Klotho Is Upregulated in Human Cardiomyopathy Independently of Circulating Klotho Levels

Sci Rep. 2018 May 30;8(1):8429. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-26539-6.


Klotho is an antiaging protein which exerts known cardioprotection. In kidney, trans-membrane Klotho acts as essential co-receptor of fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23). In the heart, soluble Klotho (sKlotho) protects from systolic dysfunction independently of FGF23. Here, we analyzed the association of FGF23 and sKlotho upon progression of chronic heart failure (CHF) and analyzed Klotho expression in human hearts. Serum levels of sKlotho and FGF23 were measured in 287 patients with cardiomyopathy (CMP). Tissue samples from CMP (n = 10) and healthy control hearts (n = 10) were analyzed for Klotho mRNA and protein expression. Individuals in the first FGF23 tertile were 4.1 times more likely of freedom from death, heart transplantation or assist device implantation compared to third tertile. No relationship was found between sKlotho and the combined endpoint. Instead, Klotho mRNA encoding the full-length form was upregulated in human CMP hearts. Immunoblotting confirmed upregulation of sKlotho associated with increased expression of proteases involved in cleavage of Klotho suggesting rather local effects of Klotho in the heart. Therefore, we conclude that in contrast to FGF23, serum sKlotho is not associated with disease severity or progression in CHF. Instead, Klotho is expressed and upregulated in diseased hearts, suggesting local paracrine effects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cardiomyopathies / blood*
  • Cardiomyopathies / complications
  • Cardiomyopathies / genetics*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / blood
  • Glucuronidase / blood*
  • Glucuronidase / genetics*
  • Heart Failure / complications
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Up-Regulation*


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors
  • fibroblast growth factor 23
  • Glucuronidase
  • klotho protein