Loss of renal peritubular capillaries in hypertensive patients is detectable by urinary endothelial microparticle levels

In O. Sun, Adrian Santelli, Abdelrhman Abumoawad, Alfonso Eirin, Christopher M. Ferguson, John R. Woollard, Amir Lerman, Stephen C. Textor, Amrutesh S. Puranik, Lilach O. Lerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Hypertension, an important cause of chronic kidney disease, is characterized by peritubular capillary (PTC) loss. Circulating levels of endothelial microparticles (EMPs) reflect systemic endothelial injury. We hypothesized that systemic and urinary PTC-EMPs levels would reflect renal microvascular injury in hypertensive patients. We prospectively measured by flow cytometry renal vein, inferior vena cava, and urinary levels of EMPs in essential (n=14) and renovascular (RVH; n=24) hypertensive patients and compared them with peripheral blood and urinary levels in healthy volunteers (n=14). PTC-EMPs were identified as urinary exosomes positive for the PTC marker plasmalemmal-vesicle.associated protein. In 7 RVH patients, PTC and fibrosis were also quantified in renal biopsy, and in 18 RVH patients, PTC-EMPs were measured again 3 months after continued medical therapy with or without stenting (n=9 each). Renal vein and systemic PTC-EMPs levels were not different among the groups, whereas their urinary levels were elevated in both RVH and essential hypertension versus healthy volunteers (56.8%±12.7% and 62.8%±10.7% versus 34.0%±17.8%; both P.0.001). Urinary PTC-EMPs levels correlated directly with blood pressure and inversely with estimated glomerular filtration rate. Furthermore, in RVH, urinary PTC-EMPs levels correlated directly with stenotic kidney hypoxia, histological PTC count, and fibrosis and inversely with cortical perfusion. Three months after treatment, the change in urinary PTC-EMPs levels correlated inversely with a change in renal function (r=.0.582; P=0.011). Therefore, urinary PTC-EMPs levels are increased in hypertensive patients and may reflect renal microcirculation injury, whereas systemic PTC-EMPs levels are unchanged. Urinary PTC-EMPs may be useful as novel biomarkers of intrarenal capillary loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1180-1188
Number of pages9
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2018


  • Exosomes
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Hypertension
  • Microvascular Rarefaction
  • Urine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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