Klotho gene in human salt-sensitive hypertension

Lorena Citterio, Simona Delli Carpini, Sara Lupoli, Elena Brioni, Marco Simonini, Simone Fontana, Laura Zagato, Elisabetta Messaggio, Cristina Barlassina, Daniele Cusi, Paolo Manunta, Chiara Lanzani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and objectives Hypertension is a common aging-related disorder. Salt intake is one of the main environmental factors contributing to the development of hypertension. Transgenic mice with one-half Klotho deficiency displayed a spontaneous BP increase and salt-sensitive hypertension in response to high sodium intake. Usually circulating levels of a-Klotho decrease with age, and this reduction may be stronger in patients with several aging-related diseases. This study aimed at exploring the association of Klotho with salt sensitivity in humans. Design, setting, participants, & measurements The role of Klotho polymorphisms and a-Klotho serum levels was evaluated in patients with hypertension who were treatment naive and underwent an acute salt-sensitivity test (discovery n5673, intravenous 2 L of 0.9% saline in 2 hours). Salt sensitivity was defined as a mean BP increase of.4 mm Hg at the end of the infusion. A total of 32 single nucleotide polymorphisms in the Klotho gene (KL), previously identified with a genome-wide association study, were used in the genetic analysis and studied for a pressure-natriuresis relationship. Results Of the patients with hypertension, 35% were classified as salt sensitive. The most relevant polymorphism associated with pressure natriuresis was the common missense single nucleotide polymorphism rs9536314, and the GG and GT genotypes were more represented among patients who were salt sensitive (P50.001). Those carrying the G allele showed a less steep pressure-natriuresis relationship, meaning that a significant increase in mean BP was needed to excrete the same quantity of salt compared with patients who were salt resistant. KL rs9536314 also replicated the pressure-natriuresis association in an independent replication cohort (n5193) and in the combined analysis (n5866). There was an inverse relationship between circulating Klotho and mean BP changes after the saline infusion (r520.14, P50.03). Moreover, circulating a-Klotho was directly related to kidney function at baseline eGFR (r50.22, P,0.001). Conclusions KL rs9536314 is associated with salt-sensitive hypertension in patients with hypertension who are treatment naive. Moreover, circulating a-Klotho levels were mainly related to diastolic BP changes at the end of a salt load and to eGFR as an expression of kidney aging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-383
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 6 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Nephrology
  • Transplantation


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