FGF23 is a bone-derived hormone that regulates systemic phosphate homeostasis, vitamin D metabolism and α-Klotho expression through a novel bone-kidney axis. FGF23 inhibits renal tubular reabsorption of phosphate through mechanisms independent of PTH as well as reduces circulating 1, 25(OH)(2)D through its dual effects to suppress Cyp27b1 production and to stimulate Cyp24 catabolism of 1,25(OH)(2)D. 1,25(OH)(2)D and other factors regulating bone remodeling/mineralization are the major physiological regulators of FGF23 expression. FGF23 also suppresses the gene transcription of α-klotho by the kidney, which exists as a membrane and soluble protein. Membrane Klotho acts as a coreceptor for and dictates organ specificity of FGF23, whereas soluble Klotho act as an endocrine factor that regulates activity of cell surface glycoproteins and receptors in multiple tissues. Elevated FGF23 levels are responsible for several hereditary and acquired hypophosphatemic rickets disorders. FGF23 and Klotho deficiency have similar phenotypes characterized by hyperphosphatemia, elevated 1,25(OH)(2)D and tumoral calcinosis. FGF23 levels progressively increase during chronic kidney disease (CKD). FGF23 has been proposed to be the initial adaptive response leading to reductions in 1,25(OH)(2)D and secondary hyperparathyroidism (HPT) in CKD. The overall biological effect of this initial step may be to orchestrate a coordinated adaptation to protect the organism from the adverse effects of excess phosphate retention. The second step involves the effects of PTH on bone remodeling that further stimulates FGF23 production through both direct and indirect mechanisms related to alterations in extracellular matrix factors. PTH further amplifies FGF23 expression in later stages of CKD to compensate for the increased phosphate efflux from bone caused by excessive bone turnover. While many aspects of the regulation and functions of FGF23 remain to be established, the idea that FGF23 hormone is the initial adaptive hormonal response in CKD that suppresses 1,25(OH)(2)D, reduces gastrointestinal calcium and phosphate absorption and leads to a secondary HPT represents a paradigm shift in the conceptualization of the pathogenesis of secondary hyperparathyroidism. In addition, the prevalent thought that CKD is a functional "vitamin D deficient state" requiring therapy with 1,25(OH)(2)D analogs is challenged by effects of FGF23 to potentially lower both 25(OH)D and 1,25(OH)D by induction of Cyp24-mediated degradation. Finally, increments in FGF23 are associated with increased cardiovascular mortality in CKD. Whether these effects represent direct effects of FGF23 or represent a marker of other abnormalities in CKD remains to be determined.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.