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Concept: Kidney


BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to determine the effects of creatine supplementation on kidney function in resistance-trained individuals ingesting a high-protein diet. METHODS: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was performed. The participants were randomly allocated to receive either creatine (20 g/d for 5 d followed by 5 g/d throughout the trial) or placebo for 12 weeks. All of the participants were engaged in resistance training and consumed a high-protein diet (i.e., >= 1.2 g/Kg/d). Subjects were assessed at baseline (Pre) and after 12 weeks (Post). Glomerular filtration rate was measured by 51Cr-EDTA clearance. Additionally, blood samples and a 24-h urine collection were obtained for other kidney function assessments. RESULTS: No significant differences were observed for 51Cr-EDTA clearance throughout the trial (Creatine: Pre 101.42 +/- 13.11, Post 108.78 +/- 14.41 mL/min/1.73m2; Placebo: Pre 103.29 +/- 17.64, Post 106.68 +/- 16.05 mL/min/1.73m2; group x time interaction: F = 0.21, p = 0.64). Creatinine clearance, serum and urinary urea, electrolytes, proteinuria, and albuminuria remained virtually unchanged. CONCLUSIONS: A 12-week creatine supplementation protocol did not affect kidney function in resistance-trained healthy individuals consuming a high-protein diet; thus reinforcing the safety of this dietary supplement.Trial registration: NCT01817673.

Concepts: Kidney, Renal failure, Blood urea nitrogen, Renal function, Renal physiology, Urea, Electrolyte, Nephrology


Current treatment of anemia in chronic kidney disease (CKD) with erythropoiesis-stimulating agents can lead to substantial hemoglobin oscillations above target range and high levels of circulating erythropoietin. Vadadustat (AKB-6548), a novel, titratable, oral hypoxia-inducible factor prolyl hydroxylase inhibitor induces endogenous erythropoietin synthesis and enhances iron mobilization. In this 20-week, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, phase 2b study, we evaluated the efficacy and safety of once-daily vadadustat in patients with stages 3a to 5 non-dialysis-dependent CKD. The primary endpoint was the percentage of patients who, during the last 2 weeks of treatment, achieved or maintained either a mean hemoglobin level of 11.0 g/dl or more or a mean increase in hemoglobin of 1.2 g/dl or more over the predose average. Significantly, the primary endpoint was met in 54.9% of patients on vadadustat and 10.3% of patients on placebo. Significant increases in both reticulocytes and total iron-binding capacity and significant decreases in both serum hepcidin and ferritin levels were observed in patients on vadadustat compared with placebo. The overall incidence of adverse events was comparable between the 2 groups. Serious adverse events occurred in 23.9% and 15.3% of the vadadustat- and placebo-treated patients, respectively. Three deaths occurred in the vadadustat arm. Thus, this phase 2b study demonstrated that vadadustat raised and maintained hemoglobin levels in a predictable and controlled manner while enhancing iron mobilization in patients with nondialysis-dependent CKD.

Concepts: Ferritin, Kidney, Red blood cell, Transferrin, Anemia, Hemoglobin, Chronic kidney disease, Erythropoietin


Background The epidemiologic characteristics of children and young adults with acute kidney injury have been described in single-center and retrospective studies. We conducted a multinational, prospective study involving patients admitted to pediatric intensive care units to define the incremental risk of death and complications associated with severe acute kidney injury. Methods We used the Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes criteria to define acute kidney injury. Severe acute kidney injury was defined as stage 2 or 3 acute kidney injury (plasma creatinine level ≥2 times the baseline level or urine output <0.5 ml per kilogram of body weight per hour for ≥12 hours) and was assessed for the first 7 days of intensive care. All patients 3 months to 25 years of age who were admitted to 1 of 32 participating units were screened during 3 consecutive months. The primary outcome was 28-day mortality. Results A total of 4683 patients were evaluated; acute kidney injury developed in 1261 patients (26.9%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 25.6 to 28.2), and severe acute kidney injury developed in 543 patients (11.6%; 95% CI, 10.7 to 12.5). Severe acute kidney injury conferred an increased risk of death by day 28 after adjustment for 16 covariates (adjusted odds ratio, 1.77; 95% CI, 1.17 to 2.68); death occurred in 60 of the 543 patients (11.0%) with severe acute kidney injury versus 105 of the 4140 patients (2.5%) without severe acute kidney injury (P<0.001). Severe acute kidney injury was associated with increased use of mechanical ventilation and renal-replacement therapy. A stepwise increase in 28-day mortality was associated with worsening severity of acute kidney injury (P<0.001 by log-rank test). Assessment of acute kidney injury according to the plasma creatinine level alone failed to identify acute kidney injury in 67.2% of the patients with low urine output. Conclusions Acute kidney injury is common and is associated with poor outcomes, including increased mortality, among critically ill children and young adults. (Funded by the Pediatric Nephrology Center of Excellence at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and others; AWARE number, NCT01987921 .).

Concepts: Ureter, Renal physiology, Renal failure, Odds ratio, Urine, Nephrology, Kidney, Epidemiology


The current chronic kidney disease epidemic, the major health issue in the rice paddy farming areas in Sri Lanka has been the subject of many scientific and political debates over the last decade. Although there is no agreement among scientists about the etiology of the disease, a majority of them has concluded that this is a toxic nephropathy. None of the hypotheses put forward so far could explain coherently the totality of clinical, biochemical, histopathological findings, and the unique geographical distribution of the disease and its appearance in the mid-1990s. A strong association between the consumption of hard water and the occurrence of this special kidney disease has been observed, but the relationship has not been explained consistently. Here, we have hypothesized the association of using glyphosate, the most widely used herbicide in the disease endemic area and its unique metal chelating properties. The possible role played by glyphosate-metal complexes in this epidemic has not been given any serious consideration by investigators for the last two decades. Furthermore, it may explain similar kidney disease epidemics observed in Andra Pradesh (India) and Central America. Although glyphosate alone does not cause an epidemic of chronic kidney disease, it seems to have acquired the ability to destroy the renal tissues of thousands of farmers when it forms complexes with a localized geo environmental factor (hardness) and nephrotoxic metals.

Concepts: Sri Lanka, Chronic kidney disease, Infectious disease, Theory, Epidemiology, Kidney, Epidemic, Scientific method


In 2015, scientists reported the emergence of the plasmid-encoded mcr-1 gene conferring bacterial resistance to the antibiotic colistin (1), signaling potential emergence of a pandrug-resistant bacterium. In May 2016, mcr-1-positive Escherichia coli was first isolated from a specimen from a U.S. patient (2) when a Pennsylvania woman was evaluated for a urinary tract infection. The urine culture and subsequent testing identified the gene in an extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing E. coli with reduced susceptibility to colistin. The patient had no international travel for approximately 1 year, no livestock exposure, and a limited role in meal preparation with store-bought groceries; however, she had multiple and repeated admissions to four medical facilities during 2016.

Concepts: Evolution, Urine, Kidney, Proteobacteria, Urinary tract infection, Bacteria, Antibiotic resistance, Escherichia coli


The kidney functions in key physiological processes to filter blood and regulate blood pressure via key molecular transporters and ion channels. Sex-specific differences have been observed in renal disease incidence and progression, as well as acute kidney injury in response to certain drugs. Although advances have been made in characterizing the molecular components involved in various kidney functions, the molecular mechanisms responsible for sex differences are not well understood. We hypothesized that the basal expression levels of genes involved in various kidney functions throughout the life cycle will influence sex-specific susceptibilities to adverse renal events.

Concepts: Genetics, DNA, Renal failure, Blood pressure, Gene expression, Renin, Gene, Kidney


Recent studies have described that the Notch signaling pathway is activated in a wide range of renal diseases. Angiotensin II (AngII) plays a key role in the progression of kidney diseases. AngII contributes to renal fibrosis by upregulation of profibrotic factors, induction of epithelial mesenchymal transition and accumulation of extracellular matrix proteins. In cultured human tubular epithelial cells the Notch activation by transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) has been involved in epithelial mesenchymal transition. AngII mimics many profibrotic actions of TGF-β1. For these reasons, our aim was to investigate whether AngII could regulate the Notch/Jagged system in the kidney, and its potential role in AngII-induced responses. In cultured human tubular epithelial cells, TGF-β1, but not AngII, increased the Notch pathway-related gene expression, Jagged-1 synthesis, and caused nuclear translocation of the activated Notch. In podocytes and renal fibroblasts, AngII did not modulate the Notch pathway. In tubular epithelial cells, pharmacological Notch inhibition did not modify AngII-induced changes in epithelial mesenchymal markers, profibrotic factors and extracellular matrix proteins. Systemic infusion of AngII into rats for 2 weeks caused tubulointerstitial fibrosis, but did not upregulate renal expression of activated Notch-1 or Jagged-1, as observed in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Moreover, the Notch/Jagged system was not modulated by AngII type I receptor blockade in the model of unilateral ureteral obstruction in mice. These data clearly indicate that AngII does not regulate the Notch/Jagged signaling system in the kidney, in vivo and in vitro. Our findings showing that the Notch pathway is not involved in AngII-induced fibrosis could provide important information to understand the complex role of Notch system in the regulation of renal regeneration vs damage progression.

Concepts: Ureter, Endocrine system, Renal pelvis, Kidney, Extracellular matrix, Renin-angiotensin system, Chronic kidney disease, Blood pressure


The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of Gd-chelate on renal function, iron parameters and oxidative stress in rats with CRF and a possible protective effect of the antioxidant N-Acetylcysteine (NAC). Male Wistar rats were submitted to 5/6 nephrectomy (Nx) to induced CRF. An ionic-cyclic Gd (Gadoterate Meglumine) was administrated (1.5 mM/KgBW, intravenously) 21 days after Nx. Clearance studies were performed in 4 groups of anesthetized animals 48 hours following Gd- chelate administration: 1–Nx (n = 7); 2–Nx+NAC (n = 6); 3–Nx+Gd (n = 7); 4–Nx+NAC+Gd (4.8 g/L in drinking water), initiated 2 days before Gd-chelate administration and maintained during 4 days (n = 6). This group was compared with a control. We measured glomerular filtration rate, GFR (inulin clearance, ml/min/kg BW), proteinuria (mg/24 hs), serum iron (µg/dL); serum ferritin (ng/mL); transferrin saturation (%), TIBC (µg/dL) and TBARS (nmles/ml). Normal rats treated with the same dose of Gd-chelate presented similar GFR and proteinuria when compared with normal controls, indicating that at this dose Gd-chelate is not nephrotoxic to normal rats. Gd-chelate administration to Nx-rats results in a decrease of GFR and increased proteinuria associated with a decrease in TIBC, elevation of ferritin serum levels, transferrin oversaturation and plasmatic TBARS compared with Nx-rats. The prophylactic treatment with NAC reversed the decrease in GFR and the increase in proteinuria and all alterations in iron parameters and TBARS induced by Gd-chelate. NAC administration to Nx rat did not modify the inulin clearance and iron kinetics, indicating that the ameliorating effect of NAC was specific to Gd-chelate. These results suggest that NAC can prevent Gd-chelate nephrotoxicity in patients with chronic renal failure.

Concepts: Transferrin, Transferrin saturation, Serum iron, Kidney, Dialysis, Renal function, Renal failure, Nephrology


Patients with end stage renal disease often fail to follow prescribed dietary and fluid regimen, leading to undesirable outcomes. This study aimed to examine and identify factors influencing dietary, fluid, medication and dialysis compliance behaviours in patients undergoing hemodialysis.

Concepts: Hemodialysis, Kidney, Peritoneum, Erythropoietin, Artificial kidney, Nephrology, Renal failure, Chronic kidney disease


Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a common consequence of systemic illness or injury and it complicates several forms of major surgery. Two major difficulties have hampered progress in AKI research and clinical management. AKI is difficult to detect early and its pathogenesis is still poorly understood. We recently reported results from multi-center studies where two urinary markers of cell-cycle arrest, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-2 (TIMP-2) and insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 7 (IGFBP7) were validated for development of AKI well ahead of clinical manifestations-azotemia and oliguria. Cell-cycle arrest is known to be involved in the pathogenesis of AKI and this ‘dark side’ may also involve progression to chronic kidney disease. However, cell-cycle arrest has a ‘light side’ as well, since this mechanism can protect cells from the disastrous consequences of entering cell division with damaged DNA or insufficient bioenergetic resources during injury or stress. Whether we can use the light side to help prevent AKI remains to be seen, but there is already evidence that cell-cycle arrest biomarkers are indicators of both sides of this complex physiology.

Concepts: Nephrology, Cell division, Cell, Kidney, Chronic kidney disease, Renal failure, DNA, Cell nucleus