Diabetics suffering from early stage kidney disease have reduced levels of the hormone Klotho, which may also have a cardioprotective effect
The hormone Klotho has already been established as an aging modulator. When lacking or mutated in mice, they exhibit features of premature aging, and overexpression increases lifespan too. In a study examining Klotho's role in diabetic patients, researchers at Kings College London tested blood and urine samples from 78 type 1 diabetics. 33 of these were showing signs of early kidney disease, microalbuminuria.
'For the first time, Klotho has been linked to kidney disease in type 1 diabetes patients and this finding represents an exciting step towards developing new markers for disease and potentially new treatments'
A new therapeutic avenue?
Patients suffering from microalbuminuria displayed repeatedly lower Klotho levels compared to healthy adults - suggesting that Klotho levels could act as a marker for kidney disease risk in diabetic individuals. Furthermore, Klotho has already been studied regarding its cardioprotective effect. Additional research undertaken at Kings College has previously indicated that Klotho is able to limit detrimental age-related changes such as artery wall thickening - potentially lowering risk of hypertension and atherosclerosis.
'With further research using larger cohorts of patients with type 1 and 2 diabetes we hope to expand the scope of this work to identify at an early stage patients at high risk of progression of kidney disease and cardiovascular disease. Our research will help scientists to better understand the mechanisms by which this hormone benefits healthy ageing, as well as how deficits in Klotho lead to age related diseases. We are conducting further research on the role of Klotho in ageing and longevity as part of ARK (Ageing Research at King's) research initiatives'
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