High Fibroblast Growth Factor 23 concentrations in experimental renal failure impair calcium handling in cardiomyocytes

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The overwhelming majority of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) die prematurely before reaching end-stage renal disease, mainly due to cardiovascular causes, of which heart failure is the predominant clinical presentation. We hypothesized that CKD-induced increases of plasma FGF23 impair cardiac diastolic and systolic function. To test this, mice were subjected to 5/6 nephrectomy (5/6Nx) or were injected with FGF23 for seven consecutive days. Six weeks after surgery, plasma FGF23 was higher in 5/6Nx mice compared to sham mice (720 ± 31 vs. 256 ± 3 pg/mL, respectively, P = 0.034). In cardiomyocytes isolated from both 5/6Nx and FGF23 injected animals the rise of cytosolic calcium during systole was slowed (−13% and −19%, respectively) as was the decay of cytosolic calcium during diastole (−15% and −21%, respectively) compared to controls. Furthermore, both groups had similarly decreased peak cytosolic calcium content during systole. Despite lower cytosolic calcium contents in CKD or FGF23 pretreated animals, no changes were observed in contractile parameters of cardiomyocytes between the groups. Expression of calcium handling proteins and cardiac troponin I phosphorylation were similar between groups. Blood pressure, the heart weight:tibia length ratio, α-MHC/β-MHC ratio and ANF mRNA expression, and systolic and diastolic function as measured by MRI did not differ between groups. In conclusion, the rapid, CKD-induced rise in plasma FGF23 and the similar decrease in cardiomyocyte calcium transients in modeled kidney disease and following 1-week treatment with FGF23 indicate that FGF23 partly mediates cardiomyocyte dysfunction in CKD.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13591
JournalPhysiological reports
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018


  • Calcium
  • FGF23
  • cardiac
  • chronic kidney disease
  • mineral bone disease

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