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Receptor Gene May Play Key Role in Urinary Tract Infections

Candidate gene for susceptibility to acute pyelonephritis identified

THURSDAY, Sept. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Susceptibility to acute pyelonephritis may have a genetic element, with the IL-8 receptor gene, CXCR1, a leading candidate, according to study findings published in the September issue of PLoS ONE.

Ann-Charlotte Lundstedt, of Lund University in Sweden, and colleagues identified CXCR1 when mice that lacked the receptor gene developed acute pyelonephritis.

When the investigators looked at two patient groups that were prone to acute pyelonephritis, they found that 54 percent had CXCR1 sequence variants, and that the three unique mutations and two gene polymorphisms in CXCR1 sequences occurred more commonly among these patients compared with control subjects.

Children who were prone to urinary tract infections expressed less CXCR1 protein than control subjects. In previous studies based on animal experiments, the researchers showed that the gene is protective against renal pelvis inflammation, an infection that can follow on from repeated urinary tract infections.

"Many research teams have long been looking for a genetic background to the disease. We have found a gene that could be used as a risk marker and a method for singling out the susceptible group," said Lundstedt, in a statement.

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