Aim: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is associated with cardiovascular events. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and/or its receptors have been postulated to be involved in renal pathophysiology. It is unclear whether an increased TNF system activity is present before the development of apparent CKD. Methods: Four hundred and twenty non-diabetic Japanese subjects with an estimated GFR (eGFR) greater than 60 ml/min/1.73 m2 were recruited for measurement of the HbA1c, insulin, TNF system activity (TNF-α, soluble TNF receptor 1 (sTNF-R1) and sTNF-R2) levels and various parameters, including the lipid, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), high-molecular-weight (HMW) adiponectin and leptin levels. The subjects were stratified according to the eGFR: the G1 level (eGFR ≥90 ml/min/1.73 m2) and the G2 level (90 <eGFR ≥60 ml/min/1.73 m2). Results: Whereas no significant differences were observed in gender, body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, insulin, TNF-α, hsCRP, HMW adiponectin or leptin between the two groups, the values for age, HbA1c, triglycerides, sTNF-R1 and sTNF-R2 were significantly higher in the subjects with a G2 level of eGFR than in those with a G1 level. In contrast, the HDL cholesterol levels were significantly lower in the subjects with a G2 level than in those with a G1 level. Linear negative correlations were also observed between eGFR and age, BMI, HbA1c, triglycerides, sTNF-R1 and sTNFR2, respectively. A multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that only sTNF-R2 was associated with the presence of a G2 level of eGFR (Odds ratio 1.092, 95% CI 1.013-1.177, P= 0.021). Conclusions: The circulating sTNF-R2 level is closely associated with the kidney function in nondiabetic Japanese subjects.
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