Fibroblast growth factor 23/klotho axis in chronic kidney disease

Nephron Clin Pract. 2014;128(1-2):1-10. doi: 10.1159/000365787. Epub 2014 Nov 8.


Fibroblast growth factor-23 (FGF23) is a bone-derived hormone that regulates phosphate and 1,25-hydroxyvitamin D [1,25(OH)2D] metabolism. FGF23 binds to FGF receptor 1 with its coreceptor Klotho and maintains serum phosphate levels within the normal range by increasing renal phosphate excretion. In addition, FGF23 reduces the synthesis and accelerates the degradation of 1,25(OH)2D to reduce intestinal phosphate absorption. Moreover, FGF23 acts at the parathyroid gland to decrease parathyroid hormone synthesis and secretion. In chronic kidney disease (CKD), serum FGF23 levels rise exponentially as renal function declines long before a significant increase in serum phosphate concentration occurs. Although there is room for argument, FGF23 and Klotho are recently reported contributors to vascular calcification. Finally, prospective observational studies have shown that serum FGF23 concentrations predict mortality not only among dialysis patients but among predialysis CKD patients. In addition to being a coreceptor for FGF23, Klotho circulates as an endocrine substance and exerts a multitude of effects. This review describes recent advances in research on the FGF23-Klotho axis in CKD. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Fibroblast Growth Factor-23
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / blood
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / physiology*
  • Glucuronidase / blood
  • Glucuronidase / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Klotho Proteins
  • Minerals / metabolism
  • Prospective Studies
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / metabolism*


  • FGF23 protein, human
  • Minerals
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor-23
  • Glucuronidase
  • Klotho Proteins