Hanno B. Richards, MD

University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

2002 Biomarkers, Human Lupus Biology

Serious kidney disease is a major problem for many people with lupus, with 15 to 30 percent of individuals having kidney involvement when first diagnosed, and a further 15 to 30 percent likely to experience kidney problems over the course of their lifetimes.

Current treatments for kidney disease in lupus have serious side effects.

The development of new safe and effective treatments has been hampered because there are no proven laboratory tests that accurately predict the severity of kidney disease. Moreover, current tests do not allow researchers to determine whether the treatment for kidney disease is working.

In 2002, Dr. Richards and colleagues received a special “Clinical Methodologies” grant from the LRI to investigate novel non-invasive methods for measuring kidney damage in people with lupus, including testing for an “early indicator” of lupus kidney damage that can be measured through blood and urine tests. His study looks at certain molecules produced by immune system cells that lead to kidney damage

He published findings that the inflammatory protein MCP-1 is a potential new biomarker of kidney damage in lupus, and also contributed to a second paper reporting similar findings for another inflammatory protein, IL-18.

Select publications:

Up-regulation of IL-18 and predominance of a Th1 immune response is a hallmark of lupus nephritis. Clin Exp Immunol. 2004 138(1):171-8. Calvani N, Richards HB, Tucci M, Pannarale G, Silvestris F.

Strong association of a functional polymorphism in the monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 promoter gene with lupus nephritis. Arthritis Rheum. 2004 50(6):1842-9. Tucci M, Barnes EV, Sobel ES, Croker BP, Segal MS, Reeves WH, Richards HB.

Rev. July 2010