Soluble plasma proteins ST2 and CD163 as early biomarkers of nephropathy in Swedish patients with diabetes, 15–34 years of age: a prospective cohort study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The aim of this study was to investigate plasma levels of sST2 and sCD163 to determine whether they at an early stage could predict development of diabetic nephropathy and/or diabetic retinopathy in patients at clinical onset.

Patients diagnosed with diabetes mellitus at age 15–34 years between 1987 and 1988 (n = 220) were included. Data such as BMI, smoking, HbA1c and islet cell antibodies were collected at time of diagnosis. Within the 10 year follow-up period, 112 patients (51%) developed following diabetes related complications; retinopathy (n = 91), nephropathy (n = 12) or both (n = 9). Plasma concentrations of sST2 and sCD163 were measured at time of diagnosis and levels compared between different complication groups.

Plasma levels of sST2 were significantly higher in patients who later developed nephropathy (n = 21; 1012 [773–1493] pg/ml) compared to those who did not (n = 199; 723 [449–1084] pg/ml; p = 0.006). A tendency for higher plasma levels of sCD163 was observed but not statistically significant (p = 0.058).

sST2 and sCD163 show promise as potential biomarkers for the development of nephropathy already at clinical onset. sST2 and/or sCD163 could possibly be part of a biomarker panel aimed to find patients at high risk of developing nephropathy. Both markers need to be investigated in a larger prospective study.


External organisations
  • Lund University
  • Uppsala University
  • Skåne University Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Endocrinology and Diabetes


  • biomarkers, complications, diabetes, nephropathy
Original languageEnglish
Article number41
Pages (from-to)1-6
JournalDiabetology and Metabolic Syndrome
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 May 25
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

Parts of the results of this study were presented at the 75th Scientific Sessions at the American Diabetes Association, June 5-9th, 2015, Boston Massachusetts.