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Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2018 Mar 1;33(3):426-435. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfx256.

Glomerular function in relation to circulating adhesion molecules and inflammation markers in a general population.

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Beijing Key Laboratory of Diabetes Prevention and Research, Department of Endocrinology, Luhe Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.
Studies Coordinating Centre, Research Unit Hypertension and Cardiovascular Epidemiology, KU Leuven Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.
Randox Laboratories, Crumlin, Northern Ireland.
BHF Glasgow Cardiovascular Research Centre, University of Glasgow, UK.
Research Unit Molecular and Vascular Biology, KU Leuven Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.
R&D Group VitaK, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands.



Inflammation is a hallmark of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and stimulates glomerular expression of vascular adhesion molecules (VCAMs). We investigated in a general population whether estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) is associated with circulating adhesion molecules, inflammation markers or both.


We measured serum levels of five adhesion molecules [VCAM-1, intracellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), P-selectin, E-selectin and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1)] and seven inflammation markers [C-reactive protein (CRP), neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL), tumour necrosis factor receptor 1 (TNF-R1), TNF-α, interleukin 6 (IL-6), IL-8 and vascular endothelial growth factor] in 1338 randomly recruited people (50.8% women, mean age 51.7 years, eGFR 79.9 mL/min/1.73 m2).


In multivariable-adjusted analyses, eGFR decreased (P ≤ 0.004) with higher VCAM-1 (association size expressed in mL/min/1.73 m2 for a doubling of the marker, -2.99), MCP-1 (-1.19), NGAL (-1.19), TNF receptor 1 (-2.78), TNF-α (-2.28) and IL-6 (-0.94). The odds ratios of having eGFR <60 versus ≥60 mL/min/1.73 m2 (n = 138 versus 1200) were significant (P ≤ 0.001) for VCAM-1 (1.77), MCP-1 (1.32), NGAL (1.26), TNF-R1 (1.49), TNF-α (1.45) and IL-6 (1.20). Compared with 24-h albuminuria, VCAM-1 increased (P <0.0001) the area under the curve from 0.57 to 0.65, MCP-1 to 0.67 and TNF-R1 to 0.79, but TNF-R1 outperformed both adhesion molecules (P < 0.0001).


In a general population, eGFR is inversely associated with circulating adhesion molecules VCAM-1 and MCP-1 and several inflammation markers, but inflammation markers, in particular TNF-R1 and TNF-α, identify patients with eGFR <60 mL/min/1.73 m2 more accurately.

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