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Semin Nephrol. 2013 Mar;33(2):130-42. doi: 10.1016/j.semnephrol.2012.12.014.

A systems biology preview of the relationships between mineral and metabolic complications in chronic kidney disease.

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Department of Medicine and Division of Nephrology, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN 38163, USA.


There are emerging data that the skeleton is connected to systemic biological functions through the release of two osteoblast-/osteocyte-derived hormones, fibroblastic growth factor 23 (FGF23) and undercarboxylated osteocalcin (Ocn). FGF23 is important in the regulation of phosphate and vitamin D metabolism, whereas Ocn participates in endocrine networks, coordinating bone and fat mass, energy metabolism, and sex hormone production. Bone remodeling and mineralization per se, along with the hormones leptin, insulin, glucocorticoids, PTH, and 1,25(OH)2D, regulate the release of FGF23 and Ocn, leading to complex cross-talk and coordination between endocrine networks previously thought to be distinct. These pathways are particularly important in chronic kidney disease, in which both FGF23 and Ocn are increased. Although these hormones initially serve an adaptive role, with progressive loss of renal function they show maladaptive effects, particularly on the cardiovascular system, through multiple mechanisms, including possible cross-talk with the renin angiotensin system. The complex interconnections between the various endocrine networks in chronic kidney disease may account for the difficulty in treating the uremic state.

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