Relationship between low levels of circulating TRAIL and atheromatosis progression in patients with chronic kidney disease

Maria Vittoria Arcidiacono, Erika Rimondi, Elisa Maietti, Elisabetta Melloni, Veronica Tisato, Stefania Gallo, Jose Manuel Valdivielso, Elvira Fernández, Àngels Betriu, Rebecca Voltan, Giorgio Zauli, Stefano Volpato, Paola Secchiero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients experience a high risk of cardiovascular disease (CV); however, the factors involved in CV-related morbidity and mortality in these patients have not been fully defined. Tumor necrosis factor related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is a cytokine, which exhibits pleiotropic activities on endothelial, vascular smooth muscle and inflammatory cells, with relevant effects on atheromatous plaque formation. On this basis, the present study aims to investigate the role of TRAIL in atheromatosis progression in CKD patients. Methods Circulating TRAIL levels were measured in 378 CKD patients belonging to the Spanish National Observatory of Atherosclerosis in Nephrology (NEFRONA) study. All patients were free of previous CV events. Carotid and femoral B-mode ultrasound was performed to detect the presence of plaque at baseline and after 24 months of follow-up. Results The lowest levels of TRAIL at baseline were significantly (p<0.05) associated with the appearance, after 24 months of follow-up, of at least two new atheromatous plaques in all territories and of one new plaque in the carotid artery, even after adjusting for CV risk factors. In addition, the patients with low levels of TRAIL at baseline were characterized by the presence of at least one hypoechoic plaque in the carotid artery. This association was significant (p<0.05) even after adjusting for CKD stage. Conclusions Overall, the results of our study suggest TRAIL as an assertable independent prognostic biomarker for atheromatosis plaque formation in CKD patients. This observation further supports the potential role of TRAIL for the prevention/treatment of CV disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0203716
JournalPLoS One
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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