, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 603-608,
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FGF-23 in bone biology


Recent studies have demonstrated that levels of fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF-23), a key regulator of phosphorus and vitamin D metabolism, rise dramatically as renal function declines and may play a key initiating role in disordered mineral and bone metabolism in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). The physiologic importance of FGF-23 in mineral metabolism was first identified in human genetic and acquired rachitic diseases and further characterized in animal models. FGF-23 and its regulators, including phosphate regulating endopeptidase homolog, dentin matrix 1 (DMP1), and matrix extracellular phosphoglycoprotein, are made primarily in bone, specifically in osteocytes. Dysregulation of these proteins results in osteomalacia, implicating the osteocyte in the regulation of skeletal mineralization. Studies in pediatric patients with CKD, the majority of whom have altered skeletal mineralization in early stages of CKD, have demonstrated that skeletal expression of both FGF-23 and its regulator, DMP1, are increased in early stages of CKD and that expression of these proteins is associated with alterations in skeletal mineralization. Thus, dysregulation of osteocytic proteins occur very early in the course of CKD and appear to be central to altered bone and mineral metabolism in this patient population.