There is ongoing debate on the association between eosinophil count and diseases, as previous studies were inconsistent. We studied the relationship of eosinophil count with 22 complex metabolic, cardiac, and pulmonary traits and diseases. From the population-based LifeLines Cohort Study (N = 167,729), 13,301 individuals were included. We focused on relationship of eosinophil count with three classes of metabolic (7 traits, 2 diseases), cardiac (6 traits, 2 diseases), and pulmonary (2 traits, 2 diseases) outcomes. Regression analyses were applied in overall, women and men, while adjusted for age, sex, BMI and smoking. A p-value of <0.00076 was considered statistically significant. 58.2% of population were women (mean±SD 51.3±11.1 years old). In overall, one-SD higher of ln-eosinophil count was associated with a 0.04 (±SE ±0.002;p = 6.0×10−6) SD higher levels in ln-BMI, 0.06 (±0.007;p = 3.1×10−12) SD in ln-TG, 0.04 (±0.003;p = 7.0×10−6) SD in TC, 0.04 (±0.004;p = 6.3×10−7) SD in LDL, 0.04 (±0.006;p = 6.0×10−6) SD in HbA1c; and with a 0.05 (±0.004;p = 1.7×10−8) SD lower levels in HDL, 0.05 (±0.007;p = 3.4×10−23) SD in FEV1, and 0.09 (±0.001;p = 6.6×10−28) SD in FEV1/FVC. A higher ln-eosinophil count was associated with 1.18 (95%CI 1.09–1.28;p = 2.0×10−5) odds ratio of obesity, 1.29 (1.19–1.39;p = 1.1×10−10) of metabolic syndrome, 1.40 (1.25–1.56;p = 2.7×10−9) of COPD and 1.81 (1.61–2.03;p = 1.0×10−23) of asthma. Similar results were found in women. We found no association between ln-eosinophil count either with blood pressure indices in overall, women and men; or with BMI, LDL, HbA1c and obesity in men. In a large population based cohort, we confirmed eosinophil count as a potential factor implicated in metabolic and pulmonary outcomes.
Fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF-23) rises progressively in chronic kidney disease and is associated with adverse cardiovascular outcomes. FGF-23 putatively induces volume retention by upregulating the sodium-chloride cotransporter (NCC). We studied whether, conversely, interventions in volume status affect FGF-23 concentrations.
We performed a post hoc analysis of 1) a prospective saline infusion study with 12 patients with arterial hypertension who received 2 L of isotonic saline over 4 hours, and 2) a randomized controlled trial with 45 diabetic nephropathy (DN) patients on background angiotensin-converting enzyme -inhibition (ACEi), who underwent 4 6-week treatment periods with add-on hydrochlorothiazide (HCT) or placebo, combined with regular sodium (RS) or low sodium (LS) diet in a cross-over design. Plasma C-terminal FGF-23 was measured by ELISA (Immutopics) after each treatment period in DN and before and after saline infusion in hypertensives.
The patients with arterial hypertension were 45 ± 13 (mean ± SD) years old with an estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) of 101 ± 18 mL/min/1.73 m2. Isotonic saline infusion did not affect FGF-23 (before infusion: 68 median [first to third quartile: 58–97] relative unit (RU)/mL, after infusion: 67 [57–77] RU/mL, P = 0.37). DN patients were 65 ± 9 years old. During ACEi + RS treatment, eGFR was 65 ± 25 mL/min/1.73 m2 and albuminuria 649 mg/d (230–2008 mg/d). FGF23 level was 94 (73–141) RU/mL during ACEi therapy. FGF-23 did not change significantly by add-on HCT (99 [74–148] RU/mL), LS diet (99 [75–135] RU/mL), or their combination (111 [81–160] RU/mL, P = 0.15).
Acute and chronic changes in volume status did not materially change FGF-23 in hypertensive patients and DN, respectively. Our data do not support a direct feedback loop between volume status and FGF-23 in hypertension or DN.
CKD; fibroblast growth factor 23; hypertension; sodium; volume
NLRP3 (NOD-like receptor family, pyrin domain containing 3) is a member of the inflammasome family and is of special interest in renal disease. Experimental studies have shown that Nlrp3 plays a significant role in the induction of renal damage and dysfunction in acute and chronic renal injury. However, the role of NLRP3 in human renal disease is completely unknown. From a retrospective cohort study, we determined in 1271 matching donor and recipient samples if several NLRP3 single nucelotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were associated with primary non-function (PNF), delayed graft function (DGF), biopsy-proven acute rejection (BPAR) and death-censored graft and patient survival. NLRP3 gain-of-function SNP (rs35829419) in donors was associated with an increased risk of BPAR while NLRP3 loss-of-function SNP (rs6672995) in the recipient was associated with a decreased risk of BPAR in the first year following renal transplantation (HR 1.91, 95% CI 1.38–2.64, P < 0.001 and HR 0.73, 95% CI 0.55–0.97, P = 0.03 resp.). NLRP3 SNPs in both donor and recipient were not associated with PNF, DGF, graft survival or patient survival. We conclude that genetic variants in the NLRP3 gene affect the risk of acute rejection following kidney transplantation.
Reduced glomerular filtration rate defines chronic kidney disease and is associated with cardiovascular and all-cause mortality. We conducted a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies for estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), combining data across 133,413 individuals with replication in up to 42,166 individuals. We identify 24 new and confirm 29 previously identified loci. Of these 53 loci, nineteen associate with eGFR among individuals with diabetes. Using bioinformatics, we show that identified genes at eGFR loci are enriched for expression in kidney tissues and in pathways relevant for kidney development and transmembrane transporter activity, kidney structure, and regulation of glucose metabolism. Chromatin state mapping and DNase I hypersensitivity analyses across adult tissues demonstrate preferential mapping of associated variants to regulatory regions in kidney but not extra-renal tissues. These findings suggest that genetic determinants of eGFR are mediated largely through direct effects within the kidney and highlight important cell types and biologic pathways.
Diabetes mellitus affects 9% of the European population and accounts for 15% of healthcare expenditure, in particular, due to excess costs related to complications. Clinical trials aiming for earlier prevention of diabetic nephropathy by renin angiotensin system blocking treatment in normoalbumuric patients have given mixed results. This might reflect that the large fraction of normoalbuminuric patients are not at risk of progression, thereby reducing power in previous studies. A specific risk classifier based on urinary proteomics (chronic kidney disease (CKD)273) has been shown to identify normoalbuminuric diabetic patients who later progressed to overt kidney disease, and may hold the potential for selection of high-risk patients for early intervention. Combining the ability of CKD273 to identify patients at highest risk of progression with prescription of preventive aldosterone blockade only to this high-risk population will increase power. We aim to confirm performance of CKD273 in a prospective multicentre clinical trial and test the ability of spironolactone to delay progression of early diabetic nephropathy.
Methods and analysis
Investigator-initiated, prospective multicentre clinical trial, with randomised double-masked placebo-controlled intervention and a prospective observational study. We aim to include 3280 type 2 diabetic participants with normoalbuminuria. The CKD273 classifier will be assessed in all participants. Participants with high-risk pattern are randomised to treatment with spironolactone 25 mg once daily, or placebo, whereas, those with low-risk pattern will be observed without intervention other than standard of care. Treatment or observational period is 3 years.
The primary endpoint is development of confirmed microalbuminuria in 2 of 3 first morning voids urine samples.
Ethics and dissemination
The study will be conducted under International Conference on Harmonisation – Good clinical practice (ICH-GCP) requirements, ethical principles of Declaration of Helsinki and national laws. This first new biomarker-directed intervention trial aiming at primary prevention of diabetic nephropathy may pave the way for personalised medicine approaches in treatment of diabetes complications.
Trial registration number
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
Background and Aims
The proportion of serum carnosinase (CN-1) recognized by RYSK173 monoclonal antibody negatively correlates with CN-1 activity. We thus hypothesized that the epitope recognized by RYSK173 is accessible only in a catalytically incompetent conformation of the zinc dependent enzyme and we mapped its position in the CN-1 structure. Since patients with kidney failure are often deficient in zinc and other trace elements we also assessed the RYSK173 CN-1 proportion in serum of these patients and studied the influence of hemodialysis hereon in relation to Zn2+ and Cu2+ concentration during hemodialysis.
Methods and Results
Epitope mapping using myc-tagged CN-1 fragments and overlapping peptides revealed that the RYSK173 epitope directly contributes to the formation of the dinuclear Zn center in the catalytic domain of homodimeric CN-1. Binding of RYSK173 to CN-1 was however not influenced by addition of Zn2+ or Cu2+ to serum. In serum of healthy controls the proportion of CN-1 recognized by RYSK173 was significantly lower compared to end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients (1.12 ± 0.17 vs. 1.56 ± 0.40% of total CN-1; p<0.001). During hemodialysis the relative proportion of RYSK173 CN-1 decreased in parallel with increased serum Zn2+ and Cu2+ concentrations after dialysis.
Our study clearly indicates that RYSK173 recognizes a sequence within the transition metal binding site of CN-1, thus supporting our hypothesis that metal binding to CN-1 masks the epitope. The CN-1 RYSK173 proportion appears overall increased in ESRD patients, yet it decreases during hemodialysis possibly as a consequence of a relative increase in transition metal bound enzyme.
Reduced glomerular filtration rate defines chronic kidney disease and is associated with cardiovascular and all-cause mortality. We conducted a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies for estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), combining data across 133,413 individuals with replication in up to 42,166 individuals. We identify 24 new and confirm 29 previously identified loci. Of these 53 loci, 19 associate with eGFR among individuals with diabetes. Using bioinformatics, we show that identified genes at eGFR loci are enriched for expression in kidney tissues and in pathways relevant for kidney development and transmembrane transporter activity, kidney structure, and regulation of glucose metabolism. Chromatin state mapping and DNase I hypersensitivity analyses across adult tissues demonstrate preferential mapping of associated variants to regulatory regions in kidney but not extra-renal tissues. These findings suggest that genetic determinants of eGFR are mediated largely through direct effects within the kidney and highlight important cell types and biological pathways.
Reduced glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) is a hallmark of chronic kidney disease. Here, Pattaro et al. conduct a meta-analysis to discover several new loci associated with variation in eGFR and find that genes associated with eGFR loci often encode proteins potentially related to kidney development.
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.
A workshop organized by the University Medical Center Groningen addressed various current issues regarding nutrient status of individuals and populations, tools and strategies for its assessment, and opportunities to intervene. The importance of nutrient deficiencies and information on nutrient status for health has been illustrated, in particular for elderly and specific patient groups. The nutrient profile of individuals can be connected to phenotypes, like hypertension or obesity, as well as to socio-economic data. This approach provides information on the relationship between nutrition (nutrient intake and status) and health outcomes and, for instance, allows us to use the findings to communicate and advocate a healthy lifestyle. Nutrition is complex: a broader profile of nutrients should be considered rather than focusing solely on a single nutrient. Evaluating food patterns instead of intake of individual nutrients provides better insight into relationships between nutrition and health and disease. This approach would allow us to provide feedback to individuals about their status and ways to improve their nutritional habits. In addition, it would provide tools for scientists and health authorities to update and develop public health recommendations.
nutrient; status; aging; patients
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.
Low plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) concentration is associated with high arterial blood pressure and hypertension risk, but whether this association is causal is unknown. We used a mendelian randomisation approach to test whether 25(OH)D concentration is causally associated with blood pressure and hypertension risk.
In this mendelian randomisation study, we generated an allele score (25[OH]D synthesis score) based on variants of genes that affect 25(OH)D synthesis or substrate availability (CYP2R1 and DHCR7), which we used as a proxy for 25(OH)D concentration. We meta-analysed data for up to 108 173 individuals from 35 studies in the D-CarDia collaboration to investigate associations between the allele score and blood pressure measurements. We complemented these analyses with previously published summary statistics from the International Consortium on Blood Pressure (ICBP), the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) consortium, and the Global Blood Pressure Genetics (Global BPGen) consortium.
In phenotypic analyses (up to n=49 363), increased 25(OH)D concentration was associated with decreased systolic blood pressure (β per 10% increase, −0·12 mm Hg, 95% CI −0·20 to −0·04; p=0·003) and reduced odds of hypertension (odds ratio [OR] 0·98, 95% CI 0·97−0·99; p=0·0003), but not with decreased diastolic blood pressure (β per 10% increase, −0·02 mm Hg, −0·08 to 0·03; p=0·37). In meta-analyses in which we combined data from D-CarDia and the ICBP (n=146 581, after exclusion of overlapping studies), each 25(OH)D-increasing allele of the synthesis score was associated with a change of −0·10 mm Hg in systolic blood pressure (−0·21 to −0·0001; p=0·0498) and a change of −0·08 mm Hg in diastolic blood pressure (−0·15 to −0·02; p=0·01). When D-CarDia and consortia data for hypertension were meta-analysed together (n=142 255), the synthesis score was associated with a reduced odds of hypertension (OR per allele, 0·98, 0·96−0·99; p=0·001). In instrumental variable analysis, each 10% increase in genetically instrumented 25(OH)D concentration was associated with a change of −0·29 mm Hg in diastolic blood pressure (−0·52 to −0·07; p=0·01), a change of −0·37 mm Hg in systolic blood pressure (−0·73 to 0·003; p=0·052), and an 8·1% decreased odds of hypertension (OR 0·92, 0·87–0·97; p=0·002).
Increased plasma concentrations of 25(OH)D might reduce the risk of hypertension. This finding warrants further investigation in an independent, similarly powered study.
Proteinuria is an important cause of tubulointerstitial damage. Anti-proteinuric interventions are not always successful, and residual proteinuria often leads to renal failure. This indicates the need for additional treatment modalities by targeting the harmful downstream consequences of proteinuria. We previously showed that proteinuria triggers renal lymphangiogenesis before the onset of interstitial inflammation and fibrosis. However, the interrelationship of these interstitial events in proteinuria is not yet clear. To this end, we specifically blocked lymphangiogenesis (anti-VEGFR3 antibody), monocyte/macrophage influx (clodronate liposomes) or lymphocyte and myofibroblast influx (S1P agonist FTY720) separately in a rat model to investigate the role and the possible interaction of each of these phenomena in tubulointerstitial remodeling in proteinuric nephropathy. Proteinuria was induced in 3-month old male Wistar rats by adriamycin injection. After 6 weeks, when proteinuria has developed, rats were treated for another 6 weeks by anti-VEGFR3 antibody, clodronate liposomes or FTY720 up to week 12. In proteinuric rats, lymphangiogenesis, influx of macrophages, T cells and myofibroblasts, and collagen III deposition and interstitial fibrosis significantly increased at week 12 vs week 6. Anti-VEGFR3 antibody prevented lymphangiogenesis in proteinuric rats, however, without significant effects on inflammatory and fibrotic markers or proteinuria. Clodronate liposomes inhibited macrophage influx and partly reduced myofibroblast expression; however, neither significantly prevented the development of lymphangiogenesis, nor fibrotic markers and proteinuria. FTY720 prevented myofibroblast accumulation, T-cell influx and interstitial fibrosis, and partially reduced macrophage number and proteinuria; however, it did not significantly influence lymphangiogenesis and collagen III deposition. This study showed that proteinuria-induced interstitial fibrosis cannot be halted by blocking lymphangiogenesis or the influx of macrophages. On the other hand, FTY720 treatment did prevent T-cell influx, myofibroblast accumulation and interstitial fibrosis, but not renal lymphangiogenesis and proteinuria. We conclude that tubulointerstitial fibrosis and inflammation are separate from lymphangiogenesis, at least under proteinuric conditions.
Summary: Targeting lymphangiogenesis, inflammation or fibrosis separately in a rat model of proteinuric nephropathy showed that treating any of these changes alone is not effective in treating the disease.
Proteinuria; Renal lymphatic; Lymphangiogenesis; Renal fibrosis; Renal inflammation
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.
Many publications report the prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in the general population. Comparisons across studies are hampered as CKD prevalence estimations are influenced by study population characteristics and laboratory methods.
For this systematic review, two researchers independently searched PubMed, MEDLINE and EMBASE to identify all original research articles that were published between 1 January 2003 and 1 November 2014 reporting the prevalence of CKD in the European adult general population. Data on study methodology and reporting of CKD prevalence results were independently extracted by two researchers.
We identified 82 eligible publications and included 48 publications of individual studies for the data extraction. There was considerable variation in population sample selection. The majority of studies did not report the sampling frame used, and the response ranged from 10 to 87%. With regard to the assessment of kidney function, 67% used a Jaffe assay, whereas 13% used the enzymatic assay for creatinine determination. Isotope dilution mass spectrometry calibration was used in 29%. The CKD-EPI (52%) and MDRD (75%) equations were most often used to estimate glomerular filtration rate (GFR). CKD was defined as estimated GFR (eGFR) <60 mL/min/1.73 m2 in 92% of studies. Urinary markers of CKD were assessed in 60% of the studies. CKD prevalence was reported by sex and age strata in 54 and 50% of the studies, respectively. In publications with a primary objective of reporting CKD prevalence, 39% reported a 95% confidence interval.
The findings from this systematic review showed considerable variation in methods for sampling the general population and assessment of kidney function across studies reporting CKD prevalence. These results are utilized to provide recommendations to help optimize both the design and the reporting of future CKD prevalence studies, which will enhance comparability of study results.
CKD; CKD-EPI equation; epidemiology; MDRD; systematic review
Women with renal disease progress at a slower rate to end stage renal disease than men. As angiotensin II has both hemodynamic and direct renal effects, we hypothesized that the female protection may result from gender differences in responses to angiotensin II. Therefore, we studied gender differences in response to angiotensin II, during acute (human) and chronic (rats) angiotensin II administration. In young healthy men (n = 18) and women (n = 18) we studied the responses of renal hemodynamics (125I-iothalamate and 131I-Hippuran) and blood pressure to graded angiotensin II infusion (0.3, 1.0, and 3.0 ng/kg/min for 1 h). Men had increased responses of diastolic blood pressure (P = 0.01), mean arterial pressure (P = 0.05), and a more pronounced decrease in effective renal plasma flow (P = 0.009) than women. We measured the changes in proteinuria and blood pressure in response to chronic administration (200 ng/kg/min for 3 weeks) of angiotensin II in rats. Male rats had an increased response of proteinuria compared with females (GEE analysis, P = 0.001). Male, but not female, angiotensin II-treated rats had increased numbers of renal interstitial macrophages compared to sham-treated rats (P < 0.001). In conclusion, gender differences are present in the response to acute and chronic infusion of angiotensin II. Difference in angiotensin II sensitivity could play a role in gender differences in progression of renal disease.
Angiotensin II; proteinuria; renal damage; renal hemodynamics; sex
Little is known about the natural course of renal function and renal hemodynamics in heart failure patients with reduced ejection fraction (HFREF).
Methods and results
We prospectively studied effective renal plasma flow (ERPF) and glomerular filtration rate (GFR) in 73 HFREF patients with 125I-iothalamate/131I-hippuran clearances with a mean follow-up of 34.6 ± 4.4 months. Fifteen percent were female, with age 58 ± 12 years and left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) 29 ± 10 %. Baseline GFR was 81 ± 23 mL/min/1.73 m2 and declined 0.6 ± 4.7 mL/min/1.73 m2 per year. Baseline ERPF was 292 ± 83 mL/min/1.73 m2 and declined 4.3 ± 19 mL/min/1.73 m2 per year. Of the baseline variables, older age and high urinary kidney injury molecule-1 were the only variables associated with GFR decline (p < 0.05). Following stepwise backward analysis, only age (p < 0.001) remained significant. In addition, we found an association between change in GFR and changes in ERPF, N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide and renovascular resistance. In the multivariable analysis, only the change in ERPF remained significantly associated with a change in GFR (p < 0.001).
In this cohort of stable chronic HFREF patients, the average decline in GFR over time was small. The decline of GFR was associated with a higher age and a lower baseline GFR, and was strongly related to changes in renal perfusion.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00392-015-0881-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Cardiorenal; Heart failure; Renal blood flow; Kidney; Biomarkers
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
Some diseases associated with a temporary deterioration in kidney function and/or development of proteinuria show an apparently complete functional remission once the initiating trigger is removed. While it was earlier thought that a transient impairment of kidney function is harmless, accumulating evidence now suggests that these patients are more prone to developing renal failure later in life. We therefore sought to investigate to what extent renal functional changes, inflammation and collagen deposition are reversible after cessation of disease induction, potentially explaining residual sensitivity to damage. Using a rat model of Angiotensin II (Ang II)-induced hypertensive renal disease we show the development of severe hypertension (212 ± 10.43 vs. 146 ± 1.4 mmHg, p<0.001) and proteinuria (51.4 ± 6.3 vs. 14.7 ± 2.0 mg/24h, p<0.01) with declined creatinine clearance (2.0 ± 0.5 vs. 4.9 ± 0.6 mL/min, p<0.001) to occur after 3 weeks of Ang II infusion. At the structural level, Ang II infusion resulted in interstitial inflammation (18.8 ± 4.8 vs. 3.6 ± 0.5 number of macrophages, p<0.001), renal interstitial collagen deposition and lymphangiogenesis (4.1 ± 0.4 vs. 2.2 ± 0.4 number of lymph vessels, p<0.01). Eight weeks after cessation of Ang II, all clinical parameters, pre-fibrotic changes such as myofibroblast transformation and increase in lymph vessel number (lymphangiogenesis) returned to control values. However, glomerular desmin expression, glomerular and periglomerular macrophages and interstitial collagens remained elevated. These dormant abnormalities indicate that after transient renal function decline, inflammation and collagen deposition may persist despite normalization of the initiating pathophysiological stimulus perhaps rendering the kidney more vulnerable to further damage.
Accurate assessment of kidney function is important for management of solid organ transplant recipients. In other clinical populations, glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is most commonly estimated using the CKD-EPI (Chronic Kidney Disease–Epidemiology Collaboration) creatinine or the 4-variable MDRD (Modification of Diet in Renal Disease) Study equation. The accuracy of these equations compared to other GFR estimating equations in transplant recipients has not been carefully studied.
Diagnostic test study.
Setting & Participants
Solid organ transplant recipients >6 months post-transplantation from 5 clinical populations [N=3,622, including recipients of kidney (53%), liver (35%) and other or multiple organs (12%)]
Estimated GFR (eGFR) using creatinine-based GFR estimating equations identified from a systematic review of the literature. Performance of the CKD-EPI creatinine and MDRD Study equations was compared to alternative equations.
Measured GFR (mGFR) from urinary clearance of iothalamate or plasma clearance of iohexol.
Error (difference between the mGFR and eGFR) expressed as P30 (proportion of absolute percent error <30%) and mean absolute error.
We identified 26 GFR estimating equations. Mean mGFR was 55.1 ± 22.7 (SD) ml/min/1.73 m2. P30 and mean absolute error for the CKD-EPI and MDRD Study equations were 78.9% (99.6% CI, 76.9%–80.8%) for both and 10.6 (99.6% CI, 10.1–11.1) vs. 11.0 (99.6% CI, 10.5–11.5) ml/min/1.73 m2, respectively; these equations were more accurate than any of the alternative equations (p<0.001 for all pair-wise comparisons for both measures). They performed better than or as well as the alternative equations in most subgroups defined by demographic and clinical characteristics, including the type of transplanted organ.
Study population included few non-whites and people with solid organ transplants other than liver and kidneys.
The CKD-EPI creatinine and MDRD Study equations perform better than the alternative creatinine-based estimating equations in solid organ transplant recipients. They can be used for clinical management.
GFR estimation; renal function; kidney transplantation; solid organ transplant recipient; creatinine-based eGFR equation
Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), a serine protease, catalyzes the conversion of plasminogen to plasmin, the major enzyme responsible for endogenous fibrinolysis. In some populations, elevated plasma levels of tPA have been associated with myocardial infarction and other cardiovascular diseases (CVD). We conducted a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to identify novel correlates of circulating levels of tPA.
Approach and Results
Fourteen cohort studies with tPA measures (N=26,929) contributed to the meta-analysis. Three loci were significantly associated with circulating tPA levels (P <5.0×10−8). The first locus is on 6q24.3, with the lead SNP (rs9399599, P=2.9×10−14) within STXBP5. The second locus is on 8p11.21. The lead SNP (rs3136739, P=1.3×10−9) is intronic to POLB and less than 200kb away from the tPA encoding gene PLAT. We identified a non-synonymous SNP (rs2020921) in modest LD with rs3136739 (r2 = 0.50) within exon 5 of PLAT (P=2.0×10−8). The third locus is on 12q24.33, with the lead SNP (rs7301826, P=1.0×10−9) within intron 7 of STX2. We further found evidence for association of lead SNPs in STXBP5 and STX2 with expression levels of the respective transcripts. In in vitro cell studies, silencing STXBP5 decreased release of tPA from vascular endothelial cells, while silencing of STX2 increased tPA release. Through an in-silico lookup, we found no associations of the three lead SNPs with coronary artery disease or stroke.
We identified three loci associated with circulating tPA levels, the PLAT region, STXBP5 and STX2. Our functional studies implicate a novel role for STXBP5 and STX2 in regulating tPA release.
tissue plasminogen activator; genome-wide association study; meta-analysis; cardiovascular disease risk; fibrinolysis; hemostasis
Circulating bilirubin, a natural antioxidant, is associated with decreased risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D), but the nature of the relationship remains unknown. We performed Mendelian randomization in a prospective cohort of 3,381 participants free of diabetes at baseline (aged 28-75 years; women, 52.6%). We used rs6742078 located in UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT1A1) locus as instrumental variable (IV) to study a potential causal effect of serum total bilirubin on T2D risk. T2D developed in a total of 210 (6.2%) participants during a median follow-up of 7.8 years. In adjusted analyses, rs6742078, which explained 19.5% of bilirubin variation, was strongly associated with total bilirubin (a 0.68-SD increase in bilirubin levels per T allele; P<1×10−122) and was also associated with T2D risk (OR 0.69 [95%CI, 0.54-0.90]; P=0.006). Per 1-SD increase in log-transformed bilirubin levels, we observed a 25% (OR 0.75 [95%CI, 0.62-0.92]; P=0.004) lower risk of T2D. In Mendelian randomization analysis, the causal risk reduction for T2D was estimated to be 42% (causal ORIVestimation per 1-SD increase in log-transformed bilirubin 0.58 [95%CI, 0.39-0.84]; P=0.005), which was comparable to the observational estimate (Durbin-Wu-Hausman chi-square test Pfor difference =0.19). These novel results provide evidence that elevated bilirubin is causally associated with risk of T2D and support its role as a protective determinant.
Bilirubin; liver; epidemiology; type 2 diabetes; Mendelian randomization
Patients with diabetes are at high risk of death prior to reaching end-stage renal disease, but most models predicting the risk of kidney disease do not take this competing risk into account. We aimed to compare the performance of Cox regression and competing risk models for prediction of early- and late-stage renal complications in type 2 diabetes.
Patients with type 2 diabetes participating in the observational ZODIAC study were included. Prediction models for (micro)albuminuria and 50% increase in serum creatinine (SCr) were developed using Cox regression and competing risk analyses. Model performance was assessed by discrimination and calibration.
During a total follow-up period of 10 years, 183 out of 640 patients (28.6%) with normoalbuminuria developed (micro)albuminuria, and 22 patients (3.4%) died without developing (micro)albuminuria (i.e. experienced the competing event). Seventy-nine out of 1,143 patients (6.9%) reached the renal end point of 50% increase in SCr, while 219 (19.2%) died without developing the renal end point. Performance of the Cox and competing risk models predicting (micro)albuminuria was similar and differences in predicted risks were small. However, the Cox model increasingly overestimated the risk of increase in SCr in presence of a substantial number of competing events, while the performance of the competing risk model was quite good.
In this study, we demonstrated that, in case of substantial numbers of competing events, it is important to account for the competing risk of death in renal risk prediction in patients with type 2 diabetes.