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01.12.2019 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2019 Open Access

BMC Nephrology 1/2019

Changes in microparticle profiles by vitamin D receptor activation in chronic kidney disease – a randomized trial

BMC Nephrology > Ausgabe 1/2019
Kristina Lundwall, Josefin Mörtberg, Fariborz Mobarrez, Stefan H. Jacobson, Gun Jörneskog, Jonas Spaak
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Microparticles (MPs) are biomarkers and mediators of disease through their expression of surface receptors, reflecting activation or stress in their parent cells. Endothelial markers, ICAM-1 and VCAM-1, are implicated in atherosclerosis and associated with cardiovascular risk. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients have endothelial dysfunction and high levels of endothelial derived MPs. Vitamin D treatment has been reported to ameliorate endothelial function in CKD patients. We aimed to examine cell specific MP profiles and concentrations of MPs expressing the atherosclerotic markers ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 after treatment with paricalcitol in patients with CKD stage 3–4.


Sub-study of the previously reported SOLID trial where 36 patients were randomly assigned to placebo, 1 or 2 μg paricalcitol, for 12 weeks. MPs were measured by flow cytometry after labelling with antibodies against endothelial (CD62E), platelet (CD62P, CD41, CD154) leukocyte (CD45) and vascular (CD54, CD106) markers.


Patients had a mean age of 65 years with a mean eGFR of 40 mL/min/1.73m2. Concentrations of ICAM-1 positive MPs were significantly reduced by treatment (repeated measures ANOVA p = 0.04). Repeated measures MANOVA of concentrations of endothelial, platelet and leukocyte MPs showed sustained levels in the 2 μg treatment group (p = 0.85) but a decline in the 1 μg (p = 0.04) and placebo groups (p = 0.005).


Treatment with paricalcitol reduces concentrations of ICAM-1 positive MPs. This is accompanied by sustained concentrations of all cell specific MPs in the 2 μg group, and decreasing concentrations in the other groups, possibly due to a more healthy and reactive endothelium with paricalcitol treatment.
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