The search for urinary markers for clinically silent acute kidney injury (AKI) appears to have advanced with the recent discovery of elevated levels of monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1), as well as its template for protein synthesis (mRNA), in urine samples of mice and humans with AKI.

This finding suggests that the gene encoding MCP-1 and mRNA is activated in AKI patients. Writing in the In Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, Richard Zager, MD, et al. describe how they were able to detect in human urine samples the protein modifiers that activate MCP-1-producing genes.