i.p.; at 20 mg/kg) administration during off-cycler dwells. The present study suggests that the i.v. administration of ceftazidime at 15 mg/kg or i.p. administration of ceftazidime at 20 mg/kg during a long dwell every 24 h can be recommended for treating systemic or intraperitoneal infections of APD patients.
PMCID: PMC3101436  PMID: 21402833
21.  Anti-Proteinuric Effect of Sulodexide in Immunoglobulin A Nephropathy 
Yonsei Medical Journal  2011;52(4):588-594.
We conducted a multi-center randomized double-blind study to determine the effects of 6-month therapy with sulodexide on urinary protein excretion in patients with idiopathic Immunoglobulin A (IgA) nephropathy.
Materials and Methods
A total of seventy-seven patients participated in the study. They were randomly allocated to one of three groups: sulodexide 75 mg or 150 mg daily or the placebo for 6 months. The primary end point was the achievement, at 6 months, of at least 50% reduction in urine protein/creatinine ratio (UPCR) from the baseline value.
At 6 months, the primary end point was achieved by 12.5% of the patients assigned to the placebo, 4.0% of the patients assigned to sulodexide 75 mg daily and 21.4% of those assigned to 150 mg (p=0.308). Treatment with sulodexide 150 mg daily for 6 months significantly reduced log UPCR from 6.38±0.77 at baseline to 5.98±0.94 at 6 months (p=0.045), while treatment with sulodexide 75 mg daily and placebo did not.
A 6-month treatment with sulodexide did not achieve 50% reduction of urinary protein excretion in IgA nephropathy patients, but showed a tendency to increase the time-dependent anti-proteinuric effect. Therefore, long-term clinical trials on a larger scale are warranted to elucidate the hypothesis that sulodexide affords renal protection in IgA nephropathy patients.
PMCID: PMC3104455  PMID: 21623600
IgA nephropathy; sulodexide; proteinuria
22.  Cardiovascular Diseases after Kidney Transplantation in Korea 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2010;25(11):1589-1594.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in renal allograft recipients with functioning graft. Our study aimed to determine the incidence and the risk factors of cardiovascular disease after renal transplantation in Korea. We retrospectively analyzed 430 adult recipients who underwent kidney transplantation between January 1997 and February 2007. CVD was defined as a composite outcome of ischemic heart disease, cerebrovascular accident and peripheral vascular disease. Mean age of recipients was 40.0±11.8 yr. Mean duration of follow-up was 72±39 months. The cumulative incidence of CVD after renal transplantation was 2.4% at 5 yr, 5.4% at 10 yr and 11.4% at 12 yr. Multivariate analysis revealed that recipient's age, diabetes mellitus and duration of dialysis before transplantation were associated with post-transplant CVD (hazard ratio 1.843 [95% CI, 1.005-3.381], 3.846 [95% CI, 1.025-14.432] and 3.394 [95% CI, 1.728-6.665] respectively). In conclusion, old age, duration of dialysis and diabetes mellitus are important risk factors for post-transplant CVD, although the incidence of post-renal transplant CVD is lower in Korea than that in western countries.
PMCID: PMC2966995  PMID: 21060747
Cardiovascular Diseases; Incidence; Kidney Transplantation; Risk Factors; Diabetes Mellitus; Koreans
23.  Improvement in Erythropoieis-stimulating Agent-induced Pure Red-cell Aplasia by Introduction of Darbepoetin-α When the Anti-erythropoietin Antibody Titer Declines Spontaneously 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2010;25(11):1676-1679.
Anti-erythropoietin antibodies usually cross-react with all kinds of recombinant erythropoietins; therefore, erythropoiesis-stimulating agent (ESA)-induced pure red-cell aplasia (PRCA) is not rescued by different ESAs. Here, we present a case of ESA-induced PRCA in a 36-yr-old woman with chronic kidney disease, whose anemic condition improved following reintroduction of darbepoetin-α. The patient developed progressive, severe anemia after the use of erythropoietin-α. As the anemia did not improve after the administration of either other erythropoietin-α products or erythropoietin-β, all ESAs were discontinued. Oxymetholone therapy failed to improve the transfusion-dependent anemia and a rechallenge with ESAs continuously failed to obtain a sustained response. However, her anemia improved following reintroduction of darbepoetin-α at 3 yr after the initial diagnosis. Interestingly, anti-erythropoietin antibodies were still detectable, although their concentration was too low for titration. In conclusion, darbepoetin-α can improve ESA-induced PRCA when the anti-erythropoietin antibody titer declines and its neutralizing capacity is lost.
PMCID: PMC2967010  PMID: 21060762
Red-Cell Aplasia, Pure; Kidney Failure, Chronic; Erythropoietin, Recombinant; Darbepoetin-alfa
24.  Assessment of Deceased Donor Kidneys Using a Donor Scoring System 
Yonsei Medical Journal  2010;51(6):870-876.
Marginal grafts should be used more actively in Asian countries where deceased donor transplantation is unpopular. We modified a quantitative donor scoring system proposed by Nyberg and his colleagues and developed a donor scoring system in order to assess the quality of deceased donor grafts and their prognostic value as an initial effort to promote usage of marginal donors.
Materials and Methods
We retrospectively evaluated 337 patients.
A scoring system was derived from six donor variables [age, 0-25; renal function, 0-4; history of hypertension, 0-4; Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) mismatch, 0-3; body weight, 0-1; cause of death, 0-3 points]. Donor grafts were stratified by scores: grade A, 0-10; grade B, 11-20; grade C, 21-30; and grade D, 31-40 points. Donor grades significantly correlated with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) at 6 months (A, 64.0 mL/min/1.73 m2; B, 57.0 mL/min/1.73 m2; C, 46.8 mL/min/1.73 m2; p < 0.001). The five-year graft survival rate was also lower in grade C than grade A (74% vs. 93%, p = 0.002). Donors in grade C and D were regarded as marginal donors. The proportion of marginal donors was much lower in Korea, compared with data from the United Network for Organ Sharing (15.2% vs. 29%).
Considering the scarcity of deceased donor kidneys and the relatively better graft outcome with lower grade-donors in Korea, it is worth increasing the usage of marginal grafts.
PMCID: PMC2995966  PMID: 20879053
Kidney transplantation; cadaver; donor selection
25.  Trends in Deceased Organ Donation and Utilization in Korea: 2000-2009 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2010;25(8):1122-1127.
Continuous efforts have been made by the organ donation and transplantation community in Korea to increase organ donation by the deceased. The authors detailed trends of organ donation and utilization over the past 10 yr using data provided by the KONOS. The yearly number of deceased donors has grown gradually since 2003. The number and percentage of old donors (≥50 yr) and donors dying from intracranial hemorrhage has increased continuously. Therefore, the percentage of standard criteria donors (SCD) has been declining significantly, from 94% in 2000 to 79.2% in 2009. The number of organs transplanted per donor (OTPD) has also declined slightly since 2007, from 3.28 in 2007 to 2.95 in 2009. This decline may be attributable to increases in the number and percentage of extended criteria donors (ECD) and donors after cardiac death (DCD), since the OTPD was 2.25 for DCD, 2.5 for ECD, and 3.09 for SCD in 2009. In summary, the makeup of donors has changed significantly. There is an urgent need for establishment of an institutional framework including an independent organ procurement organization and for improvement for the National Transplant Act to increase deceased donor pool and to optimize management of ECD and DCD.
PMCID: PMC2908778  PMID: 20676320
Deceased Organ Donors; Expanded Criteria Donors; Donors after cardiac death; Tissue and Organ Procurement; Organ Utilization

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