Nephron 2018 4;138(4):287-295. Epub 2018 Jan 4.
Immunology and Allergy Unit, Department of Medicine Solna, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
Background: Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) show elevated levels of inflammatory markers and have an increased risk of infections as well as cardiovascular morbidity. Recent studies have implied effects of fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23) on inflammation in CKD. We analyzed potential correlations between levels of FGF23 with pro-inflammatory chemokines and markers of leukocyte transmigration in CKD patients.
Methods: One hundred three patients with CKD 2-5ND and 54 healthy controls, had biochemical markers in blood and urine analyzed according to routine protocol. Pro-inflammatory cytokines were analyzed by Milliplex technique and leukocyte CD11b adhesion molecule expression was measured by flow cytometry. FGF23 levels were measured with ELISA technique. Treatment of leukocytes from healthy blood donors with FGF23 was performed in vitro and effects analyzed by flow cytometry.
Results: Tumor necrosis factor-alpha, RANTES and interleukin (IL)-12 levels were significantly higher (p = 0.001, p < 0.001, and p < 0.001) in patients with CKD. Elevated FGF23 levels in the CKD group correlated to glomerular filtration rate, parathyroid hormone, urinary albumin excretion and phosphate as well as to IL-12 and RANTES. CD11b expression on resting granulocytes and monocytes, and on activated monocytes, was associated with FGF23. In vitro treatment of leukocytes with FGF23 reduced CD11b expression in resting as well as in formyl-methyinoyl-leucyl-phenylalanine-stimulated granulocytes (p = 0.03).
Conclusion: FGF23 levels are associated with various inflammatory markers such as pro-inflammatory cytokines and adhesion molecules on innate immune cells. However, further studies are warranted to define the direct role of FGF23 in modulation of the innate immune system in CKD.