Journal Article

Fibroblast growth factor-23 and mineral metabolism after unilateral nephrectomy

Per-Anton Westerberg, Östen Ljunggren, Tobias E. Larsson, Jonas Wadström and Torbjörn Linde

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Published on behalf of European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Assoc

Volume 25, issue 12, pages 4068-4071
Published in print December 2010 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online June 2010 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI:
Fibroblast growth factor-23 and mineral metabolism after unilateral nephrectomy

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Background. Fibroblast growth factor -23 (FGF-23) is a key regulator of mineral metabolism. It regulates renal phosphate (Pi) reabsorption and calcitriol synthesis, and has an inhibitory effect on parathyroid hormone (PTH) secretion. FGF-23 increases early in chronic kidney disease (CKD), but the regulation of FGF-23 in mild -to -moderate renal dysfunction is not fully understood.

Methods. Nine healthy kidney donors underwent unilateral nephrectomy. Estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) calculated from cystatin C and parameters of mineral metabolism: (Pi, ionized calcium, biointact PTH, intact FGF-23, calcitriol, and urinary excretion of calcium and Pi) were analysed before surgery, and one day, one week and three to six months after surgery.

Results. On the first post-operative day, PTH increased due to a decrease in the calcium level. One week after nephrectomy, the FGF-23 level increased from 31.8 ± 12.3 pg/mL to 55.8 ± 15.1 pg/mL, while PTH, Pi and calcium levels were unchanged compared towith baseline. On follow-up, eGFR improved compared with its one-week value, and PTH and FGF-23 were unchanged compared towith baseline. The calcitriol level decreased but was in the normal range at all points in time. The total amount of Pi in urine did not change, while the calcium excretion decreased significantly.

Conclusions. Pi homeostasis after nephrectomy is maintained by PTH on the first day. When serum calcium is stabilized and food intake resumed, FGF-23 rises, possibly in response to the Pi- load in relation to GFR.

Keywords: FGF23; FGF-23; mineral metabolism; nephrectomy; phosphate

Journal Article.  2403 words. 

Subjects: Nephrology

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