Endothelial dysfunction and cardiovascular disease in early-stage chronic kidney disease: cause or association?

Cardiovascular and Respiratory Sciences, School of Clinical & Experimental Medicine, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, UK.
Atherosclerosis (Impact Factor: 3.71). 02/2012; 223(1):86-94. DOI: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2012.01.043
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is strongly associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD); a graded inverse relationship between estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and cardiovascular event rates has emerged from large-scale observational studies. Chronic kidney disease is also associated with endothelial dysfunction (ED) although the precise relationship with GFR and the "threshold" at which ED begins are contentious. Abnormal endothelial function is certainly present in late-stage CKD but data in early-stage CKD appear confounded by disease states such as diabetes and hypertension which themselves promote ED. Thus, the direct effect of a reduction in GFR on endothelial function and, therefore, cardiovascular (CV) risk is far from completely established. In human studies, the precise duration of kidney impairment is seldom known and the onset of CVD often insidious, making it difficult to determine exactly when CVD first appears in the context of CKD. Kidney donors provide a near-ideal experimental model of CKD; subjects undergo an acute change from normal to modestly impaired renal function at the time of nephrectomy and lack the confounding co-morbidity that has made observational studies of CKD patients so challenging to interpret. By examining changes in endothelial function in living kidney donors before and after nephrectomy, useful insight might be gained into the pathophysiology of CVD in CKD and help determine whether targeting ED or the renal disease itself has the potential to reduce CV risk.

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    ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION: Endothelial dysfunction is important in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease (CVD) related to chronic kidney disease (CKD). Stromal cell-derived factor-1 (SDF-1) is a chemokine which mobilizes endothelial progenitor cells (EPC) and together with interleukin-8 (IL-8) may be used as markers of tissue injury and repair. OBJECTIVE: This study investigated in vivo and in vitro the effect of uremic media on SDF-1 and IL-8 expression. METHODS: Systemic inflammation was assessed by C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6). IL-8 and SDF-1 were measured as markers of endothelial dysfunction and tissue repair, respectively, by ELISA. In vitro studies were performed on human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) exposed to healthy or uremic media. RESULTS: The study included 26 hemodialysis (HD) patients (17 ± 3 months on dialysis, 52 ± 2 years, 38% men and 11% diabetic). Serum concentrations of CRP, IL-6, SDF-1 and IL-8 were 4.9 ± 4.8 mg/ml, 6.7 ± 8.1 pg/ml, 2625.9 ± 1288.6 pg/ml and 128.2 ± 206.2 pg/ml, respectively. There was a positive correlation between CRP and IL-6 (ρ = 0.57, p < 0.005) and between SDF-1 and IL-8 (ρ = 0.45, p < 0.05). In vitro results showed that after 6 hours treatment, SDF-1 expression by HUVEC treated with uremic media is lower compared to cells treated with healthy media (p < 0.05). After 12 hours of treatment there was an increase in IL-8 when HUVECs were exposed to uremic media (p < 0.005). CONCLUSION: We suggest that SDF-1 and IL-8 in HD patients can be used to measure the extent of damage and subsequent vascular activation in uremia.
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic kidney disease is associated with increased arterial stiffness even in the early stages and this is thought to be a key mediator in the pathophysiology of the increased cardiovascular risk associated with this condition. The use of low-dose spironolactone has previously been shown to improve arterial stiffness and reduce left ventricular mass safely in early-stage chronic kidney disease in the context of careful monitoring at a university hospital. However, the majority of patients with chronic kidney disease are managed by their general practitioners in the community. It is not known whether similar beneficial effects can be achieved safely using spironolactone in the primary care setting. The aim of this study is to determine whether low-dose spironolactone can safely lower arterial stiffness in patients with stage 3 chronic kidney disease in the primary care setting.Methods/design: STOP-CKD is a multicentre, prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot trial of 240 adult patients with stage 3 chronic kidney disease recruited from up to 20 general practices in South Birmingham, England. Participants will be randomly allocated using a secured web-based computer randomization system to receive either spironolactone 25 mg once daily or a matching inactive placebo for 40 weeks, followed by a wash-out period of 6 weeks. Investigators, outcome assessors, data analysts and participants will all be blinded to the treatment allocation. The primary endpoint is improved arterial stiffness, as measured by carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity between baseline and 40 weeks. The secondary endpoints are incidence of hyperkalaemia, change in estimated glomerular filtration rate, change in urine albumin:creatinine ratio, change in brachial blood pressure, change in pulse waveform characteristics and overall tolerability of spironolactone. An additional quality control study, aiming to compare the laboratory serum potassium results of samples processed via two methods (utilizing routine transport or centrifugation on site before rapid transport to the laboratory) for 100 participants and a qualitative research study exploring patients' and general practitioners' attitudes to research and the use of spironolactone in chronic kidney disease in the community setting will be embedded in this pilot study.Trial registration: Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN80658312.
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