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1.  VITamin D supplementation in renAL transplant recipients (VITALE): a prospective, multicentre, double-blind, randomized trial of vitamin D estimating the benefit and safety of vitamin D3 treatment at a dose of 100,000 UI compared with a dose of 12,000 UI in renal transplant recipients: study protocol for a double-blind, randomized, controlled trial 
Trials  2014;15(1):430.
In addition to their effects on bone health, high doses of cholecalciferol may have beneficial non-classic effects including the reduction of incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. These pleiotropic effects have been documented in observational and experimental studies or in small intervention trials. Vitamin D insufficiency is a frequent finding in renal transplant recipients (RTRs), and this population is at risk of the previously cited complications.
The VITALE study is a prospective, multicentre, double-blind, randomized, controlled trial with two parallel groups that will include a total of 640 RTRs. RTRs with vitamin D insufficiency, defined as circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels of less than 30 ng/ml (or 75 nmol/l), will be randomized between 12 and 48 months after transplantation to blinded groups to receive vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) either at high or low dose (respectively, 100,000 UI or 12,000 UI every 2 weeks for 2 months then monthly for 22 months) with a follow-up of 2 years. The primary objective of the study is to evaluate the benefit/risk ratio of high-dose versus low-dose cholecalciferol on a composite endpoint consisting of de novo diabetes mellitus; major cardiovascular events; de novo cancer; and patient death. Secondary endpoints will include blood pressure (BP) control; echocardiography findings; the incidences of infection and acute rejection episodes; renal allograft function using estimated glomerular filtration rate; proteinuria; graft survival; bone mineral density; the incidence of fractures; and biological relevant parameters of mineral metabolism.
We previously reported that the intensive cholecalciferol treatment (100 000 IU every 2 weeks for 2 months) was safe in RTR. Using a pharmacokinetic approach, we showed that cholecalciferol 100,000 IU monthly should maintain serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D at above 30 ng/ml but below 80 ng/ml after renal transplantation. Taken together, these results are reassuring regarding the safety of the cholecalciferol doses that will be used in the VITALE study. Analysis of data collected during the VITALE study will demonstrate whether high or low-dose cholecalciferol is beneficial in RTRs with vitamin D insufficiency.
Trial registration Identifier: NCT01431430.
PMCID: PMC4233037  PMID: 25376735
Interventional trial; Vitamin D; Renal transplantation; Cancer; Cardiovascular events; Diabetes mellitus
2.  Changes in fibroblast growth factor 23 levels in normophosphatemic patients with chronic kidney disease stage 3 treated with lanthanum carbonate: results of the PREFECT study, a phase 2a, double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial 
BMC Nephrology  2014;15:71.
High levels of circulating fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23) are associated with chronic kidney disease (CKD) progression and high mortality. In the Phosphate Reduction Evaluation of FGF23 in Early CKD Treatment (PREFECT) study, we assessed the effect of reducing intestinal phosphate absorption using lanthanum carbonate on FGF23 levels in normophosphatemic patients with CKD stage 3.
Thirty-five individuals were randomized to lanthanum carbonate 3000 mg/day (n = 23) or placebo (n = 12) for 12 weeks. Levels of intact FGF23 (iFGF23), C-terminal FGF23, serum and urinary phosphate and calcium, intact parathyroid hormone and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D were assessed.
The median age was 65 years in the lanthanum group and 73 years in the placebo group; 58.8% and 41.7% were men, respectively. No significant difference was seen in mean iFGF23 between groups at week 12. There was, however, a transient reduction from baseline in iFGF23 in the lanthanum group at week 1, from 70.5 pg/ml to 51.9 pg/ml, which was not seen in the placebo group; this between-group difference in percentage change from baseline was significant in post hoc analyses (p = 0.0102). Urinary phosphate decreased after 1 week of lanthanum treatment and remained low at week 12.
Reducing intestinal phosphate absorption with lanthanum carbonate did not lead to sustained reductions in iFGF23 in patients with CKD stage 3, although phosphaturia decreased. This suggests that factors other than phosphate burden may be responsible for driving increases in circulating FGF23 in patients with CKD.
Trial registration NCT01128179, 20 May 2010.
PMCID: PMC4107721  PMID: 24885942
CKD-MBD; FGF23; Parathyroid hormone; Phosphate binders; Phosphaturia; Lanthanum carbonate
3.  Therapeutic management of hypophosphatemic rickets from infancy to adulthood 
Endocrine Connections  2014;3(1):R13-R30.
In children, hypophosphatemic rickets (HR) is revealed by delayed walking, waddling gait, leg bowing, enlarged cartilages, bone pain, craniostenosis, spontaneous dental abscesses, and growth failure. If undiagnosed during childhood, patients with hypophosphatemia present with bone and/or joint pain, fractures, mineralization defects such as osteomalacia, entesopathy, severe dental anomalies, hearing loss, and fatigue. Healing rickets is the initial endpoint of treatment in children. Therapy aims at counteracting consequences of FGF23 excess, i.e. oral phosphorus supplementation with multiple daily intakes to compensate for renal phosphate wasting and active vitamin D analogs (alfacalcidol or calcitriol) to counter the 1,25-diOH-vitamin D deficiency. Corrective surgeries for residual leg bowing at the end of growth are occasionally performed. In absence of consensus regarding indications of the treatment in adults, it is generally accepted that medical treatment should be reinitiated (or maintained) in symptomatic patients to reduce pain, which may be due to bone microfractures and/or osteomalacia. In addition to the conventional treatment, optimal care of symptomatic patients requires pharmacological and non-pharmacological management of pain and joint stiffness, through appropriated rehabilitation. Much attention should be given to the dental and periodontal manifestations of HR. Besides vitamin D analogs and phosphate supplements that improve tooth mineralization, rigorous oral hygiene, active endodontic treatment of root abscesses and preventive protection of teeth surfaces are recommended. Current outcomes of this therapy are still not optimal, and therapies targeting the pathophysiology of the disease, i.e. FGF23 excess, are desirable. In this review, medical, dental, surgical, and contributions of various expertises to the treatment of HR are described, with an effort to highlight the importance of coordinated care.
PMCID: PMC3959730  PMID: 24550322
calcium; bone; rare diseases/syndromes; X-linked hypophosphatemic rickets
4.  Plasma Fibroblast Growth Factor 23 Concentration Is Increased and Predicts Mortality in Patients on the Liver-Transplant Waiting List 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e66182.
High plasma fibroblast growth factor-23 (FGF23) concentration predicts the risk of death and poor outcomes in patients with chronic kidney disease or chronic heart failure. We checked if FGF23 concentration could be modified in patients with end stage liver disease (ESLD) and predict mortality. We measured plasma FGF23 in 200 patients with ESLD registered on a liver transplant waiting list between January 2005 and October 2008. We found that median plasma FGF23 concentration was above normal values in 63% of the patients. Increased FGF23 concentration was not explained by its classical determinants: hyperphosphataemia, increased calcitriol concentration or decreased renal function. FGF23 concentration correlated with the MELD score, serum sodium concentration, and GFR. Forty-six patients died before being transplanted and 135 underwent liver transplantation. We analyzed the prognostic value of FGF23 levels. Mortality was significantly associated with FGF23 levels, the MELD score, serum sodium concentration and glomerular filtration rate. On multivariate analyses only FGF23 concentration was associated with mortality. FGF23 levels were independent of the cause of the liver disease. To determine if the damaged liver can produce FGF23 we measured plasma FGF23 concentration and liver FGF23 mRNA expression in control and diethyl-nitrosamine (DEN)-treated mice. FGF23 plasma levels increased with the apparition of liver lesions in DEN-treated mice and that FGF23 mRNA expression, which was undetectable in the liver of control mice, markedly increased with the development of liver lesions. The correlation between FGF23 plasma concentration and FGF23 mRNA expression in DEN-treated mice suggests that FGF23 production by the liver accounts for the increased plasma FGF23 concentration. In conclusion chronic liver lesions can induce expression of FGF23 mRNA leading to increased FGF23 concentration, which is associated with a higher mortality in patients on a liver-transplant waiting list. In these patients FGF23 concentration was the best predictor of mortality.
PMCID: PMC3692511  PMID: 23825530
5.  Determination of the best method to estimate glomerular filtration rate from serum creatinine in adult patients with sickle cell disease: a prospective observational cohort study 
BMC Nephrology  2012;13:83.
Sickle cell disease (SCD) leads to tissue hypoxia resulting in chronic organ dysfunction including SCD associated nephropathy. The goal of our study was to determine the best equation to estimate glomerular filtration rate (GFR) in SCD adult patients.
We conducted a prospective observational cohort study. Since 2007, all adult SCD patients in steady state, followed in two medical departments, have had their GFR measured using iohexol plasma clearance (gold standard). The Cockcroft-Gault, MDRD-v4, CKP-EPI and finally, MDRD and CKD-EPI equations without adjustment for ethnicity were tested to estimate GFR from serum creatinine. Estimated GFRs were compared to measured GFRs according to the graphical Bland and Altman method.
Sixty-four SCD patients (16 men, median age 27.5 years [range 18.0-67.5], 41 with SS-genotype were studied. They were Sub-Saharan Africa and French West Indies natives and predominantly lean (median body mass index: 22 kg/m2 [16-33]). Hyperfiltration (defined as measured GFR >110 mL/min/1.73 m2) was detected in 53.1% of patients. Urinary albumin/creatinine ratio was higher in patients with hyperfiltration than in patients with normal GFR (4.05 mg/mmol [0.14-60] versus 0.4 mg/mmol [0.7-81], p = 0.01). The CKD-EPI equation without adjustment for ethnicity had both the lowest bias and the greatest precision. Differences between estimated GFRs using the CKP-EPI equation and measured GFRs decreased with increasing GFR values, whereas it increased with the Cockcroft-Gault and MDRD-v4 equations.
We confirm that SCD patients have a high rate of glomerular hyperfiltration, which is frequently associated with microalbuminuria or macroalbuminuria. In non-Afro-American SCD patients, the best method for estimating GFR from serum creatinine is the CKD-EPI equation without adjustment for ethnicity. This equation is particularly accurate to estimate high GFR values, including glomerular hyperfiltration, and thus should be recommended to screen SCD adult patients at high risk for SCD nephropathy.
PMCID: PMC3465224  PMID: 22866669
Sickle cell disease; Glomerular hyperfiltration; Albuminuria; Glomerular filtration rate; CKD-EPI equation; Iohexol plasma clearance; Ethnicity
6.  Functional Interaction between CFTR and the Sodium-Phosphate Co-Transport Type 2a in Xenopus laevis Oocytes 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(4):e34879.
A growing number of proteins, including ion transporters, have been shown to interact with Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane conductance Regulator (CFTR). CFTR is an epithelial chloride channel that is involved in Cystic Fibrosis (CF) when mutated; thus a better knowledge of its functional interactome may help to understand the pathophysiology of this complex disease. In the present study, we investigated if CFTR and the sodium-phosphate co-transporter type 2a (NPT2a) functionally interact after heterologous expression of both proteins in Xenopus laevis oocytes.
NPT2a was expressed alone or in combination with CFTR in X. laevis oocytes. Using the two-electrode voltage-clamp technique, the inorganic phosphate-induced current (IPi) was measured and taken as an index of NPT2a activity. The maximal IPi for NPT2a substrates was reduced when CFTR was co-expressed with NPT2a, suggesting a decrease in its expression at the oolemna. This was consistent with Western blot analysis showing reduced NPT2a plasma membrane expression in oocytes co-expressing both proteins, whereas NPT2a protein level in total cell lysate was the same in NPT2a- and NPT2a+CFTR-oocytes. In NPT2a+CFTR- but not in NPT2a-oocytes, IPi and NPT2a surface expression were increased upon PKA stimulation, whereas stimulation of Exchange Protein directly Activated by cAMP (EPAC) had no effect. When NPT2a-oocytes were injected with NEG2, a short amino-acid sequence from the CFTR regulatory domain that regulates PKA-dependent CFTR trafficking to the plasma membrane, IPi values and NPT2a membrane expression were diminished, and could be enhanced by PKA stimulation, thereby mimicking the effects of CFTR co-expression.
We conclude that when both CFTR and NPT2a are expressed in X. laevis oocytes, CFTR confers to NPT2a a cAMPi-dependent trafficking to the membrane. This functional interaction raises the hypothesis that CFTR may play a role in phosphate homeostasis.
PMCID: PMC3325942  PMID: 22514683
7.  A New Human NHERF1 Mutation Decreases Renal Phosphate Transporter NPT2a Expression by a PTH-Independent Mechanism 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(4):e34764.
The sodium-hydrogen exchanger regulatory factor 1 (NHERF1) binds to the main renal phosphate transporter NPT2a and to the parathyroid hormone (PTH) receptor. We have recently identified mutations in NHERF1 that decrease renal phosphate reabsorption by increasing PTH-induced cAMP production in the renal proximal tubule.
We compared relevant parameters of phosphate homeostasis in a patient with a previously undescribed mutation in NHERF1 and in control subjects. We expressed the mutant NHERF1 protein in Xenopus Oocytes and in cultured cells to study its effects on phosphate transport and PTH-induced cAMP production.
We identified in a patient with inappropriate renal phosphate reabsorption a previously unidentified mutation (E68A) located in the PDZ1 domain of NHERF1.We report the consequences of this mutation on NHERF1 function. E68A mutation did not modify cAMP production in the patient. PTH-induced cAMP synthesis and PKC activity were not altered by E68A mutation in renal cells in culture. In contrast to wild-type NHERF1, expression of the E68A mutant in Xenopus oocytes and in human cells failed to increase phosphate transport. Pull down experiments showed that E68A mutant did not interact with NPT2a, which robustly interacted with wild type NHERF1 and previously identified mutants. Biotinylation studies revealed that E68A mutant was unable to increase cell surface expression of NPT2a.
Our results indicate that the PDZ1 domain is critical for NHERF1- NPT2a interaction in humans and for the control of NPT2a expression at the plasma membrane. Thus we have identified a new mechanism of renal phosphate loss and shown that different mutations in NHERF1 can alter renal phosphate reabsorption via distinct mechanisms.
PMCID: PMC3323571  PMID: 22506049
8.  The Phosphate Transporter PiT1 (Slc20a1) Revealed As a New Essential Gene for Mouse Liver Development 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(2):e9148.
PiT1 (or SLC20a1) encodes a widely expressed plasma membrane protein functioning as a high-affinity Na+-phosphate (Pi) cotransporter. As such, PiT1 is often considered as a ubiquitous supplier of Pi for cellular needs regardless of the lack of experimental data. Although the importance of PiT1 in mineralizing processes have been demonstrated in vitro in osteoblasts, chondrocytes and vascular smooth muscle cells, in vivo evidence is missing.
Methodology/Principal Findings
To determine the in vivo function of PiT1, we generated an allelic series of PiT1 mutations in mice by combination of wild-type, hypomorphic and null PiT1 alleles expressing from 100% to 0% of PiT1. In this report we show that complete deletion of PiT1 results in embryonic lethality at E12.5. PiT1-deficient embryos display severely hypoplastic fetal livers and subsequent reduced hematopoiesis resulting in embryonic death from anemia. We show that the anemia is not due to placental, yolk sac or vascular defects and that hematopoietic progenitors have no cell-autonomous defects in proliferation and differentiation. In contrast, mutant fetal livers display decreased proliferation and massive apoptosis. Animals carrying two copies of hypomorphic PiT1 alleles (resulting in 15% PiT1 expression comparing to wild-type animals) survive at birth but are growth-retarded and anemic. The combination of both hypomorphic and null alleles in heterozygous compounds results in late embryonic lethality (E14.5–E16.5) with phenotypic features intermediate between null and hypomorphic mice. In the three mouse lines generated we could not evidence defects in early skeleton formation.
This work is the first to illustrate a specific in vivo role for PiT1 by uncovering it as being a critical gene for normal developmental liver growth.
PMCID: PMC2818845  PMID: 20161774

Results 1-8 (8)