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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016, Article ID 3765608, 9 pages
Review Article

Circulating Permeability Factors in Primary Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis: A Review of Proposed Candidates

Department of Nephrology, University Hospital, Heinrich-Heine University, Moorenstrasse 5, 40225 Duesseldorf, Germany

Received 23 December 2015; Accepted 22 February 2016

Academic Editor: Jae Il Shin

Copyright © 2016 Eva Königshausen and Lorenz Sellin. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Primary focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) is a major cause of the nephrotic syndrome and often leads to end-stage renal disease. This review focuses on circulating permeability factors in primary FSGS that have been implicated in the pathogenesis for a long time, partly due to the potential recurrence in renal allografts within hours after transplantation. Recently, three molecules have been proposed as a potential permeability factor by different groups: the soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR), cardiotrophin-like cytokine factor-1 (CLCF-1), and CD40 antibodies. Both CLCF-1 and CD40 antibodies have not been validated by independent research groups yet. Since the identification of suPAR, different studies have questioned the validity of suPAR as a biomarker to distinguish primary FSGS from other proteinuric kidney diseases as well as suPAR’s pathogenic role in podocyte damage. Researchers have suggested that cleaved molecules of suPAR have a pathogenic role in FSGS but further studies are needed to determine this role. In future studies, proposed standards for the research of the permeability factor should be carefully followed. The identification of the permeability factor in primary FSGS would be of great clinical relevance as it could influence potential individual treatment regimen.