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author:("Navis, kerjan")
1.  Pancreatic β-Cell Dysfunction and Risk of New-Onset Diabetes After Kidney Transplantation 
Diabetes Care  2013;36(7):1926-1932.
Chronic exposure to calcineurin inhibitors and corticosteroids poses renal transplant recipients (RTR) at high risk for development of new-onset diabetes after transplantation (NODAT). Pancreatic β-cell dysfunction may be crucial to the pathophysiology of NODAT and specific markers for β-cell dysfunction may have additive value for predicting NODAT in this population. Therefore, we prospectively investigated whether proinsulin, as a marker of pancreatic β-cell dysfunction, is associated with future development of NODAT and improves prediction of it.
All RTR between 2001 and 2003 with a functioning graft for ≥1 year were considered eligible for inclusion, except for subjects with diabetes at baseline who were excluded. We recorded incidence of NODAT until April 2012.
A total of 487 RTR (age 50 ± 12 years, 55% men) participated at a median time of 6.0 (interquartile range [IQR], 2.6–11.5) years after transplantation. Median fasting proinsulin levels were 16.6 (IQR, 11.0–24.2) pmol/L. During median follow-up for 10.1 (IQR, 9.1–10.4) years, 42 (35%) RTR had development of NODAT in the highest quartile of the distribution of proinsulin versus 34 (9%) in the lowest three quartiles (P < 0.001). In Cox regression analyses, proinsulin (hazard ratio, 2.29; 95% CI, 1.85–2.83; P < 0.001) was strongly associated with NODAT development. This was independent of age, sex, calcineurine inhibitors, prednisolone use, components of the metabolic syndrome, or homeostasis model assessment.
In conclusion, fasting proinsulin is strongly associated with NODAT development in RTR. Our results highlight the role of β-cell dysfunction in the pathophysiology of NODAT and indicate the potential value of proinsulin for identification of RTR at increased risk for NODAT.
PMCID: PMC3687295  PMID: 23378624
2.  Creatinine Excretion Rate and Mortality in Type 2 Diabetes and Nephropathy 
Diabetes Care  2013;36(6):1489-1494.
The creatinine excretion rate (CER) is inversely associated with mortality in the general and renal transplant population. The CER is a marker for muscle mass. It is unknown whether the CER is associated with outcome in diabetes. We therefore investigated whether the CER is a determinant of all-cause mortality in diabetic patients.
We used data from the combined Reduction of Endpoints in Non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus with the Angiotensin II Antagonist Losartan (RENAAL) and Irbesartan Diabetic Nephropathy Trial (IDNT) studies. A total of 1,872 patients (58% of the overall population) with type 2 diabetes and nephropathy with valid 24-h urinary creatinine excretion data were included. The primary end point of the analyses was all-cause mortality.
Mean age was 60 ± 8 years and median CER was 1,407 (total range 400–3,406) mg/day. Body surface area, hemoglobin, black race, and albuminuria were positive independent determinants of the CER, whereas female sex and age were inverse independent determinants of the CER. During a median follow-up of 36 (29–45) months, 300 patients died. In a Kaplan-Meier analysis of sex-stratified tertiles of the CER, risk for all-cause mortality increased with decreasing CER (P < 0.001). In a multivariable Cox regression analysis, lower CER (as a continuous variable) was independently associated with increased risk for all-cause mortality (hazard ratio 0.39 [95% CI 0.29–0.52], P < 0.001). Adjustment for potential collection errors did not materially change these associations.
Lower CER was strongly associated with increased all-cause mortality in patients with type 2 diabetes and nephropathy. As the CER can be considered a proxy for muscle mass, this puts renewed emphasis on physical condition and exercise in this population.
PMCID: PMC3661815  PMID: 23300289
3.  The Midregional Fragment of Pro-A–Type Natriuretic Peptide, Blood Pressure, and Mortality in a Prospective Cohort Study of Patients With Type 2 Diabetes (ZODIAC-25) 
Diabetes Care  2013;36(5):1347-1352.
Evidence that midregional fragment of pro-A–type natriuretic peptide (MR-proANP) is a marker of mortality in patients with type 2 diabetes is limited. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the capabilities of MR-proANP in predicting mortality. We also investigated whether MR-proANP influences the relationship between blood pressure and mortality in old age.
In 1998, 1,143 primary care patients with type 2 diabetes participated in the ZODIAC study. Because blood was drawn for 867 patients (76%) and confounders were missing for 19 patients, the final study sample comprised 848 patients. After a follow-up time of 10 years, we used Cox proportional hazard models to evaluate the relationship between MR-proANP and (cardiovascular) mortality. Harrell C statistic was used to compare models with and without MR-proANP. The regression analyses were repeated without MR-proANP for patients aged older than 75 years.
Median MR-proANP in the total study sample was 75 pmol/L (interquartile range, 48–124 pmol/L). During follow-up, 354 (42%) out of 848 patients had died, of whom 152 (43%) deaths were attributable to cardiovascular factors. MR-proANP was independently associated with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, irrespective of age. During old age, there was a significant inverse relationship between blood pressure and mortality. This relationship did not change after adjustment for MR-proANP.
MR-proANP is independently associated with mortality in patients with type 2 diabetes. MR-proANP did not influence the inverse relationship between blood pressure and mortality in elderly patients.
PMCID: PMC3631859  PMID: 23230100
4.  The Relationship of the Anti-Oxidant Bilirubin with Free Thyroxine Is Modified by Insulin Resistance in Euthyroid Subjects 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e90886.
The strong anti-oxidative properties of bilirubin largely explain its cardioprotective effects. Insulin resistance is featured by low circulating bilirubin. Thyroid hormone affects both bilirubin generation and its biliary transport, but it is unknown whether circulating bilirubin is associated with thyroid function in euthyroid subjects. Aim is to determine relationships of bilirubin with TSH, free T4 and free T3 in euthyroid subjects without type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), and to assess whether such a relationship would be modified by the degree of insulin resistance.
Total bilirubin, TSH, free T4, free T3, glucose, insulin, lipids and transaminases were measured in 1854 fasting euthyroid subjects without T2DM, recruited from the general population (PREVEND cohort). Insulin resistance was assessed by homeostasis model assessment.
Bilirubin was positively related to free T4 (β = 0.116, P<0.001) and free T3 (β = 0.078, P = 0.001), but bilirubin was unrelated to TSH. The relationship of bilirubin with free T4 was modified by insulin resistance with a larger effect in more insulin resistant individuals (adjusted for age and sex: β = 0.043, P = 0.056 for interaction; additionally adjusted for smoking, alcohol intake, transaminases and total cholesterol (β = 0.044, P = 0.044 for interaction). The association of bilirubin with free T4 was also modified by high density lipoprotein cholesterol (age- and sex-adjusted: β = 0.040, P = 0.072).
Low bilirubin relates to low free T4 in euthyroid non-diabetic subjects. Low normal free T4 may particularly confer low bilirubin in more insulin resistant individuals.
PMCID: PMC3940953  PMID: 24595410
5.  Variants near TERC are associated with mean telomere length. 
Nature genetics  2010;42(3):197-199.
We conducted genome-wide association analyses of mean leukocyte telomere length in 2,917 subjects and follow-up replication analyses in 9,492 and identified a locus on 3q26 encompassing the telomerase RNA component TERC, with compelling evidence for association (rs12696304, combined P value 3.72×10−14). Each copy of the minor allele of rs12696304 was associated with ≈75 base pairs shorter mean telomere length equivalent to ≈3.6 years of age-related attrition of mean telomere length.
PMCID: PMC3773906  PMID: 20139977
6.  A Simple and Computationally Efficient Approach to Multifactor Dimensionality Reduction Analysis of Gene-Gene Interactions for Quantitative Traits 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e66545.
We present an extension of the two-class multifactor dimensionality reduction (MDR) algorithm that enables detection and characterization of epistatic SNP-SNP interactions in the context of a quantitative trait. The proposed Quantitative MDR (QMDR) method handles continuous data by modifying MDR’s constructive induction algorithm to use a T-test. QMDR replaces the balanced accuracy metric with a T-test statistic as the score to determine the best interaction model. We used a simulation to identify the empirical distribution of QMDR’s testing score. We then applied QMDR to genetic data from the ongoing prospective Prevention of Renal and Vascular End-Stage Disease (PREVEND) study.
PMCID: PMC3689797  PMID: 23805232
7.  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
8.  Liver Function Tests and Risk Prediction of Incident Type 2 Diabetes: Evaluation in Two Independent Cohorts 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(12):e51496.
Liver function tests might predict the risk of type 2 diabetes. An independent study evaluating utility of these markers compared with an existing prediction model is yet lacking.
Methods and Findings
We performed a case-cohort study, including random subcohort (6.5%) from 38,379 participants with 924 incident diabetes cases (the Dutch contribution to the European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and Nutrition, EPIC-NL, the Netherlands), and another population-based cohort study including 7,952 participants with 503 incident cases (the Prevention of Renal and Vascular End-stage Disease, PREVEND, Groningen, the Netherlands). We examined predictive value of combination of the Liver function tests (gamma-glutamyltransferase, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase and albumin) above validated models for 7.5-year risk of diabetes (the Cooperative Health Research in the Region of Augsburg, the KORA study). Basic model includes age, sex, BMI, smoking, hypertension and parental diabetes. Clinical models additionally include glucose and uric acid (model1) and HbA1c (model2). In both studies, addition of Liver function tests to the basic model improved the prediction (C-statistic by∼0.020; NRI by∼9.0%; P<0.001). In the EPIC-NL case-cohort study, addition to clinical model1 resulted in statistically significant improvement in the overall population (C-statistic = +0.009; P<0.001; NRI = 8.8%; P<0.001), while addition to clinical model 2 yielded marginal improvement limited to men (C-statistic = +0.007; P = 0.06; NRI = 3.3%; P = 0.04). In the PREVEND cohort study, addition to clinical model 1 resulted in significant improvement in the overall population (C-statistic change = 0.008; P = 0.003; NRI = 3.6%; P = 0.03), with largest improvement in men (C-statistic change = 0.013; P = 0.01; NRI = 5.4%; P = 0.04). In PREVEND, improvement compared to clinical model 2 could not be tested because of lack of HbA1c data.
Liver function tests modestly improve prediction for medium-term risk of incident diabetes above basic and extended clinical prediction models, only if no HbA1c is incorporated. If data on HbA1c are available, Liver function tests have little incremental predictive value, although a small benefit may be present in men.
PMCID: PMC3524238  PMID: 23284703
9.  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
10.  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
11.  Tubular damage in chronic systolic heart failure is associated with reduced survival independent of glomerular filtration rate 
Heart (British Cardiac Society)  2010;96(16):1297-1302.
The prognostic impact of reduced glomerular filtration rate (GFR) in chronic heart failure (CHF) is increasingly recognised, but little is known about tubular damage in these patients.
To investigate the prevalence of tubular damage, and its association with GFR, and prognosis in patients with CHF.
Methods and results
In 90 patients with CHF, GFR and effective renal plasma flow (ERPF) were measured ([125I] iothalamate and [131I]hippuran clearances). The tubular markers neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL), N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase (NAG) and kidney injury molecule 1 (KIM-1) as well as urinary albumin excretion were determined in 24 h urine collections. Mean GFR was 78±26 ml/min/1.73 m2. Urinary NGAL (175 (70—346) mg/g creatinine (gCr)), NAG (12 (6—17) U/gCr) and KIM-1 (277 (188—537) ng/gCr) levels were increased compared with 20 healthy controls (all p<0.001). Urinary NAG, but not NGAL or KIM-1 correlated with GFR (r=−0.34, p=0.001) and ERPF (r=−0.29, p=0.006). Both NAG (r=0.21, p=0.048) and KIM-1 (r=0.23, p=0.033) correlated with plasma N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide levels. Both urinary KIM-1 (HR=1.15 (95% CI 1.02 to 1.30) per 100 ng/gCr increase, p=0.025) and NAG (HR=1.42 (95% CI 1.02 to 1.94) per 5 U/gCr increase, p=0.039), were associated with an increased risk of death or heart failure hospitalisations, independent of GFR.
Tubular damage, as indicated by increased urinary concentrations of NGAL, NAG and KIM-1 is common in patients with CHF and mildly reduced GFR. Both urinary KIM-1 and NAG showed prognostic information additional to GFR. These findings suggest an important role for tubular damage and tubular markers in cardiorenal interaction in heart failure.
PMCID: PMC3480323  PMID: 20659949
12.  Peroxiredoxin 4, A Novel Circulating Biomarker for Oxidative Stress and the Risk of Incident Cardiovascular Disease and All-Cause Mortality 
Oxidative stress has been suggested to play a key role in the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The aim of our study was to investigate the associations of serum peroxiredoxin 4 (Prx4), a hydrogen peroxide–degrading peroxidase, with incident CVD and all-cause mortality. We subsequently examined the incremental value of Prx4 for the risk prediction of CVD compared with the Framingham risk score (FRS).
Methods and Results
We performed Cox regression analyses in 8141 participants without history of CVD (aged 28 to 75 years; women 52.6%) from the Prevention of Renal and Vascular End-stage Disease (PREVEND) study in Groningen, The Netherlands. Serum Prx4 was measured by an immunoluminometric assay in baseline samples. Main outcomes were: (1) incident CVD events or CVD mortality and (2) all-cause mortality during a median follow-up of 10.5 years. In total, 708 participants (7.8%) developed CVD events or CVD mortality, and 517 participants (6.3%) died. Baseline serum Prx4 levels were significantly higher in participants with incident CVD events or CVD mortality and in those who died than in participants who remained free of outcomes (both P<0.001). In multivariable models with adjustment for Framingham risk factors, hazard ratios were 1.16 (95% CI 1.06 to 1.27, P<0.001) for incident CVD events or CVD mortality and 1.17 (95% CI 1.06 to 1.29, P=0.003) for all-cause mortality per doubling of Prx4 levels. After the addition of Prx4 to the FRS, the net reclassification improvement was 2.7% (P=0.01) using 10-year risk categories of CVD.
Elevated serum Prx4 levels are associated with a significantly higher risk of incident CVD events or CVD mortality and all-cause mortality after adjustment for clinical risk factors. The addition of Prx4 to the FRS marginally improved risk prediction of future CVD.
PMCID: PMC3541606  PMID: 23316297
cardiovascular disease; epidemiology; mortality; oxidative stress; peroxiredoxin 4
13.  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
14.  Effect of Benfotiamine on Advanced Glycation Endproducts and Markers of Endothelial Dysfunction and Inflammation in Diabetic Nephropathy 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(7):e40427.
Formation of advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs), endothelial dysfunction, and low-grade inflammation are intermediate pathways of hyperglycemia-induced vascular complications. We investigated the effect of benfotiamine on markers of these pathways in patients with type 2 diabetes and nephropathy.
Patients with type 2 diabetes and urinary albumin excretion in the high-normal and microalbuminuric range (15–300 mg/24h) were randomized to receive benfotiamine (n = 39) or placebo (n = 43). Plasma and urinary AGEs (Nε-(carboxymethyl) lysine [CML], Nε-(Carboxyethyl) lysine [CEL], and 5-hydro-5-methylimidazolone [MG-H1]) and plasma markers of endothelial dysfunction (soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 [sVCAM-1], soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 [sICAM-1], soluble E-selectin) and low-grade inflammation (high-sensitivity C-reactive protein [hs-CRP], serum amyloid-A [SAA], myeloperoxidase [MPO]) were measured at baseline and after 6 and 12 weeks.
Compared to placebo, benfotiamine did not result in significant reductions in plasma or urinary AGEs or plasma markers of endothelial dysfunction and low-grade inflammation.
Benfotiamine for 12 weeks did not significantly affect intermediate pathways of hyperglycemia-induced vascular complications.
Trial Regristration NCT00565318
PMCID: PMC3391239  PMID: 22792314
16.  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
17.  Rat Ace allele variation determines susceptibility to AngII induced renal damage 
Ace b/l polymorphism in rat is associated to differential tissue ACE expression and activity, and susceptibility to renal damage. Same polymorphism was recently found in outbred Wistar rat strain with b allele accounting for higher renal ACE, and provided a model for studying RAAS response behind the innate high or low ACE conditions.
We investigated the reaction of these alleles on chronic Angiotensin II (AngII) infusion. Wistar rats were selected to breed male homozygotes for the b (WU-B) or l allele (WU-L) (n=12). For each allele, one group (n=6) received AngII infusion via osmotic minipump (435 ng/kg/min) for three weeks. Other group (n=6) served as control.
WU-B had higher ACE activity at baseline then WU-L. Interestingly, baseline renal ACE2 expression and activity were higher in WU-L. AngII infusion induced same increase in blood pressure in both genotypes, no proteinuria, but caused tubulo-interstitial renal damage with increased α-SMA and monocyte/macrophage influx only in WU-B (p<0.05). Low ACE WU-L rats did not develop renal damage.
AngII infusion causes proteinuria independent renal damage only in rats with genetically predetermined high ACE while rats with low ACE seemed to be protected against the detrimental effect of AngII. Differences in renal ACE2, mirroring those in ACE, might be involved.
PMCID: PMC3356861  PMID: 21788250
ACE; ACE2; WU-L and WU-B; Angiotensin II induced renal injury
18.  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
19.  Effect of Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System Inhibition, Dietary Sodium Restriction, and/or Diuretics on Urinary Kidney Injury Molecule 1 Excretion in Nondiabetic Proteinuric Kidney Disease: A Post Hoc Analysis of a Randomized Controlled Trial 
Tubulointerstitial damage plays an important role in chronic kidney disease (CKD) with proteinuria. Urinary kidney injury molecule 1 (KIM-1) reflects tubular KIM-1 and is considered a sensitive biomarker for early tubular damage. We hypothesized that a decrease in proteinuria by using therapeutic interventions is associated with decreased urinary KIM-1 levels.
Study Design
Post hoc analysis of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial.
Setting & Participants
34 proteinuric patients without diabetes from our outpatient renal clinic.
Stepwise 6-week interventions of losartan, sodium restriction (low-sodium [LS] diet), their combination, losartan plus hydrochlorothiazide (HCT), and the latter plus an LS diet.
Outcomes & Measurements
Urinary excretion of KIM-1, total protein, and N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase (NAG) as a positive control for tubular injury.
Mean baseline urine protein level was 3.8 ± 0.4 (SE) g/d, and KIM-1 level was 1,706 ± 498 ng/d (increased compared with healthy controls; 74 ng/d). KIM-1 level was decreased by using placebo/LS (1,201 ± 388 ng/d; P = 0.04), losartan/high sodium (1,184 ± 296 ng/d; P = 0.09), losartan/LS (921 ± 176 ng/d; P = 0.008), losartan/high sodium plus HCT (862 ± 151 ng/d; P = 0.008) and losartan/LS plus HCT (743 ± 170 ng/d; P = 0.001). The decrease in urinary KIM-1 levels paralleled the decrease in proteinuria (R = 0.523; P < 0.001), but not blood pressure or creatinine clearance. 16 patients reached target proteinuria with protein less than 1 g/d, whereas KIM-1 levels normalized in only 2 patients. Urinary NAG level was increased at baseline and significantly decreased during the treatment periods of combined losartan plus HCT only. The decrease in urinary NAG levels was not closely related to proteinuria.
Post hoc analysis.
Urinary KIM-1 level was increased in patients with nondiabetic CKD with proteinuria and decreased in parallel with proteinuria by using losartan, sodium restriction, their combination, losartan plus HCT, and the latter plus sodium restriction. These results are consistent with the hypothesis of amelioration of proteinuria-induced tubular damage. Long-term studies are warranted to evaluate whether targeting treatment on KIM-1 can improve outcomes in patients with CKD with proteinuria.
PMCID: PMC3298772  PMID: 18823687
Renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system; losartan; angiotensin II type 1 receptor blockade; proteinuria; interstitial renal damage; kidney injury molecule 1; N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase; tubular damage marker; biomarker
20.  CCR5Δ32 Genotype Leads to a Th2 Type Directed Immune Response in ESRD Patients 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(2):e31257.
In patients with end stage renal disease (ESRD) we observed protection from inflammation-associated mortality in CCR5Δ32 carriers, leading to CCR5 deficiency, suggesting impact of CCR5Δ32 on inflammatory processes. Animal studies have shown that CCR5 deficiency is associated with a more pronounced Th2 type immune response, suggesting that in human CCR5Δ32 carriers the immune response may be more Th2 type directed. So, in the present study we determined the Th1-Th2 type directed immune response in ESRD patients carrying and not carrying the CCR5Δ32 genetic variant after stimulation.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We tested this hypothesis by determining the levels of IFN-γ and IL-4 and the distribution of Th1, Th2 and Th17 directed circulating CD4+ and CD8+ T cells and regulatory T cells (Tregs) after stimulation in ESRD patients with (n = 10) and without (n = 9) the CCR5Δ32 genotype. The extracellular levels of IFN-γ and IL-4 did not differ between CCR5Δ32 carriers and non carriers. However, based on their intracellular cytokine profile the percentages IL-4 secreting CD4+ and CD8+ T cells carrying the CCR5Δ32 genotype were significantly increased (p = 0.02, respectively p = 0.02) compared to non carriers, indicating a more Th2 type directed response. Based on their intracellular cytokine profile the percentages IFN-γ and IL-17 secreting T cells did not differ between carriers and non-carriers nor did the percentage Tregs, indicating that the Th1, Th17 and T regulatory response was not affected by the CCR5Δ32 genotype.
This first, functional human study shows a more pronounced Th2 type immune response in CCR5Δ32 carriers compared to non carriers. These differences may be involved in the previously observed protection from inflammation-associated mortality in ESRD patients carrying CCR5Δ32.
PMCID: PMC3278436  PMID: 22348061
21.  The Association of APOE Genotype with Cognitive Function in Persons Aged 35 Years or Older 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(11):e27415.
APOE genotype is associated with the risk of Alzheimer's disease. In the present study, we investigated whether APOE genotype was associated with cognitive function in predominantly middle-aged persons. In a population-based cohort of 4,135 persons aged 35 to 82 years (mean age (SD), 55 (12) years), cognitive function was measured with the Ruff Figural Fluency Test (RFFT; worst score, 0 points; best score, 175 points). APOE genotype (rs429358 and rs7412) was determined by polymerase chain reaction. The mean RFFT score (SD) of the total cohort was 69 (26) points. Unadjusted, the mean RFFT score in homozygous APOE ε4 carriers was 4.66 points lower than in noncarriers (95% confidence interval, -9.84 to 0.51; p = 0.08). After adjustment for age and other risk factors, the mean RFFT score in homozygous APOE ε4 carriers was 5.24 points lower than in noncarriers (95% confidence interval, -9.41 to -1.07; p = 0.01). The difference in RFFT score was not dependent on age. There was no difference in RFFT score between heterozygous APOE ε4 carriers and noncarriers. The results indicated that homozygous APOE ε4 carriers aged 35 years or older had worse cognitive function than heterozygous carriers and noncarriers.
PMCID: PMC3215744  PMID: 22110642
22.  Improvement of Sodium Status to Optimize the Efficacy of Renin-Angiotensin System Blockade 
Current Hypertension Reports  2011;13(6):397-399.
Blockade of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) offers superior renoprotection in the treatment of patients with hypertension, but the efficacy of RAAS inhibition strongly depends on sodium status, presumably in relation to extracellular volume status. Because assessing volume status by physical examination is challenging, 24-hour urine collection and NT-proBNP levels are useful tools for guiding volume management and achieving sodium status targets.
PMCID: PMC3212696  PMID: 21964882
Hypertension; Chronic kidney disease; Blood pressure; Therapy; Renoprotection; Sodium; Renin-angiotensin system; Renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system; RAAS blockade; N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide; NT-proBNP; 24-hour urine collection; Extracellular volume
23.  Animal models of cardiorenal syndrome: a review 
Heart Failure Reviews  2011;17(3):411-420.
The incidence of heart failure and renal failure is increasing and is associated with poor prognosis. Moreover, these conditions do often coexist and this coexistence results in worsened outcome. Various mechanisms have been proposed as an explanation of this interrelation, including changes in hemodynamics, endothelial dysfunction, inflammation, activation of renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, and/or sympathetic nervous system. However, the exact mechanisms initializing and maintaining this interaction are still unknown. In many experimental studies on cardiac or renal dysfunction, the function of the other organ was either not addressed or the authors failed to show any decline in its function despite histological changes. There are few studies in which the dysfunction of both heart and kidney function has been described. In this review, we discuss animal models of combined cardiorenal dysfunction. We show that translation of the results from animal studies is limited, and there is a need for new and better models of the cardiorenal interaction to improve our understanding of this syndrome. Finally, we propose several requirements that a new animal model should meet to serve as a tool for studies on the cardiorenal syndrome.
PMCID: PMC3324695  PMID: 21909828
Cardiorenal syndrome; Heart-kidney interaction; Animal models
24.  Comparative Performance of the CKD Epidemiology Collaboration (CKD-EPI) and the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) Study Equations for Estimating GFR Levels Above 60 mL/min/1.73 m2 
The MDRD Study equation underestimates measured GFR at levels greater than 60 ml/min per 1.73 m2, with variable accuracy among subgroups; consequently estimated GFR (eGFR) ≥ 60 ml/min/1.73 m2 is not reported by clinical laboratories. Here, the performance of a more accurate GFR estimating equation, the CKD-EPI equation, is reported by level of GFR and clinical characteristics.
Study Design
Test of diagnostic accuracy
Setting and Participants
Pooled dataset of 3896 people from 16 studies with measured GFR (not used for development of either equation). Subgroups were defined by eGFR, age, sex, race, diabetes, prior solid organ transplant, and body mass index.
Index Tests
eGFR from the CKD-EPI and MDRD Study equations and standardized serum creatinine
Reference Test
Measured GFR using urinary or plasma clearance of exogenous filtration markers
Mean (SD) measured GFR was 68 (36) ml/min/1.73 m2. For eGFR less than 30 ml/min/1.73 m2, both equations have similar bias (median difference compared to measured GFR). For eGFR between 30-59 ml/min/1.73 m2, bias was reduced from 4.9 to 2.1 ml/min/1.73 m2 (57% improvement). For eGFR between 60-89 ml/min/1.73 m2, bias was reduced from 11.9 to 4.2 ml/min/1.73 m2 (61 % improvement). For eGFR between 90-119 ml/min/1.73 m2, bias was reduced from 10.0 to 1.9 ml/min/1.73 m2 (75% improvement). Similar or improved performance was noted for most subgroups with eGFR < 90 ml/min/1.73 m2, other than BMI less than 20 kg/m2, with greater variation noted for some subgroups with eGFR ≥ 90 ml/min/1.73 m2.
Limited number of elderly people and racial and ethnic minorities with measured GFR.
The CKD-EPI equation is more accurate than the MDRD Study equation overall and across most subgroups. In contrast to the MDRD Study equation, eGFR ≥ 60 ml/min/1.73 m2 can be reported using the CKD-EPI equation.
PMCID: PMC2926290  PMID: 20557989
Estimating equations; glomerular filtration rate; performance
25.  N-Glycosylation of Carnosinase Influences Protein Secretion and Enzyme Activity 
Diabetes  2010;59(8):1984-1990.
The (CTG)n polymorphism in the serum carnosinase (CN-1) gene affects CN-1 secretion. Since CN-1 is heavily glycosylated and glycosylation might influence protein secretion as well, we tested the role of N-glycosylation for CN-1 secretion and enzyme activity. We also tested whether CN-1 secretion is changed under hyperglycemic conditions.
N-glycosylation of CN-1 was either inhibited by tunicamycin in pCSII-CN-1–transfected Cos-7 cells or by stepwise deletion of its three putative N-glycosylation sites. CN-1 protein expression, N-glycosylation, and enzyme activity were assessed in cell extracts and supernatants. The influence of hyperglycemia on CN-1 enzyme activity in human serum was tested in homozygous (CTG)5 diabetic patients and healthy control subjects.
Tunicamycin completely inhibited CN-1 secretion. Deletion of all N-glycosylation sites was required to reduce CN-1 secretion efficiency. Enzyme activity was already diminished when two sites were deleted. In pCSII-CN-1–transfected Cos-7 cells cultured in medium containing 25 mmol/l d-glucose, the immature 61 kilodaltons (kDa) CN-1 immune reactive band was not detected. This was paralleled by an increased GlcNAc expression in cell lysates and CN-1 expression in the supernatants. Homozygous (CTG)5 diabetic patients had significantly higher serum CN-1 activity compared with genotype-matched, healthy control subjects.
We conclude that apart from the (CTG)n polymorphism in the signal peptide of CN-1, N-glycosylation is essential for appropriate secretion and enzyme activity. Since hyperglycemia enhances CN-1 secretion and enzyme activity, our data suggest that poor blood glucose control in diabetic patients might result in an increased CN-1 secretion even in the presence of the (CTG)5 allele.
PMCID: PMC2911063  PMID: 20460427

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