Plasma tryptophan-kynurenine pathway metabolites and risk for progression to end-stage kidney disease in patients with type 2 diabetes

Jian Jun Liu, Jianhong Ching, Hai Ning Wee, Sylvia Liu, Resham L. Gurung, Janus Lee, M. Yiamunaa, Huili Zheng, Lye Siang Lee, Keven Ang, Yi Ming Shao, Jean Paul Kovalik, Tavintharan Subramaniam, Chee Fang Sum, Kumar Sharma, Bryan R. Kestenbaum, Su Chi Lim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVE We sought to study the associations between plasma metabolites in the tryptophankynurenine pathway and the risk of progression to end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) in patients with type 2 diabetes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Plasma tryptophan, kynurenine, 3-hydroxykynurenine, kynurenic acid, and xanthurenic acid concentrations were measured in discovery (n = 1,915) and replication (n = 346) cohorts. External validation was performed in Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) participants with diabetes (n = 1,312). The primary outcome was a composite of incident ESKD (progression to estimated glomerular filtration rate [eGFR] <15 mL/min/1.73 m2, sustained dialysis, or renal death). The secondary outcome was annual eGFR decline. RESULTS In the discovery cohort, tryptophan was inversely associated with risk for ESKD, and kynurenine-to-tryptophan ratio (KTR) was positively associated with risk for ESKD after adjustment for clinical risk factors, including baseline eGFR and albuminuria (adjusted hazard ratios [HRs] 0.62 [95% CI 0.51, 0.75] and 1.48 [1.20, 1.84] per 1 SD). High levels of kynurenic acid and xanthurenic acid were associated with low risks of ESKD (0.74 [0.60, 0.91] and 0.74 [0.60, 0.91]). Consistently, high levels of tryptophan, kynurenic acid, and xanthurenic acid were independently associated with a slower eGFR decline, while a high KTR was predictive of a faster eGFR decline. Similar outcomes were obtained in the replication cohort. Furthermore, the inverse association between kynurenic acid and risk of ESKD was externally validated in CRIC participants with diabetes (adjusted HR 0.78 [0.65, 0.93]). CONCLUSIONS Accelerated catabolism of tryptophan in the kynurenine pathway may be involved in progressive loss of kidney function. However, shunting the kynurenine pathway toward the kynurenic acid branch may potentially slow renal progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2223-2231
Number of pages9
JournalDiabetes care
Volume46
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing
  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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