Background: As kidney is a major target organ affected by drug toxicity, early detection of renal injury is critical in preclinical drug development. In past decades, a series of novel biomarkers of drug-induced nephrotoxicity were discovered and verified in rats. However, limited data regarding the performance of novel biomarkers in non-rodent species are publicly available.
Methods: We evaluated the performance of 4 urinary biomarkers including neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL), clusterin, total protein, and N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase (NAG), relative to histopathology and traditional clinical chemistry in beagle dogs with acute kidney injury (AKI) induced by gentamicin.
Conclusion: The results showed that urinary NGAL and clusterin levels were significantly elevated in dogs on days 1 and 3 after administration of gentamicin, respectively. Gene expression analysis further provided mechanistic evidence to support that NGAL and clusterin are potential biomarkers for the early assessment of drug-induced renal damage. Furthermore, the high area (both AUCs = 1.000) under receiver operator characteristics (ROC) curve also indicated that NGAL and clusterin were the most sensitive biomarkers for detection of gentamicin-induced renal proximal tubular toxicity. Our results also suggested that NAG may be used in routine toxicity testing due to its sensitivity and robustness for detection of tissue injury. The present data will provide insights into the preclinical use of these biomarkers for detection of drug-induced AKI in non-rodent species.