Tubular secretion of Tamm-Horsfall protein in type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus using a simplified enzyme linked immunoassay

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The relationship between glomerular and tubular dysfunction and metabolic control in type 1 diabetes was studied. To that end the urinary excretion rates of albumin and Tamm-Horsfall protein as well as HbA1c levels were measured in 58 patients with different degrees of diabetic nephropathy and in 76 apparently healthy subjects matched for sex and age. The urinary Tamm-Horsfall protein levels were measured by a simplified enzyme linked immunoassay. The intra- and interassay variations were 8.9% and 13.6%, respectively. The intraindividual variation was 41% and the sensitivity of the assay was 4 micrograms/l. The Tamm-Horsfall protein excretion rate was 42.1 x/2.0 micrograms/min (geometric mean x/tolerance factor) in the diabetic patients compared to 34 x/1.9 micrograms/min in the control subjects (NS). The diabetic patients had higher albumin excretion rate (38.5 x/7.3 micrograms/min) than the control subjects (4.7 x/2.3 micrograms/min; P less than 0.001). By using multivariate analysis of variance, HbA1c level was found to be the only independent variable associated with Tamm-Horsfall protein excretion rate in diabetic patients (r = -0.28; P = 0.04), while no relationship was found between Tamm-Horsfall protein excretion rate and age, age at onset and duration of diabetes, gender, serum creatinine, diuresis, urinary albumin excretion rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels and antihypertensive treatment. The urinary albumin excretion rate was associated with diastolic blood pressure (r = 0.34; P = 0.02) but not with HbA1c levels when testing the above variables by multivariate analysis of variance. In conclusion, these results may indicate a lack of relationship between glomerular and tubular dysfunction. The former was influenced only by diastolic blood pressure levels and the latter only by the degree of metabolic control. However, the correlations were weak and do not provide any insight into what is actually responsible for glomerular and tubular dysfunction.


  • Ole Torffvit
  • Carl-David Agardh
  • Björn Kjellsson
  • Jörgen Wieslander
Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Klinisk laboratoriemedicin
Sidor (från-till)31-41
TidskriftClinica Chimica Acta
Utgåva nummer1-2
StatusPublished - 1992
Peer review utfördJa