Glomerular function in relation to circulating adhesion molecules and inflammation markers in a general population

Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2018 Mar 1;33(3):426-435. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfx256.


Background: Inflammation is a hallmark of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and stimulates glomerular expression of vascular adhesion molecules (VCAMs). We investigated in a general population whether estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) is associated with circulating adhesion molecules, inflammation markers or both.

Methods: We measured serum levels of five adhesion molecules [VCAM-1, intracellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), P-selectin, E-selectin and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1)] and seven inflammation markers [C-reactive protein (CRP), neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL), tumour necrosis factor receptor 1 (TNF-R1), TNF-α, interleukin 6 (IL-6), IL-8 and vascular endothelial growth factor] in 1338 randomly recruited people (50.8% women, mean age 51.7 years, eGFR 79.9 mL/min/1.73 m2).

Results: In multivariable-adjusted analyses, eGFR decreased (P ≤ 0.004) with higher VCAM-1 (association size expressed in mL/min/1.73 m2 for a doubling of the marker, -2.99), MCP-1 (-1.19), NGAL (-1.19), TNF receptor 1 (-2.78), TNF-α (-2.28) and IL-6 (-0.94). The odds ratios of having eGFR <60 versus ≥60 mL/min/1.73 m2 (n = 138 versus 1200) were significant (P ≤ 0.001) for VCAM-1 (1.77), MCP-1 (1.32), NGAL (1.26), TNF-R1 (1.49), TNF-α (1.45) and IL-6 (1.20). Compared with 24-h albuminuria, VCAM-1 increased (P <0.0001) the area under the curve from 0.57 to 0.65, MCP-1 to 0.67 and TNF-R1 to 0.79, but TNF-R1 outperformed both adhesion molecules (P < 0.0001).

Conclusions: In a general population, eGFR is inversely associated with circulating adhesion molecules VCAM-1 and MCP-1 and several inflammation markers, but inflammation markers, in particular TNF-R1 and TNF-α, identify patients with eGFR <60 mL/min/1.73 m2 more accurately.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Belgium / epidemiology
  • Biomarkers / blood*
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / blood*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / blood
  • Inflammation / diagnosis*
  • Inflammation / epidemiology
  • Inflammation Mediators / blood*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Inflammation Mediators