Associations of Urinary Uromodulin with Clinical Characteristics and Markers of Tubular Function in the General Population

Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2016 Jan 7;11(1):70-80. doi: 10.2215/CJN.04230415. Epub 2015 Dec 18.


Background and objectives: Allelic variants in UMOD, the gene coding for uromodulin, are associated with rare tubulointerstitial kidney disorders and risk of CKD and hypertension in the general population. The factors associated with uromodulin excretion in the normal population remain largely unknown, and were therefore explored in this study.

Design, setting, participants, & measurements: Urinary uromodulin excretion was measured using a validated ELISA in two population-based cohorts that included more than 6500 individuals. The Swiss Kidney Project on Genes in Hypertension study (SKIPOGH) included 817 adults (mean age±SD, 45±17 years) who underwent renal ultrasonography and performed a 24-hour urine collection. The Cohorte Lausannoise study included 5706 adults (mean age, 53±11 years) with fresh spot morning urine samples. We calculated eGFRs using the CKD-Epidemiology Collaboration formula and by 24-hour creatinine clearance.

Results: In both studies, positive associations were found between uromodulin and urinary sodium, chloride, and potassium excretion and osmolality. In SKIPOGH, 24-hour uromodulin excretion (median, 41 [interquartile range, 29-57] mg/24 h) was positively associated with kidney length and volume and with creatinine excretion and urine volume. It was negatively associated with age and diabetes. Both spot uromodulin concentration and 24-hour uromodulin excretion were linearly and positively associated (multivariate analyses) with eGFR<90 ml/min per 1.73 m(2).

Conclusion: Age, creatinine excretion, diabetes, and urinary volume are independent clinical correlates of urinary uromodulin excretion. The associations of uromodulin excretion with markers of tubular functions and kidney dimensions suggest that it may reflect tubule activity in the general population.

Keywords: electrolytes; glomerular filtration rate; humans; hypertension, renal; osmolality; potassium; renal insufficiency, chronic; renal tubular cells; sodium; uromodulin.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Albuminuria / urine
  • Biomarkers
  • Electrolytes / urine
  • Female
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Humans
  • Kidney Tubules / physiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osmolar Concentration
  • Uromodulin / urine*


  • Biomarkers
  • Electrolytes
  • Uromodulin