London: For the first time, researchers have found that patients with diabetes suffering from the early stages of kidney disease have a deficiency of the protective ‘anti-ageing’ hormone, Klotho.
The new research suggests Klotho may play a significant role in the development of kidney disease, which is often prevalent in patients with diabetes.
“For the first time, Klotho has been linked to kidney disease in Type 1 diabetes patients and this finding represents an exciting step towards developing new markers for disease and potentially new treatments,” said lead author Giuseppe Maltese from King’s College London.
The kidney has the highest levels of Klotho expression and is likely the major source of soluble Klotho, and thus, in patients with kidney disease levels of Klotho tend to be low.
Previous studies have shown that Klotho protects the vascular system against changes associated with abnormal ageing, such as the thickening of artery walls (atherosclerosis), which characterises age related disorders such as diabetes, heart disease and hypertension.
A higher blood levels of soluble Klotho may also help preserve kidney function.
For the new study, scientists tested blood and urine samples from 78 patients with Type 1 diabetes of which 33 also showed signs of the early stages of diabetic kidney disease called microalbuminuria.
They found that patients with microalbuminuria had lower levels of the circulating Klotho hormone, compared with patients without microalbuminuria.
Klotho levels in patients without microalbuminuria were similar to levels found in healthy adults.
“Our research will help scientists to better understand the mechanisms by which this hormone benefits healthy ageing, as well as how deficits in Klotho lead to age related diseases,” added Richard Siow from King’s College London.
The discovery of Klotho was documented in 1997 by Kuro-o et al. Klotho was first identified as a putative age-suppressing gene in mice that extends life span when overexpressed.
The new findings have been published in the journal Diabetologia.
Monday, February 13, 2017