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Kidney Int. 2015 Jun;87(6):1141-52. doi: 10.1038/ki.2015.22. Epub 2015 Feb 18.

Differential expression and regulation of Klotho by paricalcitol in the kidney, parathyroid, and aorta of uremic rats.

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Renal Division, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, Missouri, USA.


Klotho plays an important role in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease in chronic kidney disease (CKD). Klotho is highly expressed in the kidney and parathyroid glands, but its presence in the vasculature is debated. Renal Klotho is decreased in CKD, but the effect of uremia on Klotho in other tissues is not defined. The effect of vitamin D receptor activator therapy in CKD on the expression of Klotho in various tissues is also in debate. In uremic rats (surgical 5/6th nephrectomy model), we compared 3 months of treatment with and without paricalcitol on Klotho immunostaining in the kidney, parathyroid glands, and aorta. With uremia, Klotho was unchanged in the parathyroid, significantly decreased in the kidney (66%) and the intimal-medial area of the aorta (69%), and significantly increased in the adventitial area of the aorta (67%) compared with controls. Paricalcitol prevented the decrease of Klotho in the kidney, increased expression in the parathyroid (31%), had no effect in the aortic media, but blunted the increase of Klotho in the aortic adventitia. We propose that fibroblasts are responsible for the expression of Klotho in the adventitia. In hyperplastic human parathyroid tissue from uremic patients, Klotho was higher in oxyphil compared with chief cells. Thus, under our conditions of moderate CKD and mild-to-moderate hyperphosphatemia in rats, the differential expression of Klotho and its regulation by paricalcitol in uremia is tissue-dependent.

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