Objectives. To determine if there are measurable quantities of transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-β1) in the urine of children with either normal or pathologic conditions of the urinary tract, specifically vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) and ureteropelvic junction obstruction (UPJO). We also sought to determine if the urine TGF-β level could distinguish between renal obstruction and no obstruction. Methods. Preoperative bladder urine from consecutive patients undergoing pyeloplasty (UPJO group; n = 13), ureteral reimplantation (VUR group; n = 11), or circumcision/orchiopexy (control group; n = 19) as well as urine from the renal pelvis of the UPJO group was collected. The urine level of TGF-β1 was measured using a quantitative sandwich enzyme immunoassay technique. Results. Urine level of TGF-β1 was detected in each group: control (26.6 ± 6.3 pg/mL), reflux (22.1 ± 9.6), UPJO-pelvic urine (82.4 ± 19.3), UPJO-bladder urine (31.2 ± 8.2). The urine TGF-β1 concentration in pelvic urine in the UPJO group was significantly higher than that in bladder urine in children in the UPJO group (P = 0.03). TGF-β1 concentrations were similar from the bladder of children in all three study groups [P = NS). Conclusions. Urine TGF-β1 is detectable in children with normal and pathologic urinary tracts. The level of this urine marker is elevated in the renal pelvis of children with UPJO compared to the level in the bladder of either obstructed or nonobstructed upper urinary tracts.
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