Vascular dysfunction in Cardiorenal Syndrome type 4

Abstract

The Cardiorenal Syndrome type 4 (CRS-4) defines a pathological condition in which a primary chronic kidney disease (CKD) leads to a chronic impairment of cardiac function. The pathophysiology of CRS-4 and the role of arterial stiffness remain only in part understood. Several uremic toxins, such as uric acid, phosphates, advanced glycation end-products, asymmetric dimethylarginine, and endothelin-1, are also vascular toxins. Their effect on the arterial wall may be direct or mediated by chronic inflammation and oxidative stress. Uremic toxins lead to endothelial dysfunction, intima-media thickening and arterial stiffening. In patients with CRS-4, the increased aortic stiffness results in an increase of cardiac workload and left ventricular hypertrophy whereas the loss of elasticity results in decreased coronary artery perfusion pressure during diastole and increased risk of myocardial infarction. Since the reduction of arterial stiffness is associated with an increased survival in patients with CKD, the understanding of the mechanisms that lead to arterial stiffening in patients with CRS4 may be useful to select potential approaches to improve their outcome. In this review we aim at discussing current understanding of the pathways that link uremic toxins, arterial stiffening and impaired cardiac function in patients with CRS-4.

 

Keywords: arterial stiffness, cardiorenal syndrome, chronic kidney disease, inflammation, intima-media thickness, uremic toxins

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Chiave di lettura

Ragionevoli certezze: I pazienti con insufficienza renale cronica muoiono più spesso per un evento cardiaco che per la ridotta funzione renale. Il riconoscimento di questo link ha portato all’identificazione della Sindrome Cardiorenale di tipo 4. Nel corso dell’insufficienza renale cronica, con la progressiva riduzione della funzione renale, si assiste ad un aumento delle tossine uremiche ed alla comparsa di infiammazione cronica e stress ossidativo. L’ambiente uremico causa l’aumento della rigidità arteriosa, un riconosciuto fattore di rischio cardiovascolare ed un endpoint cardiovascolare intermedio. L’aumentata rigidità arteriosa provoca, infine, alterazioni emodinamiche e pressorie che causano la disfunzione cardiaca cronica. Nei pazienti con insufficienza renale cronica, riducendo la rigidità arteriosa migliora l’outcome.  

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Bardoxolone: a new potential therapeutic agent in the treatment of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease?

Abstract

Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is the most common genetic cause of chronic renal failure. The natural history of ADPKD is characterized by development of multiple bilateral renal cysts that progressively destroy the architecture of the parenchyma and lead to an enlargement in the total kidney volume (TKV) and to the decline of the renal function. Cyst growth activates the immune system response causing interstitial inflammation and fibrosis that contribute to disease progression. In recent years, the therapeutic toolkit available to the nephrologist in the treatment of ADPKD has been enriched with new tools, and in this context bardoxolone is classified as a potential therapeutic agent. It is a semisynthetic derivative of triterpenoids, a family of compounds widely used in traditional Asian medicine for their multiple effects. Bardoxolone exerts antioxidant activity by promoting the activation of Nrf2 (Nuclear factor erythroid2-derivative – 2) and the downregulation of the proinflammatory NF-kB (Nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells) signaling. Several pieces of evidence support the use of bardoxolone in the treatment of chronic kidney disease (CKD) documenting an effect on the increase of glomerular filtration rate (GFR). However, its use is limited to patients at risk of heart failure. The FALCON study will clarify the efficacy and safety of bardoxolone in the treatment of ADPKD.


Keywords:
polycystic kidney disease, inflammation, bardoxolone, glomerular filtration

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Introduzione

La malattia del rene policistico autosomico dominante (ADPKD) è la più frequente nefropatia geneticamente trasmessa [12]. Si tratta di un disordine monogenico in cui sono state identificate mutazioni a carico di tre geni coinvolti: PKD1 (78% dei casi), PKD2 (15% dei casi) e GANAB (circa 0.3% dei casi) [3].  

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