Transgenic mice overexpressing human fibroblast growth factor 23 (R176Q) delineate a putative role for parathyroid hormone in renal phosphate wasting disorders

Endocrinology. 2004 Nov;145(11):5269-79. doi: 10.1210/en.2004-0233. Epub 2004 Jul 29.


Fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23) is a recently characterized protein likely involved in the regulation of serum phosphate homeostasis. Increased circulating levels of FGF23 have been reported in patients with renal phosphate-wasting disorders, but it is unclear whether FGF23 is the direct mediator responsible for the decreased phosphate transport at the proximal renal tubules and the altered vitamin D metabolism associated with these states. To examine this question, we generated transgenic mice expressing and secreting from the liver human FGF23 (R176Q), a mutant form that fails to be degraded by furin proteases. At 1 and 2 months of age, mice carrying the transgene recapitulated the biochemical (decreased urinary phosphate reabsorption, hypophosphatemia, low serum 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3)) and skeletal (rickets and osteomalacia) alterations associated with these disorders. Unexpectantly, marked changes in parameters of calcium homeostasis were also observed, consistent with secondary hyperparathyroidism. Moreover, in the kidney the anticipated alterations in the expression of hydroxylases associated with vitamin D metabolism were not observed despite the profound hypophosphatemia and increased circulating levels of PTH, both major physiological stimuli for 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3) production. Our findings strongly support the novel concept that high circulating levels of FGF23 are associated with profound disturbances in the regulation of phosphate and vitamin D metabolism as well as calcium homeostasis and that elevated PTH levels likely also contribute to the renal phosphate wasting associated with these disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone and Bones / pathology
  • Bone and Bones / physiopathology
  • Calcium / blood
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Female
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor-23
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / blood
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / genetics*
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Hypophosphatemia, Familial / blood
  • Hypophosphatemia, Familial / pathology
  • Hypophosphatemia, Familial / physiopathology*
  • Kidney Tubules, Proximal / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Osteomalacia / blood
  • Osteomalacia / pathology
  • Osteomalacia / physiopathology*
  • Parathyroid Hormone / blood
  • Parathyroid Hormone / physiology*
  • Phosphates / blood
  • Pregnancy
  • Vitamin D / blood


  • FGF23 protein, human
  • Fgf23 protein, mouse
  • Parathyroid Hormone
  • Phosphates
  • Vitamin D
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor-23
  • Calcium