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Gene and protein expressions and metabolomics exhibit activated redox signaling and wnt/β-catenin pathway are associated with metabolite dysfunction in patients with chronic kidney disease


Changes in plasma concentration of small organic metabolites could be due to their altered production or urinary excretion and changes in their urine concentration may be due to the changes in their filtered load, tubular reabsorption, and/or altered urine volume. Therefore, these factors should be considered in interpretation of the changes observed in plasma or urine of the target metabolite(s). Fasting plasma and urine samples from 180 CKD patients and 120 age-matched healthy controls were determined by UPLC-HDMS-metabolomics and quantitative real-time RT-PCR techniques. Compared with healthy controls, patients with CKD showed activation of NF-κB and up-regulation of pro-inflammatory and pro-oxidant mRNA and protein expression as well as down-regulation of Nrf2-associated anti-oxidant gene mRNA and protein expression, accompanied by activated canonical Wnt/β-catenin signaling. 124 plasma and 128 urine metabolites were identified and 40 metabolites were significantly altered in both plasma and urine. Plasma concentration and urine excretion of 25 metabolites were distinctly different between CKD and controls. They were related to amino acid, methylamine, purine and lipid metabolisms. Logistic regression identified four plasma and five urine metabolites. Parts of them were good correlated with eGFR or serum creatinine. 5-Methoxytryptophan and homocystine and citrulline were good correlated with both eGFR and creatinine. Clinical factors were incorporated to establish predictive models. The enhanced metabolite model showed 5-methoxytryptophan, homocystine and citrulline have satisfactory accuracy, sensitivity and specificity for predictive CKD. The dysregulation of CKD was related to amino acid, methylamine, purine and lipid metabolisms. 5-methoxytryptophan, homocystine and citrulline could be considered as additional GFR-associated biomarker candidates and for indicating advanced renal injury. CKD caused dysregulation of the plasma and urine metabolome, activation of inflammatory/oxidative pathway and Wnt/β-catenin signaling and suppression of antioxidant pathway.

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