Profibrotic Circulating Proteins and Risk of Early Progressive Renal Decline in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes With and Without Albuminuria.

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The role of fibrosis in early progressive renal decline in type 2 diabetes is unknown. Circulating WFDC2 (WAP four-disulfide core domain protein 2) and matrix metalloproteinase 7 (MMP-7; Matrilysin) are postulated to be biomarkers of renal fibrosis. This study examined an association of circulating levels of these proteins with early progressive renal decline.Individuals with type 2 diabetes enrolled in the Joslin Kidney Study with an estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) ≥60 mL/min/1.73 m2 were monitored for 6-12 years to ascertain fast early progressive renal decline, defined as eGFR loss ≥5 mL/min/1.73 m2/year.A total of 1,181 individuals were studied: 681 without and 500 with albuminuria. Median eGFR and albumin-to-creatinine ratio (ACR) at baseline were 97 mL/min/1.73 m2 and 24 mg/g, respectively. During follow-up, 152 individuals experienced fast early progressive renal decline: 6.9% in those with normoalbuminuria and 21% with albuminuria. In both subgroups, the risk of renal decline increased with increasing baseline levels of WFDC2 (P < 0.0001) and MMP-7 (P < 0.0001). After adjustment for relevant clinical characteristics and known biomarkers, an increase by one quartile in the fibrosis index (combination of levels of WFDC2 and MMP-7) was associated with higher risk of renal decline (odds ratio 1.63; 95% CI 1.30-2.04). The association was similar and statistically significant among patients with and without albuminuria.Elevation of circulating profibrotic proteins is associated with the development of early progressive renal decline in type 2 diabetes. This association is independent from albuminuria status and points to the importance of the fibrotic process in the development of early renal decline.

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