Exploration of metabolomic markers associated with declining kidney function in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus

Justina Krasauskaite, Bryan Conway, Christopher Weir, Zhe Huang, Jackie Price

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Metabolomics, the study of small molecules in biological systems, can provide valuable insights into kidney dysfunction in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), but prospective studies are scarce. We investigated the association between metabolites and kidney function decline in people with T2DM.

The Edinburgh Type 2 Diabetes Study, a population-based cohort of 1066 men and women aged 60 to 75 years with T2DM. We measured 149 serum metabolites at baseline and investigated individual associations with baseline estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), incident chronic kidney disease [CKD; eGFR <60 mL/min/(1.73 m)2], and decliner status (5% eGFR decline per year).

At baseline, mean eGFR was 77.5 mL/min/(1.73 m)2 (n = 1058), and 216 individuals had evidence of CKD. Of those without CKD, 155 developed CKD over a median 7-year follow-up. Eighty-eight metabolites were significantly associated with baseline eGFR (β range −4.08 to 3.92; PFDR < 0.001). Very low density lipoproteins, triglycerides, amino acids (AAs), glycoprotein acetyls, and fatty acids showed inverse associations, while cholesterol and phospholipids in high-density lipoproteins exhibited positive associations. AA isoleucine, apolipoprotein A1, and total cholines were not only associated with baseline kidney measures (PFDR < 0.05) but also showed stable, nominally significant association with incident CKD and decline.

Our study revealed widespread changes within the metabolomic profile of CKD, particularly in lipoproteins and their lipid compounds. We identified a smaller number of individual metabolites that are specifically associated with kidney function decline. Replication studies are needed to confirm the longitudinal findings and explore if metabolic signals at baseline can predict kidney decline.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberbvad166
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Endocrine Society
Issue number1
Early online date22 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jan 2024

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • chronic kidney disease
  • type 2 diabetes
  • metabolomics


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