KLOTHO deficiency is caused by the presence of albumin in urine, explaining why premature ageing occurs during the early stages of chronic kidney disease (CKD), according to a study presented in a ERA-EDTA press release. These findings not only reveal the lifestyle changes patients can make to limit these ageing effects but could also potentially lead to new treatments that preserve Klotho production.
Cause of Klotho Deficiency
Deficiency of the Klotho hormone is a feature of human CKD and this drives the ageing process, increasing the risk of premature death. The researchers wanted to understand the reasons for low Klotho levels during the early CKD stages, hypothesising that Klotho expression is decreased by albumin in urine. They observed low levels of Klotho in both experimental animal models and in patients with albuminuria, but with normal kidney function, when there was the presence of albumin in urine; this was because albumin directly decreased Klotho expression in tubular cells in culture through epigenetic mechanisms.
Testing for Albuminuria
“This albuminuria-driven decrease in Klotho expression may contribute to the higher risk of premature death and CKD progression in the early stages of human CKD (Stage 1 or 2, that is, normal renal function),” commented senior author Prof Alberto Ortiz. “In this regard, testing for albuminuria is as important as testing for glomerular filtration to assess CKD.”
With protection from excess dietary phosphate, an important anti-ageing function of Klotho, and patients with higher albuminuria having higher serum phosphate levels, the results emphasise the need for CKD patients to avoid large quantities of phosphate in their diet. The authors therefore state that CKD patients should avoid processed foods, with food additives containing highly bio-available phosphate, and favour natural foods.
Additionally, the epigenetic mechanisms shown to decrease Klotho in the research could lead to the development of new treatments to preserve Klotho expression when currently available proteinuric therapy fails.
James Coker, Reporter
For the source and further information about the study, click here.