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1.  Vitamin D analogues to target residual proteinuria: potential impact on cardiorenal outcomes 
Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation  2015;30(12):1988-1994.
Residual proteinuria, the amount of proteinuria that remains during optimally dosed renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) blockade, is an independent risk factor for progressive renal function loss and cardiovascular complications in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients. Dual RAAS blockade may reduce residual proteinuria but without translating into improved cardiorenal outcomes at least in diabetic nephropathy; rather, dual RAAS blockade may increase the risk of adverse events. These findings have challenged the concept of residual proteinuria as an absolute treatment target. Therefore, new strategies must be explored to address whether by further reduction of residual proteinuria using interventions not primarily targeting the RAAS benefit in terms of cardiorenal risk reduction would accrue. Both clinical and experimental intervention studies have demonstrated that vitamin D can reduce residual proteinuria through both RAAS-dependent and RAAS-independent pathways. Future research should prospectively explore vitamin D treatment as an adjunct to RAAS blockade in an interventional trial exploring clinically relevant cardiorenal end points.
PMCID: PMC4832986  PMID: 25609737
cardiovascular disease; chronic kidney disease; proteinuria; vitamin D
2.  Response of fibroblast growth factor 23 to volume interventions in arterial hypertension and diabetic nephropathy 
Medicine  2016;95(46):e5003.
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.
PMCID: PMC5120892  PMID: 27861335
CKD; fibroblast growth factor 23; hypertension; sodium; volume
3.  Impact of the Introduction of Calcimimetics on Timing of Parathyroidectomy in Secondary and Tertiary Hyperparathyroidism 
Annals of Surgical Oncology  2016;24(1):15-22.
Hyperparathyroidism (HPT), both secondary and tertiary, is common in patients with end-stage renal disease, and is associated with severe bone disorders, cardiovascular complications, and increased mortality. Since the introduction of calcimimetics in 2004, treatment of HPT has shifted from surgery to predominantly medical therapy.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of this change of management on the HPT patient population before undergoing (sub-)total parathyroidectomy (PTx).
Overall, 119 patients with secondary or tertiary HPT undergoing PTx were included in a retrospective, single-center cohort. Group A, who underwent PTx before January 2005, was compared with group B, who underwent PTx after January 2005. Patient characteristics, time interval between HPT diagnosis and PTx, and postoperative complications were compared.
Group A comprised 70 (58.8 %) patients and group B comprised 49 (41.2 %) patients. The median interval between HPT diagnosis and PTx was 27 (interquartile range [IQR] 12.5–48.0) and 49 (IQR 21.0–75.0) months for group A and B, respectively (p = 0.007). Baseline characteristics were similar among both groups. The median preoperative serum parathyroid hormone (PTH) level was 936 pg/mL (IQR 600–1273) for group A versus 1091 pg/mL (IQR 482–1373) for group B (p = 0.38). PTx resulted in a dramatic PTH reduction (less than twofold the upper limit: A, 80.0 %; B, 85.4 %), and postoperative complication rates were low in both groups (A: 7.8 %; B: 10.2 %) [p = 0.66].
The introduction of calcimimetics in 2004 is associated with a significant 2-year delay of surgery with continuously elevated preoperative PTH levels, while parathyroid surgery, even in a fragile population, is considered a safe and effective procedure.
PMCID: PMC5179588  PMID: 27459979
4.  Reduction of Oxidative Stress in Chronic Kidney Disease Does Not Increase Circulating α-Klotho Concentrations 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(1):e0144121.
The CKD-associated decline in soluble α-Klotho levels is considered detrimental. Some in vitro and in vivo animal studies have shown that anti-oxidant therapy can upregulate the expression of α-Klotho in the kidney. We examined the effect of anti-oxidant therapy on α-Klotho concentrations in a clinical cohort with mild tot moderate chronic kidney disease (CKD). We performed a post-hoc analysis of a prospective randomized trial involving 62 patients with mild to moderate CKD (the ATIC study), all using an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEi) or angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) for 12 months. On top of that, the intervention group received anti-oxidative therapy consisting of the combination of pravastatin (40 mg/d) and vitamin E (α-tocopherol acetate, 300 mg/d) while the placebo was not treated with anti-oxidants. α-Klotho concentrations were measured at baseline and after 12 months of anti-oxidant therapy. Data were analysed using T-tests and Generalized Estimating Equations, adjusting for potential confounders such as vitamin D, parathyroid hormone, fibroblast-growth-factor 23 (FGF23) and eGFR. The cohort existed of 62 patients with an eGFR (MDRD) of 35 ± 14 ml/min/1.72m2, 34 were male and mean age was 53.0 ± 12.5 years old. Anti-oxidative therapy did successfully reduce oxLDL and LDL concentrations (P <0.001). α-Klotho concentrations did not change in patients receiving either anti-oxidative therapy (476.9 ± 124.3 to 492.7 ± 126.3 pg/mL, P = 0.23) nor in those receiving placebo 483.2 ± 142.5 to 489.6 ± 120.3 pg/mL, P = 0.62). Changes in α-Klotho concentrations were not different between both groups (p = 0.62). No evidence was found that anti-oxidative therapy affected α-Klotho concentrations in patients with mild-moderate CKD.
PMCID: PMC4725669  PMID: 26807718
5.  Toll-Like Receptor Family Polymorphisms Are Associated with Primary Renal Diseases but Not with Renal Outcomes Following Kidney Transplantation 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(10):e0139769.
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.
PMCID: PMC4596574  PMID: 26445497
6.  Association of vitamin D status with arterial blood pressure and hypertension risk: a mendelian randomisation study 
Vimaleswaran, Karani S | Cavadino, Alana | Berry, Diane J | Jorde, Rolf | Dieffenbach, Aida Karina | Lu, Chen | Alves, Alexessander Couto | Heerspink, Hiddo J Lambers | Tikkanen, Emmi | Eriksson, Joel | Wong, Andrew | Mangino, Massimo | Jablonski, Kathleen A | Nolte, Ilja M | Houston, Denise K | Ahluwalia, Tarunveer Singh | van der Most, Peter J | Pasko, Dorota | Zgaga, Lina | Thiering, Elisabeth | Vitart, Veronique | Fraser, Ross M | Huffman, Jennifer E | de Boer, Rudolf A | Schöttker, Ben | Saum, Kai-Uwe | McCarthy, Mark I | Dupuis, Josée | Herzig, Karl-Heinz | Sebert, Sylvain | Pouta, Anneli | Laitinen, Jaana | Kleber, Marcus E | Navis, Gerjan | Lorentzon, Mattias | Jameson, Karen | Arden, Nigel | Cooper, Jackie A | Acharya, Jayshree | Hardy, Rebecca | Raitakari, Olli | Ripatti, Samuli | Billings, Liana K | Lahti, Jari | Osmond, Clive | Penninx, Brenda W | Rejnmark, Lars | Lohman, Kurt K | Paternoster, Lavinia | Stolk, Ronald P | Hernandez, Dena G | Byberg, Liisa | Hagström, Emil | Melhus, Håkan | Ingelsson, Erik | Mellström, Dan | Ljunggren, Östen | Tzoulaki, Ioanna | McLachlan, Stela | Theodoratou, Evropi | Tiesler, Carla M T | Jula, Antti | Navarro, Pau | Wright, Alan F | Polasek, Ozren | Hayward, Caroline | Wilson, James F | Rudan, Igor | Salomaa, Veikko | Heinrich, Joachim | Campbell, Harry | Price, Jacqueline F | Karlsson, Magnus | Lind, Lars | Michaëlsson, Karl | Bandinelli, Stefania | Frayling, Timothy M | Hartman, Catharina A | Sørensen, Thorkild I A | Kritchevsky, Stephen B | Langdahl, Bente Lomholt | Eriksson, Johan G | Florez, Jose C | Spector, Tim D | Lehtimäki, Terho | Kuh, Diana | Humphries, Steve E | Cooper, Cyrus | Ohlsson, Claes | März, Winfried | de Borst, Martin H | Kumari, Meena | Kivimaki, Mika | Wang, Thomas J | Power, Chris | Brenner, Hermann | Grimnes, Guri | van der Harst, Pim | Snieder, Harold | Hingorani, Aroon D | Pilz, Stefan | Whittaker, John C | Järvelin, Marjo-Riitta | Hyppönen, Elina
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.
PMCID: PMC4582411  PMID: 24974252
7.  Relation between Red Cell Distribution Width and Fibroblast Growth Factor 23 Cleaving in Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease and Heart Failure 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(6):e0128994.
In chronic kidney disease (CKD), both anemia and deregulated phosphate metabolism are common and predictive of adverse outcome. Previous studies suggest that iron status influences phosphate metabolism by modulating proteolytic cleavage of FGF23 into C-terminal fragments. Red cell distribution width (RDW) was recently identified as a strong prognostic determinant for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, independently of iron status. We assessed whether RDW is associated with FGF23 cleaving in CKD patients with heart failure.
Materials and Methods
The associations between RDW and either intact FGF23 (iFGF23), C-terminal FGF23 (cFGF23, reflecting iFGF23 and C-terminal fragments together) and the iFGF23/cFGF23 ratio were analyzed in 52 patients with CKD (eGFR 34,9 ± 13.9 ml/min/1.73m2) and chronic heart failure (CHF). Associations between RDW and FGF23 forms were studied by linear regression analysis adjusted for parameters of renal function, iron metabolism, phosphate metabolism and inflammation.
Median cFGF23 levels were 197.5 [110–408.5] RU/ml, median iFGF23 levels were 107.3 [65.1–162.2] pg/ml and median FGF23 ratio was 0.80 [0.37–0.86]. Mean RDW was 14.1 ± 1.2%. cFGF23 and RDW were associated (β = 1.63x10-3, P <0.001), whereas iFGF23 and RDW were not (β = -1.38x10-3, P = 0.336). The iFGF23/cFGF23 ratio was inversely associated with RDW. The difference between cFGF23 and iFGF23 (cFGF23- iFGF23) was positively associated with RDW (β = 1.74x10-3, P< 0.001). The association between cFGF23 and RDW persisted upon multivariable linear regression analysis, adjusted for parameters of renal function, phosphate metabolism, iron metabolism and inflammation (β = 0.97x10-3, P = 0.047).
RDW is associated with cFGF23 but not with iFGF23 levels in patients with CKD and CHF. This suggests a connection between RDW and FGF23 catabolism, independent of iron status and inflammation. Future studies are needed to unravel underlying mechanisms and whether these pertain to the link between RDW and outcome.
PMCID: PMC4469605  PMID: 26079688
8.  Plasma ADMA associates with all-cause mortality in renal transplant recipients 
Amino Acids  2015;47(9):1941-1949.
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.
PMCID: PMC4549386  PMID: 26077715
Asymmetric dimethylarginine; Kidney; Survival; Transplantation
9.  Urinary Vitamin D Binding Protein: A Potential Novel Marker of Renal Interstitial Inflammation and Fibrosis 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(2):e55887.
Non-invasive tubulointerstitial damage markers may allow better titration and monitoring of renoprotective therapy. We investigated the value of urinary vitamin D binding protein excretion (uVDBP) as a tubulointerstitial inflammation and fibrosis marker in adriamycin rats, and tested whether uVDBP parallels renal damage and responds to therapy intensification in humans. In adriamycin (ADR) rats, uVDBP was strongly elevated vs controls (CON) already 6 wks after nephrosis induction (ADR: 727±674 [mean±SD] vs CON: 9±12 µg/d, p<0.01), i.e. before onset of pre-fibrotic and inflammatory tubulointerstitial damage, and at all following 6-wk time points until end of follow up at 30 wks (ADR: 1403±1026 vs CON: 206±132 µg/d, p<0.01). In multivariate regression analysis, uVDBP was associated with tubulointerstitial macrophage accumulation (standardized beta = 0.47, p = 0.01) and collagen III expression (standardized beta = 0.44, p = 0.02) independently of albuminuria. In humans, uVDBP was increased in 100 microalbuminuric subjects (44±93 µg/d) and in 47 CKD patients with overt proteinuria (9.2±13.0 mg/d) compared to 100 normoalbuminuric subjects (12±12 µg/d, p<0.001). In CKD patients, uVDBP responded to intensification of renoprotective therapy (ACEi+liberal sodium: 9.2±13.0 mg/d vs dual RAAS blockade+low sodium: 2747±4013, p<0.001), but remained still >100-fold increased during maximal therapy vs normoalbuminurics (p<0.001), consistent with persisting tubulointerstitial damage. UVDBP was associated with tubular and inflammatory damage markers KIM-1 (standardized beta = 0.52, p<0.001), beta-2-microglobuline (st.beta = 0.45, p<0.001), cystatin C (st.beta = 0.40, p<0.001), MCP-1 (st.beta = 0.31, p<0.001) and NGAL (st.beta = 0.20, p = 0.005), independently of albuminuria. UVDBP may be a novel urinary biomarker of tubulointerstitial damage. Prospectively designed studies are required to validate our findings and confirm its relevance in the clinical setting.
PMCID: PMC3569442  PMID: 23409077
10.  Proteinuria Triggers Renal Lymphangiogenesis Prior to the Development of Interstitial Fibrosis 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(11):e50209.
Proteinuria is an important cause of progressive tubulo-interstitial damage. Whether proteinuria could trigger a renal lymphangiogenic response has not been established. Moreover, the temporal relationship between development of fibrosis, inflammation and lymphangiogenesis in chronic progressive kidney disease is not clear yet. Therefore, we evaluated the time course of lymph vessel (LV) formation in relation to proteinuria and interstitial damage in a rat model of chronic unilateral adriamycin nephrosis. Proteinuria and kidneys were evaluated up to 30 weeks after induction of nephrosis. LVs were identified by podoplanin/VEGFR3 double staining. After 6 weeks proteinuria was well-established, without influx of interstitial macrophages and myofibroblasts, collagen deposition, osteopontin expression (tubular activation) or LV formation. At 12 weeks, a ∼3-fold increase in cortical LV density was found (p<0.001), gradually increasing over time. This corresponded with a significant increase in tubular osteopontin expression (p<0.01) and interstitial myofibroblast numbers (p<0.05), whereas collagen deposition and macrophage numbers were not yet increased. VEGF-C was mostly expressed by tubular cells rather than interstitial cells. Cultured tubular cells stimulated with FCS showed a dose-dependent increase in mRNA and protein expression of VEGF-C which was not observed by human albumin stimulation. We conclude that chronic proteinuria provoked lymphangiogenesis in temporal conjunction with tubular osteopontin expression and influx of myofibroblasts, that preceded interstitial fibrosis.
PMCID: PMC3506584  PMID: 23189189
11.  Vitamin K Intake and Plasma Desphospho-Uncarboxylated Matrix Gla-Protein Levels in Kidney Transplant Recipients 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e47991.
Vitamin K is essential for activation of γ-carboxyglutamate (Gla)-proteins including the vascular calcification inhibitor matrix Gla-protein (MGP). Insufficient vitamin K intake leads to production of uncarboxylated, mostly inactive proteins and contributes to an increased cardiovascular risk. In kidney transplant recipients, cardiovascular risk is high but vitamin K intake and status have not been defined. We investigated dietary vitamin K intake, vascular vitamin K status and its determinants in kidney transplant recipients. We estimated vitamin K intake in a cohort of kidney transplant recipients (n = 60) with stable renal function (creatinine clearance 61 [42–77] (median [interquartile range]) ml/min), who were 75 [35–188] months after transplantation, using three-day food records and food frequency questionnaires. Vascular vitamin K status was assessed by measuring plasma desphospho-uncarboxylated MGP (dp-ucMGP). Total vitamin K intake was below the recommended level in 50% of patients. Lower vitamin K intake was associated with less consumption of green vegetables (33 vs 40 g/d, p = 0.06) and increased dp-ucMGP levels (621 vs 852 pmol/L, p<0.05). Accordingly, dp-ucMGP levels were elevated (>500 pmol/L) in 80% of patients. Multivariate regression identified creatinine clearance, coumarin use, body mass index, high sensitivity-CRP and sodium excretion as independent determinants of dp-ucMGP levels. In a considerable part of the kidney transplant population, vitamin K intake is too low for maximal carboxylation of vascular MGP. The high dp-ucMGP levels may result in an increased risk for arterial calcification. Whether increasing vitamin K intake may have health benefits for kidney transplant recipients should be addressed by future studies.
PMCID: PMC3485347  PMID: 23118917
12.  UMOD as a susceptibility gene for end-stage renal disease 
BMC Medical Genetics  2012;13:78.
In recent genetic association studies, common variants including rs12917707 in the UMOD locus have shown strong evidence of association with eGFR, prevalent and incident chronic kidney disease and uromodulin urinary concentration in general population cohorts. The association of rs12917707 with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in a recent case-control study was only nominally significant.
To investigate whether rs12917707 associates with ESRD, graft failure (GF) and urinary uromodulin levels in an independent cohort, we genotyped 1142 ESRD patients receiving a renal transplantation and 1184 kidney donors as controls. After transplantation, 1066 renal transplant recipients were followed up for GF. Urinary uromodulin concentration was measured at median [IQR] 4.2 [2.2-6.1] yrs after kidney transplantation.
The rs12917707 minor allele showed association with lower risk of ESRD (OR 0.89 [0.76-1.03], p = 0.04) consistent in effect size and direction with the previous report (Böger et al, PLoS Genet 2011). Meta-analysis of these findings showed significant association of rs12917707 with ESRD (OR 0.91 [0.85-98], p = 0.008). In contrast, rs12917707 was not associated with incidence of GF. Urinary uromodulin concentration was lower in recipients-carriers of the donor rs12917707 minor allele as compared to non-carriers, again consistent with previous observations in general population cohorts.
Our study thus corroborates earlier evidence and independently confirms the association between UMOD and ESRD.
PMCID: PMC3495046  PMID: 22947327
UMOD; Uromodulin; Polymorphisms; SNP; End-stage renal disease; Kidney transplantation
13.  Indomethacin Reduces Glomerular and Tubular Damage Markers but Not Renal Inflammation in Chronic Kidney Disease Patients: A Post-Hoc Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(5):e37957.
Under specific conditions non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be used to lower therapy-resistant proteinuria. The potentially beneficial anti-proteinuric, tubulo-protective, and anti-inflammatory effects of NSAIDs may be offset by an increased risk of (renal) side effects. We investigated the effect of indomethacin on urinary markers of glomerular and tubular damage and renal inflammation. We performed a post-hoc analysis of a prospective open-label crossover study in chronic kidney disease patients (n = 12) with mild renal function impairment and stable residual proteinuria of 4.7±4.1 g/d. After a wash-out period of six wks without any RAAS blocking agents or other therapy to lower proteinuria (untreated proteinuria (UP)), patients subsequently received indomethacin 75 mg BID for 4 wks (NSAID). Healthy subjects (n = 10) screened for kidney donation served as controls. Urine and plasma levels of total IgG, IgG4, KIM-1, beta-2-microglobulin, H-FABP, MCP-1 and NGAL were determined using ELISA. Following NSAID treatment, 24 h -urinary excretion of glomerular and proximal tubular damage markers was reduced in comparison with the period without anti-proteinuric treatment (total IgG: UP 131[38–513] vs NSAID 38[17–218] mg/24 h, p<0.01; IgG4: 50[16–68] vs 10[1–38] mg/24 h, p<0.001; beta-2-microglobulin: 200[55–404] vs 50[28–110] ug/24 h, p = 0.03; KIM-1: 9[5]–[14] vs 5[2]–[9] ug/24 h, p = 0.01). Fractional excretions of these damage markers were also reduced by NSAID. The distal tubular marker H-FABP showed a trend to reduction following NSAID treatment. Surprisingly, NSAID treatment did not reduce urinary excretion of the inflammation markers MCP-1 and NGAL, but did reduce plasma MCP-1 levels, resulting in an increased fractional MCP-1 excretion. In conclusion, the anti-proteinuric effect of indomethacin is associated with reduced urinary excretion of glomerular and tubular damage markers, but not with reduced excretion of renal inflammation markers. Future studies should address whether the short term glomerulo- and tubulo-protective effects as observed outweigh the possible side-effects of NSAID treatment on the long term.
PMCID: PMC3360674  PMID: 22662255
14.  CUBN as a Novel Locus for End-Stage Renal Disease: Insights from Renal Transplantation 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(5):e36512.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a complex disorder. As genome-wide association studies identified cubilin gene CUBN as a locus for albuminuria, and urinary protein loss is a risk factor for progressive CKD, we tested the hypothesis that common genetic variants in CUBN are associated with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and proteinuria. First, a total of 1142 patients with ESRD, admitted for renal transplantation, and 1186 donors were genotyped for SNPs rs7918972 and rs1801239 (case-control study). The rs7918972 minor allele frequency (MAF) was higher in ESRD patients comparing to kidney donors, implicating an increased risk for ESRD (OR 1.39, p = 0.0004) in native kidneys. Second, after transplantation recipients were followed for 5.8 [3.8–9.2] years (longitudinal study) documenting ESRD in transplanted kidneys – graft failure (GF). During post-transplant follow-up 92 (9.6%) cases of death-censored GF occurred. Donor rs7918972 MAF, representing genotype of the transplanted kidney, was 16.3% in GF vs 10.7% in cases with functioning graft. Consistently, a multivariate Cox regression analysis showed that donor rs7918972 is a predictor of GF, although statistical significance was not reached (HR 1.53, p = 0.055). There was no association of recipient rs7918972 with GF. Rs1801239 was not associated with ESRD or GF. In line with an association with the outcome, donor rs7918972 was associated with elevated proteinuria levels cross-sectionally at 1 year after transplantation. Thus, we identified CUBN rs7918972 as a novel risk variant for renal function loss in two independent settings: ESRD in native kidneys and GF in transplanted kidneys.
PMCID: PMC3344899  PMID: 22574174

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