Levels of Angiopoietin-Like-2 Are Positively Associated With Aortic Stiffness and Mortality After Kidney Transplantation

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

Angiopoietin-like-2 (ANGPTL2) is a secreted proinflammatory glycoprotein that promotes endothelial dysfunction, atherosclerosis, and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Circulating ANGPTL2 is increased in chronic kidney disease (CKD), where the risk of CVD is amplified. The objectives of the present study were to (i) examine whether kidney transplantation (KTx) reduces ANGPTL2 levels, (ii) identify the determinants of ANGPTL2 after KTx, (iii) study the association of ANGPTL2 with aortic stiffness, and (iv) assess the impact of ANGPTL2 on mortality after KTx.

METHODS

In 75 patients, serum ANGPTL2 levels were measured at baseline and 3 months after KTx. Aortic stiffness was determined by carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity, glomerular filtration rate was estimated by CKD-EPI formula, and serum cytokines and endothlin-1 levels were determined 3 months after KTx. Survival analysis was performed using Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression after a median follow-up of 90 months.

RESULTS

After 3 months of KTx, ANGPTL2 levels decreased from 71 ng/ml (53-95) to 11 ng/ml (9-15) (P < 0.001). In multivariate analysis, age, lower renal function, and endothelin-1 were independently associated with higher post-KTx ANGPTL2 levels. ANGPTL2 was positively associated with aortic stiffness after KTx, even when adjusted for mean blood pressure (standardized β = 0.314; P = 0.008). During follow-up, 13 deaths occurred. The group of patients with higher post-KTx ANGPTL2 levels had a hazard ratio for mortality of 3.9 (95% confidence interval: 1.07-14.4; P = 0.039).

CONCLUSION

KTx significantly reduced serum ANGPTL2 levels. The positive association between post-KTx ANGPTL2, aortic stiffness and mortality, suggests that ANGPTL2 may play a biological role in CKD-related CVD.

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