Reduced Levels of the Antiaging Hormone Klotho are Associated With Increased Aortic Stiffness in Diabetic Kidney Disease

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Aortic pulse wave velocity (Ao-PWV) predicts cardiovascular and kidney disease in type 2 diabetes (T2D). Klotho is a circulating antiaging hormone (sKlotho) with putative cardiorenal protective effects. The relationship between sKlotho and Ao-PWV in diabetic kidney disease (DKD) is unknown.

In a cross-sectional cohort study, the correlation of sKlotho measured by a validated immunoassay, and Ao-PWV measured by applanation tonometry, was investigated in 172 participants with T2D and early stage DKD (all had estimated glomerular filtration rate [eGFR] >45 ml/min) on stable renin angiotensin system (RAS) inhibition. In cultured human aortic smooth muscle cells (HASMCs) stimulated with angiotensin II (AngII), the effects of recombinant human sKlotho pretreatment were assessed on intracellular calcium ([Ca2+]i) responses and expression of proteins associated with proosteogenic HASMC phenotypes.

Mean (range) age of the cohort was 61.3 years (40–82) and 65% were male. Mean (±SD) Ao-PWV was 11.4 (±2.3) m/s, eGFR 78.8 (±23.5) and median (interquartile range) sKlotho of 358.5 (194.2–706.3) pg/ml. In multivariable linear regression analyses, we observed a statistically significant inverse relationship between sKlotho and Ao-PWV, which was independent of clinical risk factors for cardiorenal disease. Pretreatment of cultured HASMC with sKlotho significantly attenuated AngII-stimulated [Ca2+]i transients and reduced osteogenic collagen (Col1a2) expression.

In individuals with T2D and early DKD, lower levels of sKlotho are associated with increased Ao-PWV. Taken together with the direct effect of sKlotho on mediators of aortic wall stiffness in vitro, these findings may explain the enhanced risk of cardiorenal disease in DKD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1380-1388
Number of pages9
JournalKidney International Reports
Issue number7
Early online date30 Apr 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023


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