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Concept: Chronic kidney disease


BACKGROUND: Fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23) is an important hormone in the regulation of phosphate metabolism. It is unclear whether FGF23 is associated with carotid artery calcification (CAAC) in predialysis patients. The present study aimed to clarify the relationship between FGF23 and CAAC in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) who were not on dialysis. METHODS: One-hundred ninety-five predialysis CKD patients were enrolled in this cross-sectional study. CAAC was assessed using multidetector computed tomography, and the prevalence of CAAC was examined. Intact FGF23 was measured in each patient. The risk factors for CAAC were evaluated using a logistic regression model. RESULTS: We found CAAC in 66% of the patients. The prevalence of CAAC significantly increased across CKD stages: it was 37% in CKD stages 1–2, 58% in stage 3; 75% in stage 4, and 77% in stage 5 (p < 0.01). In multivariate analysis, smoking, diabetes mellitus and log FGF23 were each identified as risk factors for CAAC. The study population was divided in quartiles of FGF23 levels. Compared with the lowest FGF23 quartile, each subsequent quartile had a progressively higher odds ratio (OR) for CAAC, adjusted for confounders (ORs [95% confidence interval] of 2.34 [0.78 to 7.31], 5.28 [1.56 to 19.5], and 13.6 [2.92 to 74.6] for the second, third, and fourth quartiles, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of CAAC is increased with the decline in the kidney function. FGF23 is independently related to CAAC in patients with CKD who are not on dialysis.

Concepts: Renal failure, Chronic kidney disease, Kidney, Nephrology, Erythropoietin, Epidemiology, Diabetes mellitus, Medical statistics


Vascular access problems are a daily occurrence in hemodialysis units. Loss of patency of the vascular access limits hemodialysis delivery and may result in underdialysis that leads to increased morbidity and mortality. Despite the known superiority of autogenous fistulae over grafts, autogenous fistulae also suffer from frequent development of stenosis and subsequent thrombosis. International guidelines recommend programmes for detection of stenosis and consequent correction in an attempt to reduce the rate of thrombosis. Physical examination of autogenous fistulae has recently been revisited as an important element in the assessment of stenotic lesions. Prospective observational studies have consistently demonstrated that physical examination performed by trained physicians is an accurate method for the diagnosis of fistula stenosis and, therefore, should be part of all surveillance protocols of the vascular access. However, to optimize hemodialysis access surveillance, hemodialysis practitioners may need to improve their skills in performing physical examination. The purpose of this article is to review the basics and drawbacks of physical examination for dialysis arteriovenous fistulae and to provide the reader with its diagnostic accuracy in the detection of arteriovenous fistula dysfunction, based on current published literature.

Concepts: Chronic kidney disease, Dialysis, Hemodialysis, Renal replacement therapy, Arteriovenous fistula, Fistula, Cimino fistula


Home-based renal replacement therapy (RRT) [peritoneal dialysis (PD) and home hemodialysis (HHD)] offers independent quality of life and clinical advantages compared to conventional in-center hemodialysis. However, follow-up may be less complete for home dialysis patients following a change in care settings such as post hospitalization. We aim to implement a Home Dialysis Virtual Ward (HDVW) strategy, which is targeted to minimize gaps of care.

Concepts: Chronic kidney disease, Nephrology, Dialysis, Hemodialysis, Peritoneum, Renal dialysis


Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is the most frequent genetic cause of renal failure. Here we identify miR-17 as a target for the treatment of ADPKD. We report that miR-17 is induced in kidney cysts of mouse and human ADPKD. Genetic deletion of the miR-17∼92 cluster inhibits cyst proliferation and PKD progression in four orthologous, including two long-lived, mouse models of ADPKD. Anti-miR-17 treatment attenuates cyst growth in short-term and long-term PKD mouse models. miR-17 inhibition also suppresses proliferation and cyst growth of primary ADPKD cysts cultures derived from multiple human donors. Mechanistically, c-Myc upregulates miR-17∼92 in cystic kidneys, which in turn aggravates cyst growth by inhibiting oxidative phosphorylation and stimulating proliferation through direct repression of Pparα. Thus, miR-17 family is a promising drug target for ADPKD, and miR-17-mediated inhibition of mitochondrial metabolism represents a potential new mechanism for ADPKD progression.

Concepts: DNA, Chronic kidney disease, Kidney, Adenosine triphosphate, Mitochondrion, Chromosome, Oxidative phosphorylation, Polycystic kidney disease


The use of dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors is increasing among renal transplant patients with diabetes. However, the glucose-lowering efficacies of various DPP-4 inhibitors and their effects on blood cyclosporine levels have not been fully investigated. We compared the glucose-lowering efficacies of DPP 4 inhibitors and evaluate their effects on the blood levels of cyclosporine in renal transplant recipients with diabetes.

Concepts: Chronic kidney disease, Kidney, Blood sugar, Organ transplant, Dipeptidyl peptidase-4, Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors, Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor


Renal fibrosis represents a common pathway leading to progression of chronic kidney disease. Renal interstitial fibrosis is characterized by extensive fibroblast activation and excessive production and deposition of extracellular matrix (ECM), which leads to progressive loss of kidney function. There is no effective therapy available clinically to halt or even reverse renal fibrosis. Although activated fibroblasts/myofibroblasts are responsible for the excessive production and deposition of ECM, their origin remains controversial. Recent evidence suggests that bone marrow-derived fibroblast precursors contribute significantly to the pathogenesis of renal fibrosis. Understanding the molecular signaling mechanisms underlying the recruitment and activation of the bone marrow-derived fibroblast precursors will lead to novel therapy for the treatment of chronic kidney disease. In this review, we summarize recent advances in our understanding of the recruitment and activation of bone marrow-derived fibroblast precursors in the kidney and the development of renal fibrosis and highlights new insights that may lead to novel therapies to prevent or reverse the development of renal fibrosis.

Concepts: Renal failure, Chronic kidney disease, Kidney, Nephrology, Erythropoietin, Collagen, Extracellular matrix, Renal physiology


Acute kidney injury (AKI) complicates recovery from cardiac surgery in up to 30 % of patients, injures and impairs the function of the brain, lungs, and gut, and places patients at a 5-fold increased risk of death during hospitalization. Renal ischemia, reperfusion, inflammation, hemolysis, oxidative stress, cholesterol emboli, and toxins contribute to the development and progression of AKI. Preventive strategies are limited, but current evidence supports maintenance of renal perfusion and intravascular volume while avoiding venous congestion, administration of balanced salt as opposed to high-chloride intravenous fluids, and the avoidance or limitation of cardiopulmonary bypass exposure. AKI that requires renal replacement therapy occurs in 2-5 % of patients following cardiac surgery and is associated with 50 % mortality. For those who recover from renal replacement therapy or even mild AKI, progression to chronic kidney disease in the ensuing months and years is more likely than for those who do not develop AKI. Cardiac surgery continues to be a popular clinical model to evaluate novel therapeutics, off-label use of existing medications, and nonpharmacologic treatments for AKI, since cardiac surgery is fairly common, typically elective, provides a relatively standardized insult, and patients remain hospitalized and monitored following surgery. More efficient and time-sensitive methods to diagnose AKI are imperative to reduce this negative outcome. The discovery and validation of renal damage biomarkers should in time supplant creatinine-based criteria for the clinical diagnosis of AKI.

Concepts: Renal failure, Chronic kidney disease, Nephrology, Medicine, Blood, Hospital, Blood vessel, Ischemia


Kidney fibrosis and fibrogenesis significantly exacerbate chronic kidney disease (CKD) progression and are essential therapeutic targets. Bortezomib (BZM) is a proteasome inhibitor used for the treatment of multiple myeloma (MM). Several studies have demonstrated that BZM attenuates renal impairment in patients with MM, although this effect is generally considered to be the result of MM remission. Recently, several studies on BZM reported anti-fibrotic effects on liver and skin in experimental animal models. However, its effect on renal fibrosis has yet to be examined. Here, we investigated the anti-fibrotic effects of BZM in an experimental mouse model of fibrosis that uses aristolochic acid I (AA). Ten weeks of AA administration with BZM treatment twice a week significantly attenuated AA-induced renal dysfunction and albuminuria, reduced the expression of renal fibrosis-related proteins and kidney injury markers, such as αSMA, Kim1, and Ngal, and prevented renal fibrosis at the level of histopathology. Furthermore, pathological activation of TGFβ1-Smad3 signaling and apoptosis, essential pathophysiological causes of AA-induced nephropathy (AAN), were ameliorated by BZM, suggesting this mechanism may be involved in improving fibrosis in AAN. In conclusion, BZM directly inhibits renal fibrosis in CKD via suppression of TGFβ1-Smad3 signaling and is promising in terms of drug repositioning.

Concepts: Multiple myeloma, Renal failure, Chronic kidney disease, Kidney, Nephrology, Proteasome, Animal model, Bortezomib


Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) have been found to show markedly increased rates of end-stage renal disease, major adverse cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events (MACCEs), and mortality. Therefore, new biomarkers are required for the early detection of such clinical outcomes in patients with CKD. We aimed to determine whether the level of circulating renalase was associated with CKD progression, MACCEs, and all-cause mortality, using data from a prospective randomized controlled study, Kremezin STudy Against Renal disease progression in Korea (K-STAR; NCT 00860431).

Concepts: Renal failure, Chronic kidney disease, Kidney, Nephrology, Erythropoietin


Numerous clinical conditions can lead to organ fibrosis and functional failure. There is a great need for therapies that could effectively target pathophysiological pathways involved in fibrosis. GPR40 and GPR84 are G protein-coupled receptors with free fatty acid ligands and are associated with metabolic and inflammatory disorders. Although GPR40 and GPR84 are involved in diverse physiological processes, no evidence has demonstrated the relevance of GPR40 and GPR84 in fibrosis pathways. Using PBI-4050 (3-pentylbenzeneacetic acid sodium salt), a synthetic analog of a medium-chain fatty acid that displays agonist and antagonist ligand affinity toward GPR40 and GPR84, respectively, we uncovered an antifibrotic pathway involving these receptors. In experiments using Gpr40- and Gpr84-knockout mice in models of kidney fibrosis (unilateral ureteral obstruction, long-term postacute ischemic injury, and adenine-induced chronic kidney disease), we found that GPR40 is protective and GPR84 is deleterious in these diseases. Moreover, through binding to GPR40 and GPR84, PBI-4050 significantly attenuated fibrosis in many injury contexts, as evidenced by the antifibrotic activity observed in kidney, liver, heart, lung, pancreas, and skin fibrosis models. Therefore, GPR40 and GPR84 may represent promising molecular targets in fibrosis pathways. We conclude that PBI-4050 is a first-in-class compound that may be effective for managing inflammatory and fibrosis-related diseases.

Concepts: Chronic kidney disease, Kidney, Fatty acid, Receptor, Organ, Receptor antagonist, Lipid, G protein-coupled receptor