Increased trefoil factor 2 levels in patients with chronic kidney disease

Diana Lebherz-Eichinger, Bianca Tudor, Hendrik J Ankersmit, Thomas Reiter, Martin Haas, Elisa Einwallner, Franziska Roth-Walter, Claus G Krenn, Georg A Roth

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

9 Citations (Scopus)


In chronically damaged tissue, trefoil factor family (TFF) peptides ensure epithelial protection and restitution. In chronic kidney disease (CKD), TFF1 and TFF2 are reported to be upregulated. Especially in the early phase, CKD is associated with silently ongoing renal damage and inflammation. Moreover, many patients are diagnosed late during disease progression. We therefore sought to investigate the potential of TFF2 as biomarker for CKD. We followed 118 patients suffering from predialysis CKD and 23 healthy volunteers. TFF2 concentrations were measured using ELISA. Our results showed, that median TFF2 serum levels were significantly higher in patients with later CKD stages as compared to healthy controls (p < 0.001) or early stages (p < 0.001). In patients with mid CKD stages TFF2 serum levels were significantly higher than in healthy controls (p = 0.002). Patients with early or mid CKD stages had significantly higher TFF2 urine concentrations than later CKD stages (p < 0.001 and p = 0.009, respectively). Fractional TFF2 excretion differed significantly between early CKD stages and healthy controls (p = 0.01). ROC curve showed that TFF2 levels can predict different CKD stages (AUC > 0.75). In conclusion, urine and serum TFF2 levels of CKD patients show a different profile dependent on CKD stages. Whereas TFF2 urine levels continuously decreased with disease progression, TFF2 serum concentrations progressively increased from the early to later CKD stages, indicating changes in renal function and offering the potential to examine the course of CKD.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0174551
Pages (from-to)e0174551
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers/blood
  • Disease Progression
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney/pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • ROC Curve
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic/blood
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Trefoil Factor-2/blood
  • Young Adult


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