To define cellular mechanisms underlying kidney function and failure, the KPMP analyzes biopsy tissue in a multicenter research network to build cell-level process maps of the kidney. This study aimed to establish a single cell RNA sequencing strategy to use cell-level transcriptional profiles from kidney biopsies in KPMP to define molecular subtypes in glomerular diseases. Using multiple sources of adult human kidney reference tissue samples, 22,268 single cell profiles passed KPMP quality control parameters. Unbiased clustering resulted in 31 distinct cell clusters that were linked to kidney and immune cell types using specific cell markers. Focusing on endothelial cell phenotypes, in silico and in situ hybridization methods assigned 3 discrete endothelial cell clusters to distinct renal vascular beds. Transcripts defining glomerular endothelial cells (GEC) were evaluated in biopsies from patients with 10 different glomerular diseases in the NEPTUNE and European Renal cDNA Bank (ERCB) cohort studies. Highest GEC scores were observed in patients with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). Molecular endothelial signatures suggested 2 distinct FSGS patient subgroups with α-2 macroglobulin (A2M) as a key downstream mediator of the endothelial cell phenotype. Finally, glomerular A2M transcript levels associated with lower proteinuria remission rates, linking endothelial function with long-term outcome in FSGS.
Rajasree Menon, Edgar A. Otto, Paul Hoover, Sean Eddy, Laura Mariani, Bradley Godfrey, Celine C. Berthier, Felix Eichinger, Lalita Subramanian, Jennifer Harder, Wenjun Ju, Viji Nair, Maria Larkina, Abhijit S. Naik, Jinghui Luo, Sanjay Jain, Rachel Sealfon, Olga Troyanskaya, Nir Hacohen, Jeffrey B. Hodgin, Matthias Kretzler, Kidney Precision Medicine Project (KPMP), Nephrotic Syndrome Study Network (NEPTUNE)
Guidelines: The Editorial Board will only consider letters that we deem relevant and of interest to our readers. We will not post data that have not been subjected to peer review, nor will we post letters that are essentially a reiteration of another letter. We reserve the right to edit any letter for length, content, and clarity. Authors will be notified by e-mail if their letters were accepted. No appeals will be considered.
Specific requirements: All letters must be 400 words or fewer. You may enter the letter as plain text or HTML. The author's name and e-mail address are required, and will be posted with the letter. All possible conflicts of interest must be noted, even if they are not posted. If you wish to include a figure (keep in mind that non-peer-reviewed data will not be posted), please contact the editors directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.