Hepcidin is considered the master regulator of iron homoeostasis. Novel hepcidin antagonists have recently been introduced as potential treatment for iron‐restricted anaemia. Meanwhile, serum hepcidin has been shown to be positively associated with cardiovascular disease and inversely with acute kidney injury. These properties may lead to contrasting effects, especially in renal transplant recipients (RTR), which are prone to cardiovascular diseases and graft failure. To date, the role of serum hepcidin in RTR is unknown. We, therefore, prospectively determined the association of serum hepcidin with risk of graft failure, cardiovascular mortality and all‐cause mortality in RTR.
Materials and methods
Serum hepcidin was assessed in an extensively phenotyped RTR cohort by dual‐monoclonal sandwich ELISA specific immunoassay. Statistical analyses were performed using univariate linear regression followed by stepwise backward linear regression. Cox proportional hazard regression models were performed to determine prospective associations.
We included 561 RTR (age 51 ± 12 years). Mean haemoglobin (Hb) was 8·6 ± 1·0 mM. Median [IQR] serum hepcidin was 7·2 [3·2–13·4] ng/mL. Mean estimated glomerular filtration rate was 47 ± 16 mL/min/1·73 m2. In univariate Cox regression analyses, serum hepcidin was not associated with risk of graft failure, cardiovascular mortality or all‐cause mortality. Notably, after adjustment for high sensitivity C‐reactive protein and ferritin, serum hepcidin became negatively associated with all‐cause mortality (hazard ratio 0·89; 95% confidence interval 0·80–0·99, P = 0·03).
In this study, we did not find an association between serum hepcidin and outcomes, that is graft failure, cardiovascular mortality or all‐cause mortality. Based on our results, it is questionable whether serum hepcidin may be used to predict a beneficial effect of hepcidin antagonists.
Determinants; graft failure; hepcidin; mortality; renal transplantation
Large consortia have revealed hundreds of genetic loci associated with anthropometric traits, one trait at a time. We examined whether genetic variants affect body shape as a composite phenotype that is represented by a combination of anthropometric traits. We developed an approach that calculates averaged PCs (AvPCs) representing body shape derived from six anthropometric traits (body mass index, height, weight, waist and hip circumference, waist-to-hip ratio). The first four AvPCs explain >99% of the variability, are heritable, and associate with cardiometabolic outcomes. We performed genome-wide association analyses for each body shape composite phenotype across 65 studies and meta-analysed summary statistics. We identify six novel loci: LEMD2 and CD47 for AvPC1, RPS6KA5/C14orf159 and GANAB for AvPC3, and ARL15 and ANP32 for AvPC4. Our findings highlight the value of using multiple traits to define complex phenotypes for discovery, which are not captured by single-trait analyses, and may shed light onto new pathways.
Past genome-wide associate studies have identified hundreds of genetic loci that influence body size and shape when examined one trait at a time. Here, Jeff and colleagues develop an aggregate score of various body traits, and use meta-analysis to find new loci linked to body shape.
Heart failure (HF) is a major problem in the Western world, with increasing prevalence and incidence. Because HF cannot be cured, prevention of HF is of utter importance. Calcidiol, calcitriol, and parathyroid hormone (PTH) have been identified as risk factors for cardiovascular disease. However, their association with new onset HF remains to be established. We investigated whether calcidiol, calcitriol, and PTH could be used to identify those subjects at risk for new onset HF, and if they had additive predictive value over established risk predictors like N‐terminal‐pro Brain‐type natriuretic peptide and highly sensitive Troponin‐T.
Methods and results
We examined 7470 HF‐free participants in Prevention of Renal and Vascular End‐stage Disease, a community‐based cohort study in Groningen, the Netherlands (latitude 53°N, mean age: 49 years, 48% male). During follow‐up time of 12.6 years (interquartile range: 12.3–12.9), 281 participants (4%) developed HF: 181 (66%) HF with reduced and 94 (34%) HF with preserved ejection fraction (HFrEF [left ventricular ejection fraction ≤ 40%], and HFpEF [left ventricular ejection fraction ≥ 50%], respectively). Mean (±SD) of calcidiol was 58 (±24) nmol/L, mean calcitriol 145 (±48) pmol/L, and median (interquartile range) PTH was 3.7 (3.0–4.6) pmol/L. Calcidiol levels were univariately associated with new onset HF [hazard ratio (HR) 0.82 (95% CI 0.69–0.96)], but calcitriol levels were not [HR 0.85 (95% CI 0.71–1.03)]. PTH levels kept their predictive value after adjustment for age, sex, and day of blood withdrawal (HR 1.26 [95% CI 1.04–1.53]). However, in our full model this association was lost [HR 1.10 (95% CI 0.92–1.32)]. Calcidiol, calcitriol, and PTH could not differentiate between new onset HFrEF or HFpEF.
After adjustment for confounding factors, a single measurement of plasma calcidiol, calcitriol, or PTH was not associated with risk of developing HF. Screening for these markers to identify subjects at risk for new onset HF cannot be advocated.
Heart failure; Risk factor; Vitamin D; Parathyroid hormone; Population studies
Risk factors often develop at young age and are maintained over time, but it is not fully understood how risk factors develop over time preceding cardiovascular disease (CVD). Our objective was to examine how levels and trajectories of metabolic risk factors and biochemical markers prior to diagnosis differ between people with and without CVD over a period of up to 15–20 years. A total of 449 incident non-fatal and fatal CVD cases and 1,347 age- and sex-matched controls were identified in a prospective cohort between 1993 and 2011. Metabolic risk factors and biochemical markers were measured at five-year intervals prior to diagnosis. Trajectories of metabolic risk factors and biochemical markers were analysed using random coefficient analyses. Although not always statistically significant, participants with CVD had slightly more unfavourable levels for most metabolic risk factors and biochemical markers 15–20 years before diagnosis than controls. Subsequent trajectories until diagnosis were similar in participants with incident CVD and controls for body mass index, diastolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, random glucose, triglycerides, gamma glutamyltransferase, C-reactive protein and uric acid. Trajectories were more unfavourable in participants with CVD than controls for systolic blood pressure, waist circumference and estimated glomerular filtration rate (p≤0.05). For example, among participants with CVD, systolic blood pressure increased on average by 9 mmHg over the 18-year period preceding diagnosis, whereas the increase among controls was 4 mmHg. In conclusion, unfavourable levels of metabolic risk factors and biochemical markers are present long before CVD, which indicates that the risk of CVD is already partly determined in young adulthood. This underscores the need for early prevention to reduce the burden of CVD.
Increased protein intake versus maltodextrin intake for 4 weeks lowers blood pressure. Concerns exist that high‐protein diets reduce renal function. Effects of acute and 4‐week protein intake versus maltodextrin intake on renal acid load, glomerular filtration rate and related parameters were compared in this study. Seventy‐nine overweight individuals with untreated elevated blood pressure and normal kidney function were randomized to consume a mix of protein isolates (60 g/day) or maltodextrin (60 g/day) for 4 weeks in energy balance. Twenty‐four‐hour urinary potential renal acid load (uPRAL) was compared between groups. A subgroup (maltodextrin N = 27, protein mix N = 25) participated in extra test days investigating fasting levels and postprandial effects of meals supplemented with a moderate protein‐ or maltodextrin‐load on glomerular filtration rate, effective renal plasma flow, plasma renin, aldosterone, pH, and bicarbonate. uPRAL was significantly higher in the protein group after 4 weeks (P ≤ 0.001). Postprandial filtration fraction decreased further after the protein‐supplemented breakfast than after the maltodextrin‐supplemented breakfast after 4 weeks of supplementation (P ≤ 0.001). Fasting and postprandial levels of glomerular filtration rate, effective renal plasma flow, renin, aldosterone, angiotensin‐converting enzyme, pH and bicarbonate did not differ between groups. In conclusion, 4 weeks on an increased protein diet (25% of energy intake) increased renal acid load, but did not affect renal function. Postprandial changes, except for filtration fraction, also did not differ between groups. These data suggest that a moderate increase in protein intake by consumption of a protein mix for 4 weeks causes no (undesirable) effects on kidney function in overweight and obese individuals with normal kidney function.
Acid load; carbohydrate; glomerular filtration rate; kidney; protein
Physical activity (PA) and exercise are commonly used as preventive measures for cardiovascular disease in the general population, and could be effective in the management of post-transplantation cardiovascular risk. PA levels are low after renal transplantation and very few renal transplant recipients (RTR) meet the PA guidelines. Identification of barriers to regular PA is important to identify targets for intervention to improve PA levels after renal transplantation. We investigated fear of movement and physical self-efficacy as barriers to PA in RTR.
RTR were investigated between 2001–2003. The Tampa Score of Kinesiophobia–Dutch Version (TSK-11) was used to assess fear of movement. Physical self-efficacy was measured with the LIVAS-scale. PA was assessed using validated questionnaires (Tecumseh Occupational Activity Questionnaire and the Minnesota Leisure Time Physical Activity Questionnaire).
A total of 487 RTR (age 51±12 years, 55% men) were studied. Median score [interquartile range] on TSK-11 was 22 [17–26]. Low physical self-efficacy (Exp B:0.41[0.31–0.54], p<0.001) and history of myocardial infarction, transient ischemic attack and cerebrovascular accident (Exp B:1.30[1.03–1.63],p = 0.03) were independent determinants for fear of movement. Fear of movement was associated with lower daily PA, occupational, sports and leisure time PA. Mediation-analysis showed that a large part (73%) of the effect of fear of movement on PA was explained by low physical self-efficacy.
This study was the first to examine fear of movement and self-efficacy in relation to PA in RTR. Fear of movement was associated with a low PA level, and the larger part of this relation was mediated by low physical self-efficacy. Both fear of movement and physical self-efficacy level are important targets for intervention during rehabilitation after renal transplantation.
The renin-angiotensin-aldosterone-system (RAAS) is critical for regulation of blood pressure and fluid balance and influences cardiovascular remodeling. Dysregulation of the RAAS contributes to cardiovascular and renal morbidity. The genetic architecture of circulating RAAS components is incompletely understood.
Methods and Results
We meta-analyzed genome-wide association data for plasma renin activity (n=5,275), plasma renin concentrations (n=8,014) and circulating aldosterone (n=13,289) from up to four population-based cohorts of European and European-American ancestry, and assessed replication of the top results in an independent sample (n=6,487).
Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in two independent loci displayed associations with plasma renin activity atgenome-wide significance (p<5×10-8). A third locus was close to this threshold (rs4253311 in kallikrein B [KLKB1], p=5.5×10-8). Two of these loci replicated in an independent sample for both plasma renin and aldosterone concentrations (SNP rs5030062 in kininogen 1 [KNG1]: p=0.001 for plasma renin, p=0.024 for plasma aldosterone concentration; rs4253311 with p<0.001 for both plasma renin and aldosterone concentration). SNPs in the NEBL gene reached genome-wide significance for plasma renin concentration in the discovery sample (top SNP rs3915911, p= 8.81×10-9), but did not replicate (p=0.81). No locus reached genome-wide significance for aldosterone. SNPs rs5030062 and rs4253311 were not related to blood pressure or renal traits; in a companion study, variants in the kallikrein B locus were associated with B-type natriuretic peptide concentrations in African-Americans.
We identified two genetic loci (kininogen 1 and kallikrein B) influencing key components of the RAAS, consistent with the close interrelation between the kallikrein-kinin system and the RAAS.
renin angiotensin system; aldosterone; Genome Wide Association Study
To increase our understanding of the genetic basis of adiposity and its links to
cardiometabolic disease risk, we conducted a genome-wide association meta-analysis
of body fat percentage (BF%) in up to 100,716 individuals. Twelve loci
reached genome-wide significance (P<5 ×
10−8), of which eight were previously associated with
increased overall adiposity (BMI, BF%) and four (in or near
COBLL1/GRB14, IGF2BP1, PLA2G6, CRTC1) were novel
associations with BF%. Seven loci showed a larger effect on
BF% than on BMI, suggestive of a primary association with adiposity,
while five loci showed larger effects on BMI than on BF%, suggesting
association with both fat and lean mass. In particular, the loci more strongly
associated with BF% showed distinct cross-phenotype association
signatures with a range of cardiometabolic traits revealing new insights in the link
between adiposity and disease risk.
A genome-wide association meta-analysis study here shows novel genetic
loci to be associated to body fat percentage, and describes cross-phenotype association
that further demonstrate a close relationship between adiposity and cardiovascular
Homozygosity has long been associated with rare, often devastating, Mendelian disorders1 and Darwin was one of the first to recognise that inbreeding reduces evolutionary fitness2. However, the effect of the more distant parental relatedness common in modern human populations is less well understood. Genomic data now allow us to investigate the effects of homozygosity on traits of public health importance by observing contiguous homozygous segments (runs of homozygosity, ROH), which are inferred to be homozygous along their complete length. Given the low levels of genome-wide homozygosity prevalent in most human populations, information is required on very large numbers of people to provide sufficient power3,4. Here we use ROH to study 16 health-related quantitative traits in 354,224 individuals from 102 cohorts and find statistically significant associations between summed runs of homozygosity (SROH) and four complex traits: height, forced expiratory lung volume in 1 second (FEV1), general cognitive ability (g) and educational attainment (nominal p<1 × 10−300, 2.1 × 10−6, 2.5 × 10−10, 1.8 × 10−10). In each case increased homozygosity was associated with decreased trait value, equivalent to the offspring of first cousins being 1.2 cm shorter and having 10 months less education. Similar effect sizes were found across four continental groups and populations with different degrees of genome-wide homozygosity, providing convincing evidence for the first time that homozygosity, rather than confounding, directly contributes to phenotypic variance. Contrary to earlier reports in substantially smaller samples5,6, no evidence was seen of an influence of genome-wide homozygosity on blood pressure and low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, or ten other cardio-metabolic traits. Since directional dominance is predicted for traits under directional evolutionary selection7, this study provides evidence that increased stature and cognitive function have been positively selected in human evolution, whereas many important risk factors for late-onset complex diseases may not have been.
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a risk factor for rejection and mortality soon after renal transplantation. Little is known about its consequences longer after transplantation. We prospectively investigated whether latent CMV infection is a risk factor for graft failure and mortality long after transplantation.
Our study included 606 renal transplant recipients (RTR) with a functioning graft for >1 year. CMV serology was determined using ELISA. RTRs were divided into CMV-seronegative and latent CMV (seropositive + seroconverted).
We measured CMV IgG at 6.0 [2.6–11.4] years post-transplant. During follow-up (7.0 [6.2–7.5] years), 54 (9%) RTRs experienced graft failure and 137 (23%) RTRs died. Risk for graft failure and mortality was significantly higher in RTRs with latent CMV compared to CMV-seronegative RTRs (HR=3.1, P=0.005 and HR=2.0, P=0.002, respectively). After adjustment for potential confounders, latent CMV infection remained an independent risk factor for graft failure (HR=4.6, P=0.001), but not for mortality (HR=1.4, P=0.2).
Latent CMV is an independent risk factor for graft failure long after renal transplantation and carries a higher risk for graft failure than for mortality. These findings confirm the notion that latent CMV can be harmful in transplanted kidneys.
cytomegalovirus; chronic transplant dysfunction; recipient survival; renal transplantation
Iron has been suggested to affect the clinical course of type 2 diabetes (T2DM) as accompanying increased intracellular iron accumulation may provide an alternative source for reactive oxygen species (ROS). Although carnosine has proven its therapeutic efficacy in rodent models of T2DM, little is known about its efficacy to protect cells from iron toxicity. We sought to assess if high glucose (HG) exposure makes cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and renal proximal tubular epithelial cells (PTECs) more susceptible to metal induced toxicity and if this is ameliorated by L-carnosine. HUVECs and PTECs, cultured under normal glucose (5 mM, NG) or HG (30 mM), were challenged for 24 h with FeCl3. Cell viability was not impaired under HG conditions nor did HG increase susceptibility to FeCl3. HG did not change the expression of divalent metal transporter 1 (DMT1), ferroportin (IREG), and transferrin receptor protein 1 (TFRC). Irrespective of glucose concentrations L-carnosine prevented toxicity in a dose-dependent manner, only if it was present during the FeCl3 challenge. Hence our study indicates that iron induced cytotoxicity is not enhanced under HG conditions. L-Carnosine displayed a strong protective effect, most likely by chelation of iron mediated toxicity.
Genome wide association studies (GWAS) have identified multiple loci associated with cross-sectional eGFR, but a systematic genetic analysis of kidney function decline over time is missing. Here we conducted a GWAS meta-analysis among 63,558 participants of European descent, initially from 16 cohorts with serial kidney function measurements within the CKDGen Consortium, followed by independent replication among additional participants from 13 cohorts. In stage 1 GWAS meta-analysis, SNPs at MEOX2, GALNT11, IL1RAP, NPPA, HPCAL1 and CDH23 showed the strongest associations for at least one trait, in addition to the known UMOD locus which showed genome-wide significance with an annual change in eGFR. In stage 2 meta-analysis, the significant association at UMOD was replicated. Associations at GALNT11 with Rapid Decline (annual eGFRdecline of 3ml/min/1.73m2 or more), and CDH23 with eGFR change among those with CKD showed significant suggestive evidence of replication. Combined stage 1 and 2 meta-analyses showed significance for UMOD, GALNT11 and CDH23. Morpholino knockdowns of galnt11 and cdh23 in zebrafish embryos each had signs of severe edema 72 hours after gentamicin treatment compared to controls, but no gross morphological renal abnormalities before gentamicin administration. Thus, our results suggest a role in the deterioration of kidney function for the loci GALNT11 and CDH23, and show that the UMOD locus is significantly associated with kidney function decline.
chronic kidney disease; kidney development
There is debate as to whether physical inactivity is associated with reduced kidney function. We studied the prospective association of (changes in) physical activity with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) in adult men and women. We included 3,935 participants aged 26 to 65 years from the Doetinchem Cohort study, examined every 5 years for 15 years. Physical activity was assessed at each round using the Cambridge Physical Activity Index. Using the CKD-EPI (Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration) equation, GFR was estimated from routinely measured cystatin C concentrations, examining all available samples per participant in one assay run. We determined the association between 1) physical activity and eGFR and 2) 5-year changes in physical activity (becoming inactive, staying inactive, staying active, becoming active) and eGFR, using time-lagged generalized estimating equation analyses. At baseline, 3.6% of the participants were inactive, 18.5% moderately inactive, 26.0% moderately active, and 51.9% active. The mean (± SD) eGFR was 107.9 (± 14.5) mL/min per 1.73 m2. Neither physical activity nor 5-year changes in physical activity were associated with eGFR at the subsequent round. The multivariate adjusted βeGFR was 0.57 mL/min per 1.73 m2 (95% Confidence Interval (CI) -1.70, 0.56) for inactive compared to active participants. Studying changes in physical activity between rounds, the adjusted βeGFR was -1.10 mL/min per 1.73 m2 (95% CI -4.50, 2.30) for those who stayed inactive compared with participants who became active. Physical activity was not associated with eGFR in this population-based study of adults.
Toll-like receptors (TLRs) play a crucial role in innate- and adaptive immunity. The TLR pathways were shown to play key functional roles in experimental acute and chronic kidney injury, including the allo-immune response after experimental renal transplantation. Data about the precise impact of TLRs and their negative regulators on human renal transplant outcomes however are limited and contradictory. We studied twelve non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of which eleven in TLR1-8 and one in SIGIRR in a final cohort comprising 1116 matching donors and recipients. TLR3 p.Leu412Phe and SIGIRR p.Gln312Arg significantly deviated from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium and were excluded. The frequency distribution of the minor alleles of the remaining 10 TLR variants were compared between patients with end-stage renal disease (recipients) and controls (kidney donors) in a case-control study. Secondly, the associations between the minor allele frequency of the TLR variants and delayed graft function, biopsy-proven acute rejection and death-censored graft failure after transplantation were investigated with Cox regression. Carrier frequencies of the minor alleles of TLR1 p.His305Leu (OR = 4.79, 95% CI = 2.35–9.75, P = 0.0002), TLR1 p.Asn248Ser (OR = 1.26, 95% CI = 1.07–1.47, P = 0.04) and TLR8 p.Met1Val (OR = 1.37, 95% CI = 1.14–1.64, P = 0.008) were significantly higher in patients with ESRD, with little specificity for the underlying renal disease entity (adjusted for age, gender and donor-recipient relatedness). The minor allele frequency of none of the TLR variants significantly associated with the surrogate and definite outcomes, even when multivariable models were created that could account for TLR gene redundancy. In conclusion, genetic variants in TLR genes were associated with the prevalence of ESRD but not renal transplant outcomes. Therefore, our data suggests that specific TLR signaling routes might play a role in the final common pathway of primary renal injury. A role for TLR signaling in the context of renal transplantation is probably limited.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified more than 100 genetic variants contributing to BMI, a measure of body size, or waist-to-hip ratio (adjusted for BMI, WHRadjBMI), a measure of body shape. Body size and shape change as people grow older and these changes differ substantially between men and women. To systematically screen for age- and/or sex-specific effects of genetic variants on BMI and WHRadjBMI, we performed meta-analyses of 114 studies (up to 320,485 individuals of European descent) with genome-wide chip and/or Metabochip data by the Genetic Investigation of Anthropometric Traits (GIANT) Consortium. Each study tested the association of up to ~2.8M SNPs with BMI and WHRadjBMI in four strata (men ≤50y, men >50y, women ≤50y, women >50y) and summary statistics were combined in stratum-specific meta-analyses. We then screened for variants that showed age-specific effects (G x AGE), sex-specific effects (G x SEX) or age-specific effects that differed between men and women (G x AGE x SEX). For BMI, we identified 15 loci (11 previously established for main effects, four novel) that showed significant (FDR<5%) age-specific effects, of which 11 had larger effects in younger (<50y) than in older adults (≥50y). No sex-dependent effects were identified for BMI. For WHRadjBMI, we identified 44 loci (27 previously established for main effects, 17 novel) with sex-specific effects, of which 28 showed larger effects in women than in men, five showed larger effects in men than in women, and 11 showed opposite effects between sexes. No age-dependent effects were identified for WHRadjBMI. This is the first genome-wide interaction meta-analysis to report convincing evidence of age-dependent genetic effects on BMI. In addition, we confirm the sex-specificity of genetic effects on WHRadjBMI. These results may provide further insights into the biology that underlies weight change with age or the sexually dimorphism of body shape.
Adult body size and body shape differ substantially between men and women and change over time. More than 100 genetic variants that influence body mass index (measure of body size) or waist-to-hip ratio (measure of body shape) have been identified. While there is evidence that some genetic loci affect body shape differently in men than in women, little is known about whether genetic effects differ in older compared to younger adults, and whether such changes differ between men and women. Therefore, we conducted a systematic genome-wide search, including 114 studies (>320,000 individuals), to specifically identify genetic loci with age- and or sex-dependent effects on body size and shape. We identified 15 loci of which the effect on BMI was different in older compared to younger adults, whereas we found no evidence for loci with different effects in men compared to women. The opposite was seen for body shape as we identified 44 loci of which the effect on waist-to-hip ratio differed between men and women, but no difference between younger and older adults were observed. Our observations may provide new insights into the biology that underlies weight change with age or the sexual dimorphism of body shape.
GlycA is a novel nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy-measured biomarker of systemic inflammation. We determined whether GlycA is associated with incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) in men and women, examined whether this association with CVD is modified by renal function, and compared this association with high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP).
Research design and methods
A prospective cohort study was performed among 4,759 subjects (PREVEND study) without a history of CVD and cancer. Incident CVD was defined as the combined endpoint of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Cox regression analyses were used to examine associations of baseline GlycA and hsCRP with CVD.
298 first CVD events occurred during a median follow-up of 8.5 years. After adjustment for clinical and lipid measures the hazard ratio (HR) for CVD risk in the highest GlycA quartile was 1.58 (95% CI, 1.05–2.37, P for trend = 0.004). This association was similar after further adjustment for renal function (estimated glomerular filtration rate and urinary albumin excretion). After additional adjustment for hsCRP, GlycA was still associated with incident CVD (HR: 1.16 per SD change (95% CI, 1.01–1.33), P = 0.04). Similar results were obtained for hsCRP (HR per SD change after adjustment for GlycA: 1.17 (95% CI 1.17 (95% CI, 1.01–3.60), P = 0.04). CVD risk was highest in subjects with simultaneously higher GlycA and hsCRP (fully adjusted HR: 1.79 (95% CI, 1.31–2.46), P<0.001).
GlycA is associated with CVD risk in men and women, independent of renal function. The association of GlycA with incident CVD is as strong as that of hsCRP.
Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is one of the major late complications of diabetes. Treatment aimed at slowing down the progression of DN is available but methods for early and definitive detection of DN progression are currently lacking. The ‘Proteomic prediction and Renin angiotensin aldosterone system Inhibition prevention Of early diabetic nephRopathy In TYpe 2 diabetic patients with normoalbuminuria trial’ (PRIORITY) aims to evaluate the early detection of DN in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) using a urinary proteome-based classifier (CKD273).
In this ancillary study of the recently initiated PRIORITY trial we aimed to validate for the first time the CKD273 classifier in a multicentre (9 different institutions providing samples from 165 T2D patients) prospective setting. In addition we also investigated the influence of sample containers, age and gender on the CKD273 classifier.
We observed a high consistency of the CKD273 classification scores across the different centres with areas under the curves ranging from 0.95 to 1.00. The classifier was independent of age (range tested 16–89 years) and gender. Furthermore, the use of different urine storage containers did not affect the classification scores. Analysis of the distribution of the individual peptides of the classifier over the nine different centres showed that fragments of blood-derived and extracellular matrix proteins were the most consistently found.
We provide for the first time validation of this urinary proteome-based classifier in a multicentre prospective setting and show the suitability of the CKD273 classifier to be used in the PRIORITY trial.
biomarkers; chronic kidney disease; diabetic nephropathy; diagnosis; urine proteomics
Two previous studies concluded that proenkephalin A (PENK-A) had predictive capabilities for stroke severity, recurrent myocardial infarction, heart failure and mortality in patients with stroke and myocardial infarction.
This study aimed to investigate the value of PENK-A as a biomarker for predicting mortality in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus were included from the prospective observational ZODIAC (Zwolle Outpatient Diabetes project Integrating Available Care) study. The present analysis incorporated two ZODIAC cohorts (1998 and 2001). Since blood was drawn for 1204 out of 1688 patients (71%), and information on relevant confounders was missing in 47 patients, the final sample comprised 1157 patients. Cox proportional hazard models were used for evaluating the relationship between PENK-A and (cardiovascular) mortality. Risk prediction capabilities were assessed with Harrell’s C statistics and the integrated discrimination improvement (IDI).
After a follow-up period of 14 years, 525 (45%) out of 1157 patients had died, of which 224 (43%) were attributable to cardiovascular factors. Higher Log PENK-A levels were not independently associated with increased (cardiovascular) mortality. Patients with PENK-A values in the highest tertile had a 49% (95%CI 1%-121%) higher risk of cardiovascular mortality compared to patients in the reference category (lowest tertile). C-values were not different after removing PENK-A from the Cox models and there were no significant differences in IDI values.
The associations between PENK-A and mortality were strongly attenuated after accounting for all traditional risk factors. Furthermore, PENK-A did not seem to have additional value beyond conventional risk factors when predicting all-cause and cardiovascular mortality.
Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) has been suggested to be associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, however, important aspects of the association, such as shape and independence from established risk factors, have yet to be characterized in detail. We assessed the association of ALP with CVD risk and determined its utility for CVD risk prediction.
Alkaline phosphatase activity was measured at baseline in the PREVEND prospective cohort involving 6,974 participants aged 28-75 years without pre-existing CVD. Hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals [CI]) and measures of risk discrimination and reclassification were assessed.
During a median follow-up of 10.5 years, 737 participants developed CVD. Serum ALP was correlated with several risk markers for CVD, with strongest correlations for age (r = 0.30; P < 0.001), gamma-glutamyltransferase (r = 0.26; P < 0.001), and C-reactive protein (CRP) (r = 0.25; P < 0.001). There was a non-linear “J-shaped” relationship between ALP and CVD risk. In analyses adjusted for conventional risk factors, the hazard ratio (95% CI) for CVD in a comparison of the top quintile versus bottom quintiles 1-4 of ALP values was 1.34 (1.14 to 1.56; P<0.001), which persisted after additional adjustment for potential confounders 1.33 (1.13 to 1.55; P<0.001). However, the association was somewhat attenuated after adjustment for CRP 1.24 (1.05 to 1.45; P=0.009). Addition of information on ALP to a CVD risk prediction model containing established risk factors did not improve the C-index or net reclassification.
Available evidence suggests a non-linear association between ALP activity and CVD risk, which is partly dependent on CRP. Taking account of conventional risk factors, additional information on ALP does not improve CVD risk assessment.
Asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) is a key endogenous inhibitor of endothelial NO synthase that affects endothelial function, blood pressure and vascular remodeling. Increased plasma levels of ADMA are associated with worse outcome from cardiovascular disease. Due to endothelial dysfunction before and after kidney transplantation, renal transplant recipients (RTR) are at high risk for the alleged deleterious effects of ADMA. We investigated the associations of ADMA levels with all-cause mortality and graft failure in RTR. Plasma ADMA levels were determined in 686 stable outpatient RTR (57 % male, 53 ± 13 years), with a functioning graft for ≥1 year. Determinants of ADMA were evaluated with multivariate linear regression models. Associations between ADMA and mortality were assessed using multivariable Cox regression analyses. The strongest associations with plasma ADMA in the multivariable analyses were male gender, donor age, parathyroid hormone, NT-pro-BNP and use of calcium supplements. During a median follow-up of 3.1 [2.7–3.9] years, 79 (12 %) patients died and 45 (7 %) patients developed graft failure. ADMA was associated with increased all-cause mortality [HR 1.52 (95 % CI 1.26–1.83] per SD increase, P < 0.001], whereby associations remained upon adjustment for confounders. ADMA was associated with graft failure [HR 1.41 (1.08–1.83) per SD increase, P = 0.01]; however, upon addition of eGFR significance was lost. High levels of plasma ADMA are associated with increased mortality in RTR. Our findings connect disturbed NO metabolism with patient survival after kidney transplantation.
Asymmetric dimethylarginine; Kidney; Survival; Transplantation
Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF; CCN2) plays a role in the development of diabetic nephropathy (DN). Urinary CTGF (uCTGF) is elevated in DN patients and has been proposed as a biomarker for disease progression, but it is unknown which pathophysiological factors contribute to elevated uCTGF. We studied renal handling of CTGF by infusion of recombinant CTGF in diabetic mice. In addition, uCTGF was measured in type 1 DN patients and compared with glomerular and tubular dysfunction and damage markers. In diabetic mice, uCTGF was increased and fractional excretion (FE) of recombinant CTGF was substantially elevated indicating reduced tubular reabsorption. FE of recombinant CTGF correlated with excretion of endogenous CTGF. CTGF mRNA was mainly localized in glomeruli and medullary tubules. Comparison of FE of endogenous and recombinant CTGF indicated that 60% of uCTGF had a direct renal source, while 40% originated from plasma CTGF. In DN patients, uCTGF was independently associated with markers of proximal and distal tubular dysfunction and damage. In conclusion, uCTGF in DN is elevated as a result of both increased local production and reduced reabsorption due to tubular dysfunction. We submit that uCTGF is a biomarker reflecting both glomerular and tubulointerstitial hallmarks of diabetic kidney disease.
Plasma levels of copeptin, a surrogate marker for the vasoconstrictor hormone arginine vasopressin (AVP), are increased in hemodialysis patients. Presently, it is unknown what drives copeptin levels in hemodialysis patients. We investigated whether the established physiological stimuli for copeptin release, i.e. plasma osmolality, blood volume and mean arterial pressure (MAP), are operational in hemodialysis patients.
One hundred and eight prevalent, stable hemodialysis patients on a thrice-weekly dialysis schedule were studied during hemodialysis with constant ultrafiltration rate and dialysate conductivity in this observational study. Plasma levels of copeptin, sodium, MAP, and blood volume were measured before, during and after hemodialysis. Multivariate analysis was used to determine the association between copeptin (dependent variable) and the physiological stimuli plasma sodium, MAP, excess weight as well as NT-pro-BNP immediately prior to dialysis and between copeptin and changes of plasma sodium, MAP and blood volume with correction for age, sex and diabetes during dialysis treatment.
Patients were 63±15.6 years old and 65% were male. Median dialysis vintage was 1.6 years (IQR 0.7–4.0). Twenty-three percent of the patients had diabetes and 82% had hypertension. Median predialysis copeptin levels were 141.5 pmol/L (IQR 91.0–244.8 pmol/L). Neither predialysis plasma sodium levels, nor NT-proBNP levels, nor MAP were associated with predialysis copeptin levels. During hemodialysis, copeptin levels rose significantly (p<0.01) to 163.0 pmol/L (96.0–296.0 pmol/L). Decreases in blood volume and MAP were associated with increases in copeptin levels during dialysis, whereas there was no significant association between the change in plasma sodium levels and the change in copeptin levels.
Plasma copeptin levels are elevated predialysis and increase further during hemodialysis. Volume stimuli, i.e. decreases in MAP and blood volume, rather than osmotic stimuli, are associated with change in copeptin levels during hemodialysis.
We aimed to identify a novel panel of biomarkers predicting renal function decline in type 2 diabetes, using biomarkers representing different disease pathways speculated to contribute to the progression of diabetic nephropathy.
Research Design and Methods
A systematic data integration approach was used to select biomarkers representing different disease pathways. Twenty-eight biomarkers were measured in 82 patients seen at an outpatient diabetes center in The Netherlands. Median follow-up was 4.0 years. We compared the cross-validated explained variation (R2) of two models to predict eGFR decline, one including only established risk markers, the other adding a novel panel of biomarkers. Least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) was used for model estimation. The C-index was calculated to assess improvement in prediction of accelerated eGFR decline defined as <-3.0 mL/min/1.73m2/year.
Patients’ average age was 63.5 years and baseline eGFR was 77.9 mL/min/1.73m2. The average rate of eGFR decline was -2.0 ± 4.7 mL/min/1.73m2/year. When modeled on top of established risk markers, the biomarker panel including matrix metallopeptidases, tyrosine kinase, podocin, CTGF, TNF-receptor-1, sclerostin, CCL2, YKL-40, and NT-proCNP improved the explained variability of eGFR decline (R2 increase from 37.7% to 54.6%; p=0.018) and improved prediction of accelerated eGFR decline (C-index increase from 0.835 to 0.896; p=0.008).
A novel panel of biomarkers representing different pathways of renal disease progression including inflammation, fibrosis, angiogenesis, and endothelial function improved prediction of eGFR decline on top of established risk markers in type 2 diabetes. These results need to be confirmed in a large prospective cohort.