'Anti-aging' hormone could unlock new treatments for kidney and heart disease

February 13, 2017, King's College London
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

A new study by researchers at King's College London has found that patients with diabetes suffering from the early stages of kidney disease have a deficiency of the protective 'anti-ageing' hormone, Klotho.

The study, published today in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes [EASD]), suggests that Klotho may play a significant role in the development of kidney disease, which is often prevalent in patients with diabetes.

This could mean that Klotho levels have the potential to be used as a risk marker to predict kidney disease, as well as being a target for developing new treatments to prevent kidney disease in patients with type 1 diabetes.

Previous work undertaken at King's has also shown that Klotho protects the vascular system against changes associated with abnormal ageing, such as the thickening of artery walls (atherosclerosis), which characterises age related disorders such as diabetes, heart disease and hypertension.

In this study, scientists tested blood and urine samples from 78 patients with type 1 diabetes of which 33 also showed signs of the early stages of diabetic kidney disease, called microalbuminuria.

They found that patients with microalbuminuria had lower levels of the circulating Klotho hormone, compared with patients without microalbuminuria. Klotho levels in patients without microalbuminuria were similar to levels found in healthy adults.

First author of the study, Dr Giuseppe Maltese, from the Cardiovascular Division at King's College London said: 'For the first time, Klotho has been linked to kidney disease in type 1 diabetes patients and this finding represents an exciting step towards developing new markers for disease and potentially new treatments.'

Senior author, Dr Janaka Karalliedde, said: 'With further research using larger cohorts of patients with type 1 and 2 diabetes we hope to expand the scope of this work to identify at an early stage at high risk of progression of kidney disease and cardiovascular disease.'

Dr Richard Siow, a co-author of the study, recently published research which showed the protective effects of Klotho in cardiovascular cells and said: 'This study highlights the important clinical and that is being undertaken on Klotho at King's.

'Our research will help scientists to better understand the mechanisms by which this hormone benefits healthy ageing, as well as how deficits in Klotho lead to age related diseases. We are conducting further research on the role of Klotho in ageing and longevity as part of ARK (Ageing Research at King's) research initiatives.'

Limitations of this study include its relatively small and selective sample size and the cross-sectional design, which is unable to identify a causal relationship between Klotho and development of kidney disease.

Explore further: Low levels of circulating protein linked to kidney function decline

More information: 'Peturbations of the anti-ageing hormone Klotho in patients with type 1 diabetes and microalbuminuria' Diabetologia, 13 February 2017. DOI: 10.1007/s00125-017-4219-1

Related Stories

Low levels of circulating protein linked to kidney function decline

January 19, 2017
Higher blood levels of a protein called klotho may help preserve kidney function, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN). Although additional studies ...

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

December 4, 2014
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 ...

Anti-aging hormone Klotho may prevent complications

February 18, 2011
Low levels of the anti-aging hormone Klotho may serve as an early warning sign of the presence of kidney disease and its deadly cardiovascular complications, according to findings by UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers.

A new treatment for kidney disease-associated heart failure?

January 9, 2013
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients frequently suffer from mineral bone disorder, which causes vascular calcification and, eventually, chronic heart failure. Similar to patients with CKD, mice with low levels of the protein ...

Longevity hormone is lower in stressed and depressed women

June 16, 2015
Women under chronic stress have significantly lower levels of klotho, a hormone that regulates aging and enhances cognition, researchers at UC San Francisco have found in a study comparing mothers of children on the autism ...

Anti-aging hormone Klotho inhibits renal fibrosis, cancer growth

April 13, 2011
A natural hormone known to inhibit aging can also protect kidneys against renal fibrosis, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have demonstrated.

Recommended for you

Millions of low-risk people with diabetes may be testing their blood sugar too often

December 10, 2018
For people with Type 2 diabetes, the task of testing their blood sugar with a fingertip prick and a drop of blood on a special strip of paper becomes part of everyday life.

New therapeutic avenue for type 2 diabetes

December 6, 2018
Restoring the action of insulin is one of the keys to fighting type 2 diabetes. Researchers from Inserm led by Dominique Langin at the Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases (Inserm/Université de Toulouse) are ...

Subtype of immune B cells can delay type 1 diabetes onset in mice

December 6, 2018
A team of researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Michigan Medical School reports today in the JCI Insight that a subset of immune B cells, known as CD19+IgM+ B cells, can delay the onset of type 1 ...

Is the pancreas regeneration debate settled? An original theory renewed

December 5, 2018
A contentious debate among diabetes researchers has surrounded the regeneration of pancreatic insulin-producing cells: not if these cells regenerate, but rather how.

One in four patients say they've skimped on insulin because of high cost

December 3, 2018
For patients with diabetes, insulin is a life-saving medicine and an essential component of diabetes management, yet in the past decade alone, the out-of-pocket costs for insulin have doubled in the United States. One-quarter ...

Parsing diabetic skin infections

December 3, 2018
People with diabetes are more susceptible to skin infection. According to a new study by C. Henrique Serezani, Ph.D., Stephanie Brandt, Ph.D., and colleagues, this susceptibility might be due to overabundance of a compound ...

0 comments

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

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.