The anti-aging protein alpha-Klotho in systemic sclerosis patients: does a relationship to telangiectasia exist?

Citation:
Niazy, M. H., W. Gaber, S. Sayed, O. G. Shaker, and T. A. Gheita, "The anti-aging protein alpha-Klotho in systemic sclerosis patients: does a relationship to telangiectasia exist?", Zeitschrift fur Rheumatologie, vol. 79, issue 4, pp. 404-409, 2020.

Abstract:

OBJECTIVE: The anti-aging protein alpha-Klotho has been reported to have an emerging role in the pathogenesis of systemic sclerosis (SSc). More studies are needed to approach this issue. This study aimed to assess the serum levels of α‑Klotho in SSc patients compared to healthy controls, and to correlate them with the disease parameters.

METHODS: Forty-two SSc patients were included in this study. History taking, clinical examination, and related investigations were performed. The modified Rodnan skin score (mRss) was used to assess skin tightness in SSc patients. Twenty-seven age- and sex-matched healthy participants served as controls. Serum α‑Klotho was assessed in the two groups.

RESULTS: SSc patients comprised 39 females and 3 males; mean age was 42.2 ± 12.1 years and mean disease duration 8.5 ± 6.3 years. Serum α‑Klotho levels were decreased in scleroderma patients in comparison to healthy controls (p < 0.001). Scleroderma patients who had higher frequencies of telangiectasias and digital ischemic lesions had higher serum α‑Klotho levels (p = 0.01 and p = 0.04, respectively). By simple regression, only telangiectasias were significantly associated with higher α‑Klotho levels (p = 0.01). No other significant relationships were found between serum α‑Klotho and SSc disease parameters.

CONCLUSION: Scleroderma patients had significantly lower serum α‑Klotho levels than healthy controls. Higher α‑Klotho levels were significantly associated with telangiectasias. An imbalance in serum α‑Klotho levels may be involved in systemic sclerosis. Further longitudinal studies in a larger population of systemic sclerosis patients may provide a clearer clue for its role.

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