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Open Access Highly Accessed Review

Exploring metabolic dysfunction in chronic kidney disease

Adrian D Slee

Author Affiliations

School of Life Sciences, Brayford Pool Campus, University of Lincoln, Lincoln, UK

Nutrition & Metabolism 2012, 9:36  doi:10.1186/1743-7075-9-36

Published: 26 April 2012

Abstract

Impaired kidney function and chronic kidney disease (CKD) leading to kidney failure and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) is a serious medical condition associated with increased morbidity, mortality, and in particular cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. CKD is associated with multiple physiological and metabolic disturbances, including hypertension, dyslipidemia and the anorexia-cachexia syndrome which are linked to poor outcomes. Specific hormonal, inflammatory, and nutritional-metabolic factors may play key roles in CKD development and pathogenesis. These include raised proinflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin-1 and −6, tumor necrosis factor, altered hepatic acute phase proteins, including reduced albumin, increased C-reactive protein, and perturbations in normal anabolic hormone responses with reduced growth hormone-insulin-like growth factor-1 axis activity. Others include hyperactivation of the renin-angiotensin aldosterone system (RAAS), with angiotensin II and aldosterone implicated in hypertension and the promotion of insulin resistance, and subsequent pharmacological blockade shown to improve blood pressure, metabolic control and offer reno-protective effects. Abnormal adipocytokine levels including leptin and adiponectin may further promote the insulin resistant, and proinflammatory state in CKD. Ghrelin may be also implicated and controversial studies suggest activities may be reduced in human CKD, and may provide a rationale for administration of acyl-ghrelin. Poor vitamin D status has also been associated with patient outcome and CVD risk and may indicate a role for supplementation. Glucocorticoid activities traditionally known for their involvement in the pathogenesis of a number of disease states are increased and may be implicated in CKD-associated hypertension, insulin resistance, diabetes risk and cachexia, both directly and indirectly through effects on other systems including activation of the mineralcorticoid receptor. Insight into the multiple factors altered in CKD may provide useful information on disease pathogenesis, clinical assessment and treatment rationale such as potential pharmacological, nutritional and exercise therapies.

Keywords:
Chronic kidney disease; Cachexia; Cardiovascular disease