Cardiovascular complications determine morbidity/mortality in chronic kidney disease (CKD). We hypothesized that progressive CKD drives the release of cathepsin-S (Cat-S), a cysteine protease that promotes endothelial dysfunction and cardiovascular complications. Therefore, Cat-S, soluble tumor-necrosis-factor receptor (sTNFR) 1/2 and glomerular filtration rate (GFR) were measured in a CKD mouse model, a German CKD-cohort (MCKD, n = 421) and two Swedish community-based cohorts (ULSAM, n = 764 and PIVUS, n = 804). Association between Cat-S and sTNFR1/2/GFR was assessed using multivariable linear regression. In the mouse model, Cat-S and sTNFR1/2 concentrations were increased following the progressive decline of GFR, showing a strong correlation between Cat-S and GFR (r = -0.746, p < 0.001) and Cat-S and sTNFR1/sTNFR2 (r = 0.837/0.916, p < 0.001, respectively). In the human cohorts, an increase of one standard deviation of estimated GFR was associated with a decrease of 1.008 ng/ml (95%-confidence interval (95%-CI) -1.576-(-0.439), p < 0.001) in Cat-S levels in MCKD; in ULSAM and PIVUS, results were similar. In all three cohorts, Cat-S and sTNFR1/sTNFR2 levels were associated in multivariable linear regression (p < 0.001). In conclusion, as GFR declines Cat-S and markers of inflammation-related endothelial dysfunction increase. The present data indicating that Cat-S activity increases with CKD progression suggest that Cat-S might be a therapeutic target to prevent cardiovascular complications in CKD.
2017. Vol. 7, 43538