Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) is an important mediator of fibrosis; emerging evidence link changes in plasma and urinary CTGF levels to diabetic kidney disease. To further ascertain the role of CTGF in responses to high glucose, we assessed the consequence of 4 months of streptozotocin-induced diabetes in wild type (+/+) and CTGF heterozygous (+/−) mice. Subsequently, we studied the influence of glucose on gene expression and protein in mice embryonic fibroblasts (MEF) cells derived from wildtype and heterozygous mice. At study initiation, plasma glucose, creatinine, triglyceride and cholesterol levels were similar between non-diabetic CTGF+/+ and CTGF+/− mice. In the diabetic state, plasma glucose levels were increased in CTGF+/+ and CTGF+/− mice (28.2 3.3 mmol/L vs 27.0 3.1 mmol/L), plasma triglyceride levels were lower in CTGF+/− mice than in CTGF+/+ (0.7 0.2 mmol/L vs 0.5 0.1 mmol/L, p<0.05), but cholesterol was essentially unchanged in both groups. Plasma creatinine was higher in diabetic CTGF+/+ group (11.7±1.2 vs 7.9±0.6 µmol/L p<0.01), while urinary albumin excretion and mesangial expansion were reduced in diabetic CTGF+/− animals. Cortices from diabetic mice (both CTGF +/+ and CTGF +/−) manifested higher expression of CTGF and thrombospondin 1 (TSP1). Expression of nephrin was reduced in CTGF +/+ animals; this reduction was attenuated in CTGF+/− group. In cultured MEF from CTGF+/+ mice, glucose (25 mM) increased expression of pro-collagens 1, IV and XVIII as well as fibronectin and thrombospondin 1 (TSP1). In contrast, activation of these genes by high glucose was attenuated in CTGF+/− MEF. We conclude that induction of Ctgf mediates expression of extracellular matrix proteins in diabetic kidney. Thus, genetic variability in CTGF expression directly modulates the severity of diabetic nephropathy.
Polycystic kidney disease is an inherited condition, characterized by the development of cysts in the kidney, as well as in other organs. Patients with polycystic kidney can suffer from the same causes of acute kidney injury as the general population. Nephritic syndrome is an uncommon cause of acute kidney injury in the general population and less common in patients with polycystic kidney disease. We report the second case of crescentic glomerulonephritis, causing acute kidney injury, in a patient with polycystic kidney disease.
Crescentic glomerulonephritis; Polycystic kidney disease; Acute kidney injury
Numerous studies have identified a relationship between hemoglobin (Hb) levels and mortality in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), which have raised concerns about the optimal Hb targets in correction of anemia. Our study is designed to investigate the potential effects of targeted Hb levels, aiming to give some evidence for therapy of renal anemia.
A comprehensive search of Medline, Embase and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews was performed in December 2011 and updated in February 2012 for any new trials. Randomized trials designed to evaluate effects of high (generally the Hb about 13.0 g/dL) and low Hb (generally the Hb about 10.0 g/dL) targets on clinical outcomes in CKD patients with anemia were collected. All statistical analysis was calculated using the RevMan software available free from the Cochrane Collaboration. 24 trials involving 10361 patients were identified. Our findings demonstrated a statistically significant increased risk of mortality in the high Hb levels (RR 1.18; 95% CI 1.02 to 1.37) while the high and low Hb groups were both treated with ESAs. Overall, compared with low Hb levels, high Hb levels are associated with increased risk of hypertension (RR 1.40; 95% CI 1.11 to 1.75), stroke (RR 1.73; 95% CI 1.31 to 2.29), and hospitalizations (RR 1.07; 95% CI 1.01 to 1.14). However, there are no significant differences in the risk of non-fatal myocardial infarction (RR 1. 13; 95% CI 0.79 to 1.61) and renal replacement therapy (RR 1. 00; 95% CI 0.85 to 1.18).
Targeting low Hb levels are beneficial to CKD patients especially in the predialysis population. The optimal Hb targets to aim for in CKD patients and at what Hb level the risks of adverse events begin to increase remain elusive. Future studies are still needed to elucidate these questions.
Both hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia increase oxidative stress, and contribute to the development of diabetic nephropathy (DN). We investigated effects of α-lipoic acid, a natural antioxidant and a cofactor in the multienzyme complexes, on the development of DN in diabetic apolipoprotein E-deficient mice.
Twelve-weeks-old male apoE−/− mice on C57BL/6J genetic background were made diabetic with injections of streptozotocin (STZ). STZ-treated diabetic apoE−/− mice and non-diabetic control were fed with a synthetic high fat (HF) diet with or without LA supplementation. Multiple parameters including plasma glucose, cholesterol, oxidative stress markers, cytokines, and kidney cortex gene expression, and glomerular morphology were evaluated.
LA supplementation markedly protected the beta cells and reduced cholesterol levels, attenuated albuminuria and glomerular mesangial expansion in the diabetic mice. Reno-protection by LA was equally effective regardless of whether the dietary supplementation was started 4 weeks before, simultaneously with, or 4 weeks after the induction of diabetes by STZ. LA supplementation significantly improved DN and oxidative stress in the diabetic mice. Severity of albuminuria was positively correlated with level of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARs) in the kidney (r2=0.62, P<0.05). Diabetes significantly changed the kidney expression of Rage, Sod2, Tgfb1 and Ctgf, Pdp2, nephrin and Lias. LA supplementation corrected these changes except that it further suppressed the expression of the Lias gene coding for lipoic acid synthase.
Our data indicate that LA supplementation effectively attenuates the development and progression of DN through its antioxidant effect as well as enhancing glucose oxidation.
lipoic acid; antioxidants; oxidative stress; diabetes; diabetic nephropathy; apolipoprotein E null mice; streptozotocin
Homocysteine (Hcy) and inflammatory cytokines have been linked to adverse outcomes in persons with cardiovascular and kidney diseases and recent reports suggest that cytokine-mediated inflammatory infiltrates may be an important contributor to the pathogenesis the aforementioned diseases. Although some reports suggest that Hcy directly influences inflammatory cytokine production, this proposition has not been supported by data from other studies. The objective of the current study was to a) utilize an in vitro cellular model to identify cytokines that may be affected by Hcy and b) examine the role of mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) and phosphatidyl inositol 3- (PI3) Kinase in Hcy modulated cytokine production.
Primary rat glomerular mesangial cells (MC, passage 8 to 15), isolated by standard sieving methodology, were exposed to Hcy (15, 50 or 100 μM) with L-cysteine (L-Cys; 100 μM) serving as a control. An antibody array was used to identify cytokines that were modulated when MCs were exposed to Hcy. Gene expression was assessed by quantitative RT-PCR, while western blotting analysis was used to assess cellular protein levels in the presence and absence of inhibitors of MAPK and PI3 Kinase. Finally, leukocyte adhesion assay was used to examine the effect of Hcy on leukocyte adhesion to glomerular MCs that were maintained in media without, and with, kinase inhibitors.
We identified macrophage inflammatory protein 2 (MIP-2) as a key cytokine that manifested increases in both protein and mRNA following exposure of glomerular MC to pathophysiologic Hcy levels (50 μM). Further analyses revealed that Hcy-induced MIP-2 was dependent on activation of p38 MAPK and PI3 kinase. MIP-2 enhanced leukocyte adhesion to MC and this MIP-2-enhanced leukocyte adhesion was also dependent on activation of p38 MAPK and PI3K. Finally, we demonstrate that leukocyte adhesion to MC is specifically inhibited by anit-MIP2 antibody.
The data suggest that Hcy participates in inflammatory cytokines production by glomerular MC and that Hcy-induced MIP-2 mediates leukocyte adhesion to MC.
The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway is aberrantly activated in polycystic kidney disease (PKD). Emerging evidence suggests that phospholipase D (PLD) and its product phosphatidic acid (PA) regulate mTOR activity. In this study, we assessed in vitro the regulatory function of PLD and PA on the mTOR signaling pathway in PKD. We found that the basal level of PLD activity was elevated in PKD cells. Targeting PLD by small molecule inhibitors reduced cell proliferation and blocked mTOR signaling, whereas exogenous PA stimulated mTOR signaling and abolished the inhibitory effect of PLD on PKD cell proliferation. We also show that blocking PLD activity enhanced the sensitivity of PKD cells to rapamycin and that combining PLD inhibitors and rapamycin synergistically inhibited PKD cell proliferation. Furthermore, we demonstrate that targeting mTOR did not induce autophagy, whereas targeting PLD induced autophagosome formation. Taken together, our findings suggest that deregulated mTOR pathway activation is mediated partly by increased PLD signaling in PKD cells. Targeting PLD isoforms with pharmacological inhibitors may represent a new therapeutic strategy in PKD.
In Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), immune cells are affected by uremic retention toxins. Given this effect, we analyzed lymphocyte proliferative response and immune modulators production following in vitro stimulation.
Whole blood was drawn from healthy controls, patients with eGFR <20 ml/min/1.73 m2 (Pre-dialysis, CKD stages 4 and 5) and hemodialysis patients (stage 5D). Peripheral cells were incubated for six days with pokeweed mitogen, concanavalin A, Staphylococcus enterotoxin A or influenza A vaccine. Peripheral lymphocyte proliferation was then analyzed by the “Flow-cytometric Assay of Specific Cell-mediated Immune response in Activated whole blood” (FASCIA) method, and cytokine profile in the cell supernatants was analyzed by the Milliplex multi-array method.
The absolute number of lymphoblasts in response to mitogenic stimulation and the number of cells in each CD4+ and CD8+ subpopulation were similar comparing the three groups, except for a single decline in number of lymphoblasts after stimulation with Staphylococcus enterotoxin A, comparing dialysis patients with healthy controls. Levels of interleukin (IL)-2 (p=0.026), -10 (p=0.019) and -15 (p=0.027) in the Staphylococcus enterotoxin A-stimulated supernatant were lower in hemodialysis patients compared to healthy controls. Levels of IL-15 (p=0.017) from pre-dialysis patients and levels of IL-5 (p=0.019) from hemodialysis patients in influenza A vaccine-stimulated supernatants were also lower compared to controls. In pokeweed mitogen–stimulated supernatant, IL-2 levels (p=0.013) were lower in hemodialysis patients compared to pre-dialysis patients. TNF-α, IL-10, IL-12, IL-15, IL-8, MCP-1, IP-10, IFN-α2, IL-1α and eotaxin levels were all significantly higher in plasma obtained from CKD patients.
Our results suggest that T-cells from CKD patients have similar proliferative response to stimulation compared with healthy individuals. Moreover, however the immune cells show inability to produce selected cytokines, most likely due to the uremic milieu or dialysis procedure.
Diabetic nephropathy (DN), a major complication of diabetes, is characterized by hypertrophy, extracellular matrix accumulation, fibrosis and proteinuria leading to loss of renal function. Hypertrophy is a major factor inducing proximal tubular epithelial cells injury. However, the mechanisms leading to tubular injury is not well defined. In our study, we show that exposure of rats proximal tubular epithelial cells to high glucose (HG) resulted in increased extracellular matrix accumulation and hypertrophy. HG treatment increased ROS production and was associated with alteration in CYPs 4A and 2C11 expression concomitant with alteration in 20-HETE and EETs formation. HG-induced tubular injury were blocked by HET0016, an inhibitor of CYPs 4A. In contrast, inhibition of EETs promoted the effects of HG on cultured proximal tubular cells. Our results also show that alteration in CYPs 4A and 2C expression and 20HETE and EETs formation regulates the activation of the mTOR/p70S6Kinase pathway, known to play a major role in the development of DN. In conclusion, we show that hyperglycemia in diabetes has a significant effect on the expression of Arachidonic Acid (AA)-metabolizing CYPs, manifested by increased AA metabolism, and might thus alter kidney function through alteration of type and amount of AA metabolites.
Substantial evidence suggests that increased oxidative stress in hemodialysis (HD) patients may contribute to cardiovascular complications. Oxidative modifications of human serum albumin (HSA), the largest thiol pool in plasma, alter its biological properties and may affect its antioxidant potential in HD patients.
We conducted a long-term follow-up study in a cohort of normoalbuminemic HD patients to examine the impact of redox state of serum albumin on patients’ survival by measuring the human nonmercaptoalbumin (HNA) fraction of HSA.
After adjusting for potential demographic, anthropometric, and clinical confounders, a positive association of HNA level with the risk of death from cardiovascular disease (CVD) and all-cause mortality was observed in normoalbuminemic HD patients. Using stratified analysis, we found a stronger association between HNA level and the risk of death from CVD and all-cause mortality in patients with pre-existing CVD.
Serum HNA level is a positive predictor of mortality in normoalbuminemic HD patients, especially among those with pre-existing CVD. Increased oxidative stress resulting from biological changes in serum albumin levels could contribute to accelerated atherosclerosis and the development of cardiovascular disease in HD patients.
Elevated aldosterone is associated with increased mortality in the general population. In patients on dialysis, however, the association is reversed. This paradox may be explained by volume overload, which is associated with lower aldosterone and higher mortality.
We evaluated the relationship between aldosterone and outcomes in a prospective cohort of 328 hemodialysis patients stratified by the presence or absence of volume overload (defined as extracellular water/total body water >48%, as measured with bioimpedance). Baseline plasma aldosterone was measured before dialysis and categorized as low (<140 pg/mL), middle (140 to 280 pg/mL) and high (>280 pg/mL).
Overall, 36% (n = 119) of the hemodialysis patients had evidence of volume overload. Baseline aldosterone was significantly lower in the presence of volume overload than in its absence. During a median follow-up of 54 months, 83 deaths and 70 cardiovascular events occurred. Cox multivariate analysis showed that by using the low aldosterone as the reference, high aldosterone was inversely associated with decreased hazard ratios for mortality (0.49; 95% confidence interval, 0.25–0.76) and first cardiovascular event (0.70; 95% confidence interval, 0.33−0.78) in the presence of volume overload. In contrast, high aldosterone was associated with an increased risk for mortality (1.97; 95% confidence interval, 1.69–3.75) and first cardiovascular event (2.01; 95% confidence interval, 1.28−4.15) in the absence of volume overload.
The inverse association of aldosterone with adverse outcomes in hemodialysis patients is due to the confounding effect of volume overload. These findings support treatment of hyperaldosteronemia in hemodialysis patients who have achieved strict volume control.
Treatments that effectively prevent chronic kidney disease (CKD) when initiated early often yield disappointing results when started at more advanced phases. We examined the long-term evolution of renal injury in the 5/6 nephrectomy model (Nx) and the effect of an association between an AT-1 receptor blocker, losartan (L), and hydrochlorothiazide (H), shown previously to be effective when started one month after Nx. Adult male Munich-Wistar rats underwent Nx, being divided into four groups: Nx+V, no treatment; Nx+L, receiving L monotherapy; Nx+LH, receiving the L+H association (LH), and Nx+AHHz, treated with the calcium channel blocker, amlodipine, the vascular relaxant, hydralazine, and H. This latter group served to assess the effect of lowering blood pressure (BP). Rats undergoing sham nephrectomy (S) were also studied. In a first protocol, treatments were initiated 60 days after Nx, when CKD is at a relatively early stage. In a second protocol, treatments were started 120 days after Nx, when glomerulosclerosis and interstitial fibrosis are already advanced. In both protocols, L treatment promoted only partial renoprotection, whereas LH brought BP, albuminuria, tubulointerstitial cell proliferation and plasma aldosterone below pretreatment levels, and completely detained progression of renal injury. Despite normalizing BP, the AHHz association failed to prevent renal damage, indicating that the renoprotective effect of LH was not due to a systemic hemodynamic action. These findings are inconsistent with the contention that thiazides are innocuous in advanced CKD. In Nx, LH promotes effective renoprotection even at advanced stages by mechanisms that may involve anti-inflammatory and intrarenal hemodynamic effects, but seem not to require BP normalization.
Elevated mitogen-activated protein kinase p38 (p38 MAPK) signaling has been implicated in various experimental and human glomerulopathies, and its inhibition has proven beneficial in animal models of these diseases. p38 MAPK signaling is partially mediated through MK2 and MK3, two phylogenetically related protein kinases that are its direct substrates. The current study was designed to determine the specific roles of MK2 and MK3 in a mouse model of acute proliferative glomerulonephritis, using mice with disrupted MK2 and/or MK3 genes. We found that the absence of MK3 alone worsened the disease course and increased mortality slightly compared to wild-type mice, whereas the absence of MK2 alone exhibited no significant effect. However, in an MK3-free background, the disease course depended on the presence of MK2 in a gene dosage-dependent manner, with double knock-out mice being most susceptible to disease induction. Histological and renal functional analyses confirmed kidney damage following disease induction. Because the renal stress response plays a crucial role in kidney physiology and disease, we analyzed the stress response pattern in this disease model. We found that renal cortices of diseased mice exhibited a pronounced and specific pattern of expression and/or phosphorylation of stress proteins and other indicators of the stress response (HSPB1, HSPB6, HSPB8, CHOP, eIF2α), partially in a MK2/MK3 genotype-specific manner, and without induction of a general stress response. Similarly, the expression and activation patterns of other protein kinases downstream of p38 MAPK (MNK1, MSK1) depended partially on the MK2/MK3 genotype in this disease model. In conclusion, MK2 and MK3 together play crucial roles in the regulation of the renal stress response and in the development of glomerulonephritis, which can potentially be exploited to develop novel therapeutic approaches to treat glomerular disease.
This is the first report of the incidence and causes of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) of the Turkish-Cypriot population in Northern Cyprus.
Data were collected over eight consecutive years (2004–2011) from all those starting renal replacement therapy (RRT) in this population. Crude and age-standardised incidence at 90 days was calculated and comparisons made with other national registries. We collected DNA from the entire prevalent population. As an initial experiment we looked for two genetic causes of ESRD that have been reported in Greek Cypriots.
Crude and age-standardised incidence at 90 days was 234 and 327 per million population (pmp) per year, respectively. The mean age was 63, and 62% were male. The age-adjusted prevalence of RRT in Turkish-Cypriots was 1543 pmp on 01/01/2011. The incidence of RRT is higher than other countries reporting to the European Renal Association – European Dialysis and Transplant Association, with the exception of Turkey. Diabetes is a major cause of ESRD in those under 65, accounting for 36% of incident cases followed by 30% with uncertain aetiology. 18% of the incident population had a family history of ESRD. We identified two families with thin basement membrane nephropathy caused by a mutation in COL4A3, but no new cases of CFHR5 nephropathy.
This study provides the first estimate of RRT incidence in the Turkish-Cypriot population, describes the contribution of different underlying diagnoses to ESRD, and provides a basis for healthcare policy planning.
Protein phosphorylation is a complex regulatory event that is involved in the signaling networks that affect virtually every cellular process. The protein phosphorylation may be a novel source for discovering biomarkers and drug targets. However, a systematic analysis of the phosphoproteome in patients with SLE has not been performed. To clarify the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), we compared phosphoprotein expression in PBMCs from SLE patients and normal subjects using proteomics analyses. Phosphopeptides were enriched using TiO2 from PBMCs isolated from 15 SLE patients and 15 healthy subjects and then analyzed by automated LC-MS/MS analysis. Phosphorylation sites were identified and quantitated by MASCOT and MaxQuant. A total of 1035 phosphorylation sites corresponding to 618 NCBI-annotated genes were identified in SLE patients compared with normal subjects. Differentially expressed proteins, peptides and phosphorylation sites were then subjected to bioinformatics analyses. Gene ontology(GO) and pathway analyses showed that nucleic acid metabolism, cellular component organization, transport and multicellular organismal development pathways made up the largest proportions of the differentially expressed genes. Pathway analyses showed that the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway and actin cytoskeleton regulators made up the largest proportions of the metabolic pathways. Network analysis showed that rous sarcoma oncogene (SRC), v-rel reticuloendotheliosis viral oncogene homolog A (RELA), histone deacetylase (HDA1C) and protein kinase C, delta (PRKCD) play important roles in the stability of the network. These data suggest that aberrant protein phosphorylation may contribute to SLE pathogenesis.
Adiponectin (ADPN) is the most abundant adipocyte-specific cytokine that plays an important role in energy homeostasis by regulating lipid and glucose metabolism. Studies of the impact of ADPN on clinical outcomes have yielded contradictory results so far. Here, we examined the association of ADPN with serum magnesium (s-Mg) and calcium (s-Ca) levels and explored the possibility whether these two factors could modify the relationship between ADPN and all-cause mortality in patients with end-stage renal disease.
After baseline assessment, 47 hemodialysis and 27 peritoneal dialysis patients were followed- up for a median period of 50 months. S-Mg and s-Ca levels emerged as positive and negative predictors of ADPN levels, respectively. During the follow-up period 18 deaths occurred. There was a significant 4% increased risk for all-cause mortality for each 1-µg/ml increment of ADPN (crude HR, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.01–1.07), even after adjustment for s-Mg and s-Ca levels, dialysis mode, age, albumin and C-reactive protein. Cox analysis stratified by s-Mg levels (below and above the median value of 2.45 mg/dl) and s-Ca levels (below and above the median value of 9.3 mg/dl), revealed ADPN as an independent predictor of total mortality only in the low s-Mg and high s-Ca groups. Furthermore, low s-Mg and high s-Ca levels were independently associated with malnutrition, inflammation, arterial stiffening and risk of death.
The predictive value of ADPN in all-cause mortality in end-stage renal disease patients appears to be critically dependent on s-Mg and s-Ca levels. Conversely, s-Mg and s-Ca may impact on clinical outcomes by directly modifying the ADPN’s bioactivity.
Tunneled central venous catheters (TCVCs) are used for dialysis access in 82% of new hemodialysis patients and are rapidly colonized with Gram-positive organism (e.g. Staphylococcus aureus) biofilm, a source of recurrent infections and chronic inflammation. Lipoteichoic acid (LTA), a cell wall ribitol polymer from Gram-positive organisms, mediates inflammation through the Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2). The effect of LTA on lung endothelial permeability is not known. We tested the hypothesis that LTA from Staphylococcus aureus induces alterations in the permeability of pulmonary microvessel endothelial monolayers (PMEM) that result from activation of TLR2 and are mediated by reactive oxygen/nitrogen species (RONS). The permeability of PMEM was assessed by the clearance rate of Evans blue-labeled albumin, the activation of the TLR2 pathway was assessed by Western blot, and the generation of RONS was measured by the fluorescence of oxidized dihydroethidium and a dichlorofluorescein derivative. Treatment with LTA or the TLR2 agonist Pam(3)CSK(4) induced significant increases in albumin permeability, IκBα phosphorylation, IRAK1 degradation, RONS generation, and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) activation (as measured by the p-eNOSser1177:p-eNOSthr495 ratio). The effects on permeability and RONS were effectively prevented by co-administration of the superoxide scavenger Tiron, the peroxynitrite scavenger Urate, or the eNOS inhibitor L-NAME and these effects as well as eNOS activation were reduced or prevented by pretreatment with an IRAK1/4 inhibitor. The results indicate that the activation of TLR2 and the generation of ROS/RNS mediates LTA-induced barrier dysfunction in PMEM.
Cutaneous wound healing is a complex process involving several signaling pathways such as the Wnt and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling pathways. Valproic acid (VPA) is a commonly used antiepileptic drug that acts on these signaling pathways; however, the effect of VPA on cutaneous wound healing is unknown.
Methods and Findings
We created full-thickness wounds on the backs of C3H mice and then applied VPA. After 7 d, we observed marked healing and reduced wound size in VPA-treated mice. In the neo-epidermis of the wounds, β-catenin and markers for keratinocyte terminal differentiation were increased after VPA treatment. In addition, α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), collagen I and collagen III in the wounds were significantly increased. VPA induced proliferation and suppressed apoptosis of cells in the wounds, as determined by Ki67 and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) staining analyses, respectively. In vitro, VPA enhanced the motility of HaCaT keratinocytes by activating Wnt/β-catenin, ERK and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-kinase)/Akt signaling pathways.
VPA enhances cutaneous wound healing in a murine model and induces migration of HaCaT keratinocytes.
Hepcidin-25, the bioactive form of hepcidin, is a key regulator of iron homeostasis as it induces internalization and degradation of ferroportin, a cellular iron exporter on enterocytes, macrophages and hepatocytes. Hepcidin levels are increased in chronic hemodialysis (HD) patients, but as of yet, limited information on factors associated with hepcidin-25 in these patients is available. In the current cross-sectional study, potential patient-, laboratory- and treatment-related determinants of serum hepcidin-20 and -25, were assessed in a large cohort of stable, prevalent HD patients. Baseline data from 405 patients (62% male; age 63.7±13.9 [mean SD]) enrolled in the CONvective TRAnsport STudy (CONTRAST; NCT00205556) were studied. Predialysis hepcidin concentrations were measured centrally with matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Patient-, laboratory- and treatment related characteristics were entered in a backward multivariable linear regression model. Hepcidin-25 levels were independently and positively associated with ferritin (p<0.001), hsCRP (p<0.001) and the presence of diabetes (p = 0.02) and inversely with the estimated glomerular filtration rate (p = 0.01), absolute reticulocyte count (p = 0.02) and soluble transferrin receptor (p<0.001). Men had lower hepcidin-25 levels as compared to women (p = 0.03). Hepcidin-25 was not associated with the maintenance dose of erythropoiesis stimulating agents (ESA) or iron therapy. In conclusion, in the currently studied cohort of chronic HD patients, hepcidin-25 was a marker for iron stores and erythropoiesis and was associated with inflammation. Furthermore, hepcidin-25 levels were influenced by residual kidney function. Hepcidin-25 did not reflect ESA or iron dose in chronic stable HD patients on maintenance therapy. These results suggest that hepcidin is involved in the pathophysiological pathway of renal anemia and iron availability in these patients, but challenges its function as a clinical parameter for ESA resistance.
Soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH) in endothelial cells determines the plasma concentrations of epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs), which may act as vasoactive agents to control vascular tone. We hypothesized that the regulation of sEH activity may have a therapeutic value in preventing acute kidney injury by controlling the concentration of EETs. In this study, we therefore induced ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI) in C57BL/6 mice and controlled sEH activity by intraperitoneal administration of the sEH inhibitor 12-(3-adamantan-1-ylureido)-dodecanoic acid (AUDA). The deterioration of kidney function induced by IRI was partially moderated and prevented by AUDA treatment. In addition, AUDA treatment significantly attenuated tubular necrosis induced by IRI. Ischemic injury induced the down-regulation of sEH, and AUDA administration had no effect on the expression pattern of sEH induced by IRI. In vivo sEH activity was assessed by measuring the substrate epoxyoctadecenoic acid (EpOME) and its metabolite dihydroxyoctadec-12-enoic acid (DHOME). Ischemic injury had no effects on the plasma concentrations of EpOME and DHOME, but inhibition of sEH by AUDA significantly increased plasma EpOME and the EpOME/DHOME ratio. The protective effect of the sEH inhibitor was achieved by suppression of proinflammatory cytokines and up-regulation of regulatory cytokines. AUDA treatment prevented the intrarenal infiltration of inflammatory cells, but promoted endothelial cell migration and neovascularization. The results of this study suggest that treatment with sEH inhibitors can reduce acute kidney injury.