Phosphate is a cornerstone of several physiological pathways including skeletal development, bone mineralization, membrane composition, nucleotide structure, maintenance of plasma pH, and cellular signaling. The kidneys have a key role in phosphate homeostasis with three hormones having important functions in renal phosphate handling or intestinal absorption: parathyroid hormone (PTH), fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23), and 1-25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25(OH)2D). FGF23 is mainly synthesized by osteocytes; it is a direct phosphaturic factor that also inhibits 1,25(OH)2D and PTH. In addition to crucial effects on phosphate and calcium metabolism, FGF23 also has 'off-target' effects notably on the cardiovascular, immune and central nervous systems. Genetic diseases may affect the FGF23 pathway, resulting in either increased FGF23 levels leading to hypophosphatemia (such as in X-linked hypophosphatemia) or defective secretion/action of intact FGF23 inducing hyperphosphatemia (such as in familial tumoral calcinosis). The aim of this review is to provide an overview of FGF23 physiology and pathophysiology in X-linked hypophosphatemia, with a focus on FGF23-associated genetic diseases.
Keywords: FGF23; PHEX; X-linked hypophosphatemia.
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