BackgroundAPOL1 genotype is associated with advanced kidney disease in African Americans, but the pathogenic mechanisms are unclear. Here, associations of APOL1 genotype with urine biomarkers of glomerular and tubular injury and kidney function decline were evaluated.
Study designObservational study.
Setting & participants431 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected African American women enrolled in Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS).
OutcomesAlbumin-creatinine ratio (ACR), 4 tubular injury biomarkers (interleukin 18 [IL-18], kidney injury molecule 1 [KIM-1], neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin [NGAL], and α1-microglobulin [A1M]), and kidney function estimated using the CKD-EPI cystatin C equation.
MeasurementsParticipants were genotyped for APOL1 single-nucleotide polymorphisms rs73885319 (G1 allele) and rs71785313 (G2 allele). Urine biomarkers were measured using stored samples from 1999-2000. Cystatin C was measured using serum collected at baseline and 4- and 8-year follow-ups.
ResultsAt baseline, ACRs were higher among 47 women with 2 APOL1 risk alleles versus 384 women with 0/1 risk allele (median, 24 vs 11mg/g; P<0.001). Compared with women with 0/1 risk allele, women with 2 risk alleles had 104% higher ACRs (95% CI, 29-223mg/g) and 2-fold greater risk of ACR>30 (95% CI, 1.17-3.44) mg/g after multivariable adjustment. APOL1 genotype showed little association with urine IL-18:Cr ratio, KIM-1:Cr ratio, and NGAL:Cr ratio (estimates of -5% [95% CI, -24% to 18%], -20% [95% CI, -36% to -1%], and 10% [95% CI, -26% to 64%], respectively) or detectable urine A1M (prevalence ratio, 1.13; 95% CI, 0.65-1.97) in adjusted analyses. Compared with women with 0/1 allele, women with 2 risk alleles had faster eGFR decline, by 1.2 (95% CI, 0.2 to 2.2) mL/min/1.73m(2) per year, and 1.7- and 3.4-fold greater rates of incident chronic kidney disease (95% CI, 1.1 to 2.5) and 10% annual eGFR decline (95% CI, 1.7 to 6.7), respectively, with minimal attenuation after adjustment for glomerular and tubular injury biomarker levels.
LimitationsResults may not be generalizable to men.
ConclusionsAmong HIV-infected African American women, APOL1-associated kidney injury appears to localize to the glomerulus, rather than the tubules.