Ficolin-2 Gene rs7851696 Polymorphism is Associated with Delayed Graft Function and Acute Rejection in Kidney Allograft Recipients
Klotho is an anti-aging factor mainly produced by renal tubular epithelial cells (TEC) with pleiotropic functions. Klotho is down-regulated in acute kidney injury in native kidney; however, the modulation of Klotho in kidney transplantation has not been investigated. In a swine model of ischemia/reperfusion injury (IRI), we observed a remarkable reduction of renal Klotho by 24 h from IRI. Complement inhibition by C1-inhibitor preserved Klotho expression in vivo by abrogating nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kB) signaling. In accordance, complement anaphylotoxin C5a led to a significant down-regulation of Klotho in TEC in vitro that was NF-kB mediated. Analysis of Klotho in kidneys from cadaveric donors demonstrated a significant expression of Klotho in pre-implantation biopsies; however, patients affected by delayed graft function (DGF) showed a profound down-regulation of Klotho compared with patients with early graft function. Quantification of serum Klotho after 2 years from transplantation demonstrated significant lower levels in DGF patients. Our data demonstrated that complement might be pivotal in the down-regulation of Klotho in IRI leading to a permanent deficiency after years from transplantation. Considering the anti-senescence and anti-fibrotic effects of Klotho at renal levels, we hypothesize that this acquired deficiency of Klotho might contribute to DGF-associated chronic allograft dysfunction.