Alterations of Proximal Tubular Secretion in Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease

Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2020 Jan 7;15(1):80-88. doi: 10.2215/CJN.05610519. Epub 2019 Oct 18.


Background and objectives: In autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD), the GFR often remains normal despite significant nephron loss. Proximal tubular secretory clearance may be reduced in ADPKD before detectable changes in GFR.

Design, setting, participants, & measurements: We used targeted mass spectrometry to quantify secretory solutes from blood and urine samples from 31 patients with ADPKD and preserved GFR (mean eGFR =111±11 ml/min per 1.73 m2) and 25 healthy control individuals as well as from 95 patients with ADPKD and reduced GFR (mean eGFR =53±21 ml/min per 1.73 m2) and 92 individuals with non-ADPKD CKD. We used linear regression to compare the fractional excretion of each solute between ADPKD and control groups. Among 112 patients with ADPKD, we used linear regression to determine associations of solute fractional excretion with height-adjusted total kidney volume.

Results: After adjusting for demographics, clinical characteristics, and kidney function measures, the fractional excretions of three secretory solutes were lower in patients with ADPKD and preserved GFR compared with healthy individuals: 52% lower cinnamoylglycine excretion (95% confidence interval, 24% to 70%), 53% lower tiglylglycine excretion (95% confidence interval, 23% to 71%), and 91% lower xanthosine excretion (95% confidence interval, 83% to 95%). In addition to lower excretions of tiglylglycine and xanthosine, patients with ADPKD and reduced GFR also demonstrated 37% lower dimethyluric acid excretion (95% confidence interval, 21% to 50%), 58% lower hippurate excretion (95% confidence interval, 48% to 66%), 48% lower isovalerylglycine excretion (95% confidence interval, 37% to 56%), and 31% lower pyridoxic acid excretion (95% confidence interval, 16% to 42%) compared with patients with non-ADPKD CKD and comparable eGFR. Among patients with ADPKD, solute fractional excretions were not associated with differences in kidney volume.

Conclusions: Patients with ADPKD and preserved and reduced GFR demonstrate lower tubular secretory solute excretion compared with healthy controls and patients with non-ADPKD CKD. Our results suggest that tubular secretion is impaired in ADPKD independent of GFR.

Keywords: Proximal tubular secretion; Tubular solute clearance; chronic renal insufficiency; cinnamoylglycine; control groups; demography; glomerular filtration rate; glycine; hippurates; humans; kidney; linear models; mass spectrometry; nephrons; polycystic kidney disease; polycystic kidney, autosomal dominant; pyridoxic acid; ribonucleosides; tiglyglycine; xanthosine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Biomarkers / urine
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Glycine / analogs & derivatives
  • Glycine / blood
  • Glycine / urine
  • Humans
  • Kidney Tubules, Proximal / metabolism
  • Kidney Tubules, Proximal / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polycystic Kidney, Autosomal Dominant / diagnosis
  • Polycystic Kidney, Autosomal Dominant / metabolism
  • Polycystic Kidney, Autosomal Dominant / physiopathology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Renal Elimination*
  • Ribonucleosides / blood
  • Ribonucleosides / urine
  • Secretory Pathway
  • Xanthines / blood
  • Xanthines / urine


  • Biomarkers
  • Ribonucleosides
  • Xanthines
  • cinnamoylglycine
  • tiglylglycine
  • xanthosine
  • Glycine