Association of kidney function and uncarboxylated matrix Gla protein: data from the Heart and Soul Study

Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2009 Jul;24(7):2095-101. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfp024. Epub 2009 Feb 9.

Abstract

Background: Vascular calcification is highly prevalent in persons with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and predicts cardiovascular disease (CVD) events. Matrix Gla protein (MGP) is a potent inhibitor of vascular calcification, and lower levels of its precursor-uncarboxylated MGP (ucMGP)--are associated with vascular calcification and atherosclerosis. Whether mild to moderate decrements in kidney function are associated with lower serum ucMGP is unknown.

Methods: In a cross-sectional study among 842 outpatients with stable CVD, estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), serum cystatin-C and urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio (ACR) were measured and serum ucMGP levels were determined by ELISA. Multivariate linear regression evaluated the association of each kidney function measure with serum ucMGP levels.

Results: The mean eGFR was 76 +/- 23 mL/min/1.73 m(2), and 186 subjects (22%) had moderate CKD (eGFR <60 mL/min/1.73 m(2)). The mean +/- SD ucMGP level was 3289 +/- 1177 nM. In unadjusted analysis, each 10 mL/ min/1.73 m(2) lower eGFR was associated with 101 nM lower ucMGP level. This association was only minimally attenuated in final multivariate models wherein each 10 mL/ min/1.73 m(2) lower eGFR was associated with 79 nM lower ucMGP (95% confidence interval [CI]; 44 to 115; P < 0.001) after adjustment for age, sex, race, body mass index, blood pressure, smoking, hypertension, diabetes; and serum albumin, calcium, phosphorus, and fetuin-A levels. Similarly, in models adjusted for identical covariates, each 0.1 mg/L higher cystatin-C was associated with 39 nM lower ucMGP (95% CI 23 to 55; P < 0.001). In contrast, no significant association was observed between ACR and ucMGP in either unadjusted or adjusted analyses (adjusted P = 0.17). All associations were similar among subjects with or without diabetes (P-values for interaction > 0.50).

Conclusions: Among outpatients with stable CVD, a reduced glomerular filtration rate is associated with a decreased serum ucMGP level. In contrast, ACR is not associated with ucMGP levels. Whether ucMGP is a useful marker of vascular calcification and CVD event risk in persons with CKD deserves future study.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins / blood*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disease Progression
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney / physiopathology*
  • Male

Substances

  • Calcium-Binding Proteins
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins
  • matrix Gla protein