December 6, 2023

Kidney Transplantation Reverses Aging in Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease

A recent study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine has found that kidney transplantation (KT) can have a rejuvenating effect on the aging process in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD).

CKD is a condition that is associated with accelerated aging, characterized by endothelial dysfunction, chronic inflammation, and increased oxidative stress caused by the accumulation of uremic toxins in the body. While KT is currently the best treatment for kidney failure, it comes with its own challenges such as the risk of organ rejection, limited kidney lifespan, and the need for immunosuppression. Dialysis, on the other hand, is also associated with limitations such as increased infection risk, reduced quality of life, and increased oxidative stress and inflammation.

The study aimed to determine whether dialysis or KT can slow down or reverse the aging process in patients with CKD. The researchers estimated the biological age of CKD patients at different stages using DNA methylation (DNAm), skin autofluorescence (SAF), and phenotypic age (PA) methods. The study included control subjects, CKD patients at stages G3 to G5, as well as end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) patients.

Blood samples were collected from the participants to measure various biomarkers associated with aging. PA was estimated based on chronological age and nine biomarkers, while SAF was determined using an autofluorescence reader. DNAm analysis was also performed, and age acceleration was calculated based on the difference between chronological age and DNAm age.

The study found that CKD patients at stage G5 had significantly higher PA compared to controls, indicating accelerated aging. Elevated PA was associated with reduced kidney function, albumin levels, and hand grip strength, as well as higher levels of inflammatory markers such as IL-6 and hs-CRP. SAF age was also higher in CKD G5 patients and was associated with reduced albumin and hand grip strength, as well as higher levels of hs-CRP and IL-6.

The DNAm analysis showed that KT and dialysis patients had higher age acceleration compared to controls. However, after one year, the age acceleration significantly decreased in the KT group, indicating that KT had a rejuvenating effect on the aging process. In contrast, dialysis had no effect on age acceleration.

The study concluded that CKD promotes accelerated aging, and SAF and PA may not be reliable biomarkers for estimating biological age in CKD patients. DNAm clocks, on the other hand, performed better and could be a superior biomarker for age estimation in CKD. The findings suggest that KT can reverse the aging process in CKD patients and improve kidney function measures.

In conclusion, kidney transplantation has shown promising results in reversing the aging process in patients with chronic kidney disease. This research highlights the potential benefits of KT in mitigating the effects of renal aging and improving overall health outcomes for CKD patients. Further studies are needed to explore the long-term effects of KT on the aging process and to identify the underlying mechanisms involved.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it