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  • Author or Editor: Tsutomu Kurosawa x
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Objective—To examine renal expression of α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) and fibronectin in cats with tubulointerstitial nephritis (TIN) for use in predicting progression to renal fibrosis.

Animals—19 cats with TIN and 9 cats without nephritis.

Procedure—Serum creatinine and BUN concentrations were measured. Indices for glomerular extra-cellular matrix (ECM), tubular injury (TI), and fibronectin were determined in renal specimens to quantify the extent of injury and fibrotic lesions. Expression of α-SMA in renal tissue was immunohistochemically detected, and correlations were evaluated between the α-SMA index and other histologic and clinical variables.

Results—The α-SMA index in tubulointerstitial areas (1.63 ± 0.78) was significantly higher in cats with TIN, especially in the periglomerular and peritubular areas, than in cats without nephritis (0.20 ± 0.14). The α-SMA index was significantly associated with the TI index (r 2 = 0.70), fibronectin index (r 2 = 0.95), BUN concentration (r 2 = 0.64), and serum creatinine concentration (r 2 = 0.66). Of special interest was that interstitial α-SMA expression appeared evident in the kidneys at an early stage of TIN, prior to the onset of ECM deposition.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Analysis of results of histologic and clinical examinations revealed that interstitial α-SMA expression may have clinical importance and may be a useful early histologic marker for development of chronic renal failure in cats. An immunohistochemical examination for fibrogenic molecules (such as α-SMA expression) may provide fundamental information on the pathogenesis of early-stage renal disease and aid clinical management of cats with chronic renal failure, including TIN. (Am J Vet Res 2000;61:1080–1086)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research