Serum levels of soluble secreted α-Klotho are decreased in the early stages of chronic kidney disease, making it a probable novel biomarker for early diagnosis

Yoshiko Shimamura, Kazu Hamada, Kosuke Inoue, Koji Ogata, Masayuki Ishihara, Toru Kagawa, Mari Inoue, Shimpei Fujimoto, Mika Ikebe, Kenji Yuasa, Shigeo Yamanaka, Teturo Sugiura, Yoshio Terada
Clinical and Experimental Nephrology 2012, 16 (5): 722-9

BACKGROUND: α-Klotho was first identified as an aging gene and was later shown to be a regulator of phosphate metabolism. Fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23) is the key regulator of phosphate metabolism. Serum levels of soluble α-Klotho in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients have not previously been determined, especially in relation with FGF23 and creatinine levels. This study was designed to investigate whether serum soluble α-Klotho levels are modulated by renal function, age, and FGF23 level in CKD patients. This study is the first report on the utility of measuring soluble α-Klotho levels in human CKD.

METHODS: A total of 292 CKD patients were enrolled. Serum samples were collected, and FGF23 and soluble α-Klotho levels were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kits. In addition, serum creatinine, hemoglobin, albumin, calcium, and phosphate levels were measured.

RESULTS: Serum soluble α-Klotho levels were associated positively with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) (P < 0.0001) and inversely with serum creatinine level (P < 0.01). Interestingly, α-Klotho levels were significantly decreased in stage 2 CKD compared with stage 1 (P = 0.0001). Serum FGF23 levels were associated positively with serum creatinine and negatively with eGFR. FGF23 levels were significantly increased in stage 5 compared with stage 1 CKD. Soluble α-Klotho was associated inversely with log-transformed FGF23 level (P < 0.01).

CONCLUSION: Our data indicate that soluble α-Klotho levels are significantly decreased in stage 2 CKD compared to stage 1, and not only in the advanced stages of the disease. Soluble α-Klotho may thus represent a new biomarker for the diagnosis of CKD, especially in the early stage.

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