PloS one 2018 03 2813(3) e0194617 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0194617
Klotho deficiency is relevant to renal fibrosis and podocyte injury in vivo and in vitro. We examined whether histological findings of renal biopsy specimens were associated with the levels of soluble klotho in humans. We investigated renal biopsy specimens of 67 patients and detailed microscopic findings were reviewed. Soluble serum/urinary klotho and urinary angiotensinogen were assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, and tissue klotho expression was assessed by immunohistochemical staining. The median age of the study participants was 35.6 years. High serum klotho levels (≥14 pg/mL) were associated with decreased odds ratios (ORs) of interstitial fibrosis (OR = 0.019, P = 0.003) and segmental sclerosis (OR = 0.190, P = 0.022) in multivariable logistic regression analysis. Patients with a lower urinary klotho-to-creatinine ratio (UKCR) were significantly more likely to have diffuse foot process effacement (OR = 0.450, P = 0.010). The area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve (AUC) of serum klotho for predicting interstitial fibrosis was 0.920 (95% CI, 0.844-0.996), and the best cut-off value of serum klotho was 138.1 pg/mL. The AUC of UKCR for predicting diffuse foot process effacement was 0.754 (95% CI, 0.636-0.872), and the best cut-off value of UKCR was 96.7 pg/mgCr. Urinary angiotensinogen-to-creatinine ratio was not associated with serum klotho, UKCR, or any pathological finding. Our data suggested that soluble serum and urinary klotho levels represent a potential biomarker to predict renal fibrosis and podocyte injury in humans.