Monocyte and macrophage markers are among the most highly overexpressed genes in cpk mouse kidneys with severely progressive renal cystic disease. We show here that one of these markers, CD14, is abnormally transcribed, activated and shed in cystic kidneys. However, these abnormalities were not associated with an increased number of interstitial CD14-positive mononuclear cells. Instead, we found that most non-cystic and cystic renal tubular epithelia were CD14-positive; even distal nephron-derived principal cells. Cd14 was significantly overexpressed in the kidneys of 5-day-old cpk mice and further increased as the disease progressed. In the cpk model with variable rates of cystic kidney enlargement (due to an intercross of two distinct genetic backgrounds), Cd14 expression positively correlated with kidney volume, exceeding the correlation with MCP-1, an established marker of autosomal-dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD). In 16 patients with ADPKD, the baseline urinary CD14 level showed some tendency to correlate with the 2-year change in total kidney volume; however, the tendency was not statistically significant. But the association was significant when the analysis was confined to males. Clearly more studies need to be done to evaluate the utility of CD14 as a marker for outcomes in ADPKD. © 2010 International Society of Nephrology.