Association between Urine Ammonium and Urine TGF-β1 in CKD.Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2018 02 07; 13(2):223-230.CJ
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES
Urinary ammonium excretion increases in response to nonvolatile acids to maintain normal systemic bicarbonate and pH. However, enhanced ammonia production promotes tubulointerstitial fibrosis in animal models. Therefore, a subset of individuals with CKD and normal bicarbonate may have acid-mediated kidney fibrosis that might be better linked with ammonium excretion than bicarbonate. We hypothesized that urine TGF-β1, as an indicator of kidney fibrosis, would be more tightly linked with urine ammonium excretion than serum bicarbonate and other acid-base indicators. DESIGN, SETTING, PARTICIPANTS, & MEASUREMENTS: We measured serum bicarbonate and urinary ammonium, titratable acids, pH, and TGF-β1/creatinine in 144 persons with CKD. Multivariable-adjusted linear regression models determined the cross-sectional association between TGF-β1/creatinine and serum bicarbonate, urine ammonium excretion, urine titratable acids excretion, and urine pH.
Mean eGFR was 42 ml/min per 1.73 m2, mean age was 65 years old, 78% were men, and 62% had diabetes. Mean urinary TGF-β1/creatinine was 102 (49) ng/g, mean ammonium excretion was 1.27 (0.72) mEq/h, mean titratable acids excretion was 1.14 (0.65) mEq/h, mean urine pH was 5.6 (0.5), and mean serum bicarbonate was 23 (3) mEq/L. After adjusting for eGFR, proteinuria, and other potential confounders, each SD increase of urine ammonium and urine pH was associated with a statistically significant 1.22-fold (95% confidence interval, 1.11 to 1.35) or 1.11-fold (95% confidence interval, 1.02 to 1.21) higher geometric mean urine TGF-β1/creatinine, respectively. Each SD increase of serum bicarbonate and urine titratable acids was associated with a nonsignificant 1.06-fold (95% confidence interval, 0.97 to 1.16) or 1.03-fold (95% confidence interval, 0.92 to 1.14) higher geometric mean urine TGF-β1/creatinine, respectively.
Urinary ammonium excretion but not serum bicarbonate is associated with higher urine TGF-β1/creatinine.