Low levels of circulating protein linked with heart problems in mice with kidney disease

Decreased blood levels of a kidney-derived protein called Klotho increases the risk of heart disease in mice with kidney disease, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN). If the findings are confirmed in humans, Klotho replacement therapy may help protect the heart health of patients with poor kidney function.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in patients with (CKD). Also, (thickening of the heart muscle) occurs in up to 95% of patients with CKD and increases their risk for cardiovascular death. Through decades of research, investigators have found several risk factors for CKD-associated cardiac hypertrophy, which is also called uremic cardiomyopathy. Despite correction of all these known factors, however, many patients with CKD still develop uremic cardiomyopathy.

Chou-Long Huang, MD PhD, Jian Xie, PhD (UT Southwestern Medical Center), and their colleagues designed a study to investigate whether a decrease in levels of circulating soluble Klotho, a protein that is produced by the kidneys and is known to have anti-aging and heart-protective effects, is a missing link to the cause of uremic cardiomyopathy.

The researchers found that levels of soluble Klotho circulating in the blood are reduced in mice with CKD. Also, mice with a genetic deficiency in soluble Klotho develop much more severe uremic cardiomyopathy, and replacing soluble Klotho can protect mice against developing uremic cardiomyopathy.

"Our study shows that a decrease in circulating soluble Klotho in CKD is an important cause of uremic cardiomyopathy and opens new avenues for treatment of the disease," said Dr. Huang.


Explore further

A new treatment for kidney disease-associated heart failure?

More information: The article, entitled "Soluble Klotho Protects against Uremic Cardiomyopathy Independently of Fibroblast Growth Factor 23 and Phosphate," will appear online at jasn.asnjournals.org/ on December 4, 2014.
Provided by American Society of Nephrology
Citation: Low levels of circulating protein linked with heart problems in mice with kidney disease (2014, December 4) retrieved 16 January 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-12-circulating-protein-linked-heart-problems.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more