Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is associated with distinct alterations in mineral metabolism in children and adults resulting in multiple organ dysfunctions. Children with advanced CKD often suffer from impaired bone mineralization, bone deformities and fractures, growth failure, muscle weakness, and vascular and soft tissue calcification, a complex which was recently termed CKD-mineral and bone disorder (CKD-MBD). The latter is a major contributor to the enhanced cardiovascular disease comorbidity and mortality in these patients. Elevated circulating levels of the endocrine-acting phosphaturic hormone fibroblast growth factor (FGF) 23 are the first detectable alteration of mineral metabolism and thus CKD-MBD. FGF23 is expressed and secreted from osteocytes and osteoblasts and rises, most likely due to increased phosphate load, progressively as kidney function declines in order to maintain phosphate homeostasis. Although not measured in clinical routine yet, CKD-mediated increased circulating levels of FGF23 in children are associated with pathological cardiac remodeling, vascular alterations, and increased cognitive risk. Clinical and experimental studies addressing other FGF23-mediated complications of kidney failure, such as hypertension and impaired bone mineralization, show partly conflicting results, and the causal relationships are not always entirely clear. This short review summarizes regulators of FGF23 synthesis altered in CKD and the main CKD-mediated organ dysfunctions related to high FGF23 levels.
© 2021. The Author(s).