Heritability of renal function and inflammatory markers in adult male twins

Paolo Raggi, Shaoyong Su, Cristina Karohl, Emir Veledar, Enrique Rojas-Campos, Viola Vaccarino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background: Loss of renal function is accompanied by a progressive increase in markers of inflammation; it is unknown whether they share common genetic pathways. Study Design: We evaluated the shared heritability of estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and markers of inflammation and endothelial activation in 524 twin males from the Vietnam Era Twin Registry; 9 twins were excluded due to incomplete or incorrect data. Models were adjusted for age, race, body mass index, smoking, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, prior coronary artery disease and intercurrent medications. Results: The mean eGFR was 89 ± 13 ml/min/1.73 m2 (range 35-146); eGFR, intracellular adhesion molecule (ICAM) and TNF-α receptor (TNF-αR) were moderately heritable (all ∼50%), while IL-6 receptor (IL-6R) and P-selectin were highly heritable (68 and 76%, respectively). IL-6R and TNF-αR showed a significant inverse association with eGFR (p = 0.04 and p < 0.0001) while the association with ICAM and P-selectin was direct (p = 0.001 and p = 0.06). Bivariate structural equation models showed that the association between eGFR and biomarkers was due to unique environmental factors and there were no shared genetic pathways. Conclusion: We found no shared genetic pathways between renal function and inflammation. Thus, increased inflammation represents a response to declining renal function rather than being a mechanism contributing to renal deterioration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-323
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Nephrology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Heritability
  • Inflammation
  • Renal function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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