Renal matrix Gla protein expression increases progressively with CKD and predicts renal outcome

Kana N. Miyata*, Cynthia C. Nast, Tiane Dai, Ramanath Dukkipati, Janine A. LaPage, Jonathan P. Troost, Leon J. Schurgers, Matthias Kretzler, Sharon G. Adler

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background: Matrix Gla Protein (MGP) is a potent inhibitor of ectopic calcification and modulates bone morphogenesis. Little is known about MGP expression or function in kidney. Methods: We investigated renal MGP expression in Sprague-Dawley rats after 5/6 nephrectomy (5/6 Nx) and in human kidney biopsies in the Nephrotic Syndrome Study Network (NEPTUNE) cohort. We analyzed associations between glomerular (n = 182) and tubulointerstitial (TI) (n = 219) MGP mRNA levels and the disease activity/histologic features in NEPTUNE patients. Additionally, uncarboxylated and carboxylated MGP (ucMGP and cMGP, respectively) were localized by immunohistochemistry and quantitated in kidney tissues of patients at different stages of CKD (n = 18). Results: Renal MGP expression was increased in rats after 5/6 Nx. In NEPTUNE data, baseline estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) negatively correlated with glomerular and TI MGP expression (p < 0.001). TI MGP expression strongly correlated with interstitial fibrosis, tubular atrophy, acute tubular injury, and interstitial inflammation, independent of eGFR. Kaplan-Meier analysis and multivariable Cox regression showed that higher levels of TI MGP expression were associated with an increased risk for the composite of 40% decline in eGFR and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) (HR, 3.31; 95% CI, 1.31 to 6.32; p = 0.02). Glomerular and tubulointerstitial cells demonstrated nuclear and cytoplasmic cMGP and ucMGP staining, and eGFR inversely correlated with quantified glomerular cMGP staining (p < 0.05). Conclusions: Our data demonstrate that renal MGP expression is increased in human and experimental CKD, and is associated with renal outcome. Additional studies are needed to determine its mechanism of action.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-129
Number of pages10
JournalExperimental and Molecular Pathology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018


  • Matrix gla protein
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Gene expression
  • Vitamin K
  • Renal outcome

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