COVID-19 infection and the kidneys: Learning the lesson., Soliman, Neveen A. , Journal of infection and public health, Volume 14, Issue 7, p.922-926, (2021) Abstract

The novel coronavirus 2019 pandemic has become a global health crisis. In an attempt to decipher how kidneys are affected by COVID-19 infection, this review focuses on pathogenic and clinical links between COVID-19 infection and the kidneys. SARS-CoV-2 infected patients are target for kidney affection, renal tropism, among other multiorgan complications. COVID-19 related kidney affection is reported not only in infected chronic kidney disease patients but also in those with no prior history of kidney disease. As nephrologists try to keep up with the rapidly evolving, sometimes hasty, reports on renal affection in COVID-19, kidneys continue to be deleteriously affected particularly in critical care settings. This review aims to briefly portray renal involvement in COVID-19 amid this unprecedented deluge of scientific data. Based on gained knowledge and expertise, it is prudent to develop and regularly update preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic strategies to improve clinical outcome and reduce mortality.

Refining genotype-phenotype correlations in 304 patients with autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease and PKHD1 gene variants., Burgmaier, Kathrin, Brinker Leonie, Erger Florian, Beck Bodo B., Benz Marcus R., Bergmann Carsten, Boyer Olivia, Collard Laure, Dafinger Claudia, Fila Marc, et al. , Kidney international, (2021) Abstract

Autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD) is a severe disease of early childhood that is clinically characterized by fibrocystic changes of the kidneys and the liver. The main cause of ARPKD are variants in the PKHD1 gene encoding the large transmembrane protein fibrocystin. The mechanisms underlying the observed clinical heterogeneity in ARPKD remain incompletely understood, partly due to the fact that genotype-phenotype correlations have been limited to the association of biallelic null variants in PKHD1 with the most severe phenotypes. In this observational study we analyzed a deep clinical dataset of 304 patients with ARPKD from two independent cohorts and identified novel genotype-phenotype correlations during childhood and adolescence. Biallelic null variants frequently show severe courses. Additionally, our data suggest that the affected region in PKHD1 is important in determining the phenotype. Patients with two missense variants affecting amino acids 709-1837 of fibrocystin or a missense variant in this region and a null variant less frequently developed chronic kidney failure, and patients with missense variants affecting amino acids 1838-2624 showed better hepatic outcome. Variants affecting amino acids 2625-4074 of fibrocystin were associated with poorer hepatic outcome. Thus, our data expand the understanding of genotype-phenotype correlations in pediatric ARPKD patients and can lay the foundation for more precise and personalized counselling and treatment approaches.

Multisystem inflammation and susceptibility to viral infections in human ZNFX1 deficiency., Vavassori, Stefano, Chou Janet, Faletti Laura Eva, Haunerdinger Veronika, Opitz Lennart, Joset Pascal, Fraser Christopher J., Prader Seraina, Gao Xianfei, Schuch Luise A., et al. , The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology, (2021) Abstract

BACKGROUND: Recognition of viral nucleic acids is one of the primary triggers for a type I interferon-mediated antiviral immune response. Inborn errors of type I interferon immunity can be associated with increased inflammation and/or increased susceptibility to viral infections as a result of dysbalanced interferon production. NFX1-type zinc finger-containing 1 (ZNFX1) is an interferon-stimulated double-stranded RNA sensor that restricts the replication of RNA viruses in mice. The role of ZNFX1 in the human immune response is not known.

OBJECTIVE: We studied 15 patients from 8 families with an autosomal recessive immunodeficiency characterized by severe infections by both RNA and DNA viruses and virally triggered inflammatory episodes with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis-like disease, early-onset seizures, and renal and lung disease.

METHODS: Whole exome sequencing was performed on 13 patients from 8 families. We investigated the transcriptome, posttranscriptional regulation of interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs) and predisposition to viral infections in primary cells from patients and controls stimulated with synthetic double-stranded nucleic acids.

RESULTS: Deleterious homozygous and compound heterozygous ZNFX1 variants were identified in all 13 patients. Stimulation of patient-derived primary cells with synthetic double-stranded nucleic acids was associated with a deregulated pattern of expression of ISGs and alterations in the half-life of the mRNA of ISGs and also associated with poorer clearance of viral infections by monocytes.

CONCLUSION: ZNFX1 is an important regulator of the response to double-stranded nucleic acids stimuli following viral infections. ZNFX1 deficiency predisposes to severe viral infections and a multisystem inflammatory disease.

Mutations in Are a Novel Cause of Galloway-Mowat Syndrome., Mann, Nina, Mzoughi Slim, Schneider Ronen, Kühl Susanne J., Schanze Denny, Klämbt Verena, Lovric Svjetlana, Mao Youying, Shi Shasha, Tan Weizhen, et al. , Journal of the American Society of Nephrology : JASN, Volume 32, Issue 3, p.580-596, (2021) Abstract

BACKGROUND: Galloway-Mowat syndrome (GAMOS) is characterized by neurodevelopmental defects and a progressive nephropathy, which typically manifests as steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome. The prognosis of GAMOS is poor, and the majority of children progress to renal failure. The discovery of monogenic causes of GAMOS has uncovered molecular pathways involved in the pathogenesis of disease.

METHODS: Homozygosity mapping, whole-exome sequencing, and linkage analysis were used to identify mutations in four families with a GAMOS-like phenotype, and high-throughput PCR technology was applied to 91 individuals with GAMOS and 816 individuals with isolated nephrotic syndrome. and studies determined the functional significance of the mutations identified.

RESULTS: Three biallelic variants of the transcriptional regulator were detected in six families with proteinuric kidney disease. Four families with a variant in the protein's zinc-finger (ZNF) domain have additional GAMOS-like features, including brain anomalies, cardiac defects, and skeletal defects. All variants destabilize the PRDM15 protein, and the ZNF variant additionally interferes with transcriptional activation. Morpholino oligonucleotide-mediated knockdown of Prdm15 in embryos disrupted pronephric development. Human wild-type RNA rescued the disruption, but the three variants did not. Finally, CRISPR-mediated knockout of in human podocytes led to dysregulation of several renal developmental genes.

CONCLUSIONS: Variants in can cause either isolated nephrotic syndrome or a GAMOS-type syndrome on an allelic basis. PRDM15 regulates multiple developmental kidney genes, and is likely to play an essential role in renal development in humans.

Recessive variants impair actin remodeling and cause glomerulopathy in humans and mice., Majmundar, Amar J., Buerger Florian, Forbes Thomas A., Klämbt Verena, Schneider Ronen, Deutsch Konstantin, Kitzler Thomas M., Howden Sara E., Scurr Michelle, Tan Ker Sin, et al. , Science advances, Volume 7, Issue 1, (2021) Abstract

Nephrotic syndrome (NS) is a leading cause of chronic kidney disease. We found recessive variants in two families with early-onset NS by exome sequencing. Overexpression of wild-type (WT) , but not cDNA constructs bearing patient variants, increased active CDC42 and promoted filopodia and podosome formation. Pharmacologic inhibition of CDC42 or its effectors, formin proteins, reduced NOS1AP-induced filopodia formation. knockdown reduced podocyte migration rate (PMR), which was rescued by overexpression of WT but not by constructs bearing patient variants. PMR in knockdown podocytes was also rescued by constitutively active or the formin Modeling a patient variant in knock-in human kidney organoids revealed malformed glomeruli with increased apoptosis. mice recapitulated the human phenotype, exhibiting proteinuria, foot process effacement, and glomerulosclerosis. These findings demonstrate that recessive variants impair CDC42/DIAPH-dependent actin remodeling, cause aberrant organoid glomerulogenesis, and lead to a glomerulopathy in humans and mice.

DAAM2 Variants Cause Nephrotic Syndrome via Actin Dysregulation., Schneider, Ronen, Deutsch Konstantin, Hoeprich Gregory J., Marquez Jonathan, Hermle Tobias, Braun Daniela A., Seltzsam Steve, Kitzler Thomas M., Mao Youying, Buerger Florian, et al. , American journal of human genetics, Volume 107, Issue 6, p.1113-1128, (2020) Abstract

The discovery of >60 monogenic causes of nephrotic syndrome (NS) has revealed a central role for the actin regulators RhoA/Rac1/Cdc42 and their effectors, including the formin INF2. By whole-exome sequencing (WES), we here discovered bi-allelic variants in the formin DAAM2 in four unrelated families with steroid-resistant NS. We show that DAAM2 localizes to the cytoplasm in podocytes and in kidney sections. Further, the variants impair DAAM2-dependent actin remodeling processes: wild-type DAAM2 cDNA, but not cDNA representing missense variants found in individuals with NS, rescued reduced podocyte migration rate (PMR) and restored reduced filopodia formation in shRNA-induced DAAM2-knockdown podocytes. Filopodia restoration was also induced by the formin-activating molecule IMM-01. DAAM2 also co-localizes and co-immunoprecipitates with INF2, which is intriguing since variants in both formins cause NS. Using in vitro bulk and TIRF microscopy assays, we find that DAAM2 variants alter actin assembly activities of the formin. In a Xenopus daam2-CRISPR knockout model, we demonstrate actin dysregulation in vivo and glomerular maldevelopment that is rescued by WT-DAAM2 mRNA. We conclude that DAAM2 variants are a likely cause of monogenic human SRNS due to actin dysregulation in podocytes. Further, we provide evidence that DAAM2-associated SRNS may be amenable to treatment using actin regulating compounds.

Severe neurological outcomes after very early bilateral nephrectomies in patients with autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD)., Burgmaier, Kathrin, Ariceta Gema, Bald Martin, Buescher Anja Katrin, Burgmaier Mathias, Erger Florian, Gessner Michaela, Gokce Ibrahim, König Jens, Kowalewska Claudia, et al. , Scientific reports, Volume 10, Issue 1, p.16025, (2020) Abstract

To test the association between bilateral nephrectomies in patients with autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD) and long-term clinical outcome and to identify risk factors for severe outcomes, a dataset comprising 504 patients from the international registry study ARegPKD was analyzed for characteristics and complications of patients with very early (≤ 3 months; VEBNE) and early (4-15 months; EBNE) bilateral nephrectomies. Patients with very early dialysis (VED, onset ≤ 3 months) without bilateral nephrectomies and patients with total kidney volumes (TKV) comparable to VEBNE infants served as additional control groups. We identified 19 children with VEBNE, 9 with EBNE, 12 with VED and 11 in the TKV control group. VEBNE patients suffered more frequently from severe neurological complications in comparison to all control patients. Very early bilateral nephrectomies and documentation of severe hypotensive episodes were independent risk factors for severe neurological complications. Bilateral nephrectomies within the first 3 months of life are associated with a risk of severe neurological complications later in life. Our data support a very cautious indication of very early bilateral nephrectomies in ARPKD, especially in patients with residual kidney function, and emphasize the importance of avoiding severe hypotensive episodes in this at-risk cohort.

Subtle cardiac dysfunction in nephropathic cystinosis: insight from tissue Doppler imaging and 2D speckle tracking echocardiography., Afify, Mohamed H., Abdelrahman Safaa M., Mohamed Hossam I., Helmy Rasha, GaserAbdelmohsen, AbdElAziz Osama, and Soliman Neveen A. , Pediatric nephrology (Berlin, Germany), Volume 35, Issue 12, p.2307-2317, (2020) Abstract

BACKGROUND: Nephropathic cystinosis is a rare autosomal recessive lysosomal storage disorder that initially affects the kidney progressing to multi-organ failure due to accumulation of cystine in all tissue compartments.

OBJECTIVE: The main objective of this study is the evaluation of cardiac function in cystinosis patients using non-conventional echocardiographic modalities like pulsed wave tissue Doppler imaging (PW-TDI) and 2D speckle tracking echocardiography (2D-STE).

METHODS: This is a case control study conducted on fifteen patients with cystinosis and 15 normal controls. Echocardiography was done for all participants and PW-TDI was performed for measurement of S', E', A' velocities and myocardial performance index (MPI) at basal parts of septal, left ventricle (LV), and right ventricle (RV) free walls. 2D-STE was done for evaluation of global longitudinal strain (GLS), global circumferential strain (GCS), and global radial strain (GRS) of LV. Mitral E and A velocities and tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (TAPSE) were also measured.

RESULTS: The GLS, GRS, and S' velocity at basal septum and LV lateral wall were significantly lower in patients denoting LV systolic dysfunction (p = 0.005, p < 0.0001, p = 0.001, p = 0.006, respectively), while E/E' were significantly higher in patients group denoting LV diastolic dysfunction (p < 0.001). For RV function, TAPSE, S', and E' velocity were significantly lower in patients group (p 0.013, p < 0.01, p = 0.05, respectively) indicating RV systolic and diastolic dysfunction. The TDI-derived MPI for both LV and RV were significantly higher in patients group (p < 0.0001, p < 0.01, respectively) indicating both ventricular systolic and diastolic dysfunction. For prediction of cardiac dysfunction among patients, the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve showed that GRS ≤ 29% had sensitivity 93.3% and specificity 100%, GLS > - 20.1% had sensitivity 66.7% and specificity 93.3%, LV-E/E' >7.87 had sensitivity 73.3% and specificity 93.3%, and MPI-LV > 0.36 had sensitivity 100% and specificity 93.3% while MPI-RV > 0.29 had sensitivity 80% and specificity 93.3% and TAPSE ≤ 19 mm had sensitivity 80% and specificity 73.3%.

CONCLUSIONS: Patients with cystinosis have significant both left and right ventricular dysfunction, which can be better evaluated using the non-conventional echocardiographic modalities like TDI and 2D-STE for early detection of subtle cardiac dysfunction.

ADPedKD: A Global Online Platform on the Management of Children With ADPKD., De Rechter, Stéphanie, Bockenhauer Detlef, Guay-Woodford Lisa M., Liu Isaac, Mallett Andrew J., Soliman Neveen A., Sylvestre Lucimary C., Schaefer Franz, Liebau Max C., and Mekahli Djalila , Kidney international reports, Volume 4, Issue 9, p.1271-1284, (2019) Abstract

Background: Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is the most common monogenic cause of renal failure. For several decades, ADPKD was regarded as an adult-onset disease. In the past decade, it has become more widely appreciated that the disease course begins in childhood. However, evidence-based guidelines on how to manage and approach children diagnosed with or at risk of ADPKD are lacking. Also, scoring systems to stratify patients into risk categories have been established only for adults. Overall, there are insufficient data on the clinical course during childhood. We therefore initiated the global ADPedKD project to establish a large international pediatric ADPKD cohort for deep characterization.

Methods: Global ADPedKD is an international multicenter observational study focusing on childhood-diagnosed ADPKD. This collaborative project is based on interoperable Web-based databases, comprising 7 regional and independent but uniformly organized chapters, namely Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, South America, and the United Kingdom. In the database, a detailed basic data questionnaire, including genetics, is used in combination with data entry from follow-up visits, to provide both retrospective and prospective longitudinal data on clinical, radiologic, and laboratory findings, as well as therapeutic interventions.

Discussion: The global ADPedKD initiative aims to characterize in detail the most extensive international pediatric ADPKD cohort reported to date, providing evidence for the development of unified diagnostic, follow-up, and treatment recommendations regarding modifiable disease factors. Moreover, this registry will serve as a platform for the development of clinical and/or biochemical markers predicting the risk of early and progressive disease.

Management of bone disease in cystinosis: Statement from an international conference., Hohenfellner, Katharina, Rauch Frank, Ariceta Gema, Awan Atif, Bacchetta Justine, Bergmann Carsten, Bechtold Susanne, Cassidy Noelle, Deschenes Geroges, Elenberg Ewa, et al. , Journal of inherited metabolic disease, Volume 42, Issue 5, p.1019-1029, (2019) Abstract

Cystinosis is an autosomal recessive storage disease due to impaired transport of cystine out of lysosomes. Since the accumulation of intracellular cystine affects all organs and tissues, the management of cystinosis requires a specialized multidisciplinary team consisting of pediatricians, nephrologists, nutritionists, ophthalmologists, endocrinologists, neurologists' geneticists, and orthopedic surgeons. Treatment with cysteamine can delay or prevent most clinical manifestations of cystinosis, except the renal Fanconi syndrome. Virtually all individuals with classical, nephropathic cystinosis suffer from cystinosis metabolic bone disease (CMBD), related to the renal Fanconi syndrome in infancy and progressive chronic kidney disease (CKD) later in life. Manifestations of CMBD include hypophosphatemic rickets in infancy, and renal osteodystrophy associated with CKD resulting in bone deformities, osteomalacia, osteoporosis, fractures, and short stature. Assessment of CMBD involves monitoring growth, leg deformities, blood levels of phosphate, electrolytes, bicarbonate, calcium, and alkaline phosphatase, periodically obtaining bone radiographs, determining levels of critical hormones and vitamins, such as thyroid hormone, parathyroid hormone, 25(OH) vitamin D, and testosterone in males, and surveillance for nonrenal complications of cystinosis such as myopathy. Treatment includes replacement of urinary losses, cystine depletion with oral cysteamine, vitamin D, hormone replacement, physical therapy, and corrective orthopedic surgery. The recommendations in this article came from an expert meeting on CMBD that took place in Salzburg, Austria, in December 2016.