Background: Uromodulin is a kidney-specific glycoprotein synthesized in tubular cells of Henle's loop exerting nephroprotective and immunomodulatory functions in the urinary tract. A small amount of uromodulin is also released into the systemic circulation, where its physiological role is unknown. Serum uromodulin (sUmod) has been associated with metabolic risk factors and with cardiovascular events and mortality, where these associations were partly stronger in men than in women. In this study, we investigated the associations of sUmod with biomarkers of subclinical inflammation in a population-based sample of women and men. Methods: Associations of sUmod with 10 biomarkers of subclinical inflammation were assessed in 1065 participants of the Cooperative Health Research in the Region of Augsburg (KORA) F4 study aged 62-81 years using linear regression models adjusted for sex, age, body mass index, estimated glomerular filtration rate and diabetes. Analyses were performed in the total study sample and stratified by sex. Results: sUmod was inversely associated with white blood cell count, high-sensitive C-reactive protein, interleukin (IL)-6, tumour necrosis factor-α, myeloperoxidase, superoxide dismutase-3, IL-1 receptor antagonist and IL-22 after multivariable adjustment and correction for multiple testing (P < 0.001 for each observation). There was a trend towards a stronger association of sUmod with pro-inflammatory markers in men than in women, with a significant P for sex interaction (<0.001) regarding the relation of sUmod with IL-6. Conclusions: sUmod was inversely associated with biomarkers of subclinical inflammation in older participants of the KORA F4 study. The association of sUmod with IL-6 differed between women and men. Future research should focus on whether the immunomodulatory properties of sUmod are one explanation for the association of sUmod with cardiovascular outcomes and mortality.
FörderungenGerman Research Foundation (DFG) Clinical Cooperation Group Diabetes, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munchen Helmholtz Zentrum Munchen German Diabetes Centre Federal Ministry of Health (Berlin, Germany) Ministry of Culture and Science of the state North-Rhine Westphalia (Dusseldorf, Germany) Helmholtz Zentrum Munchen-German Research Centre for Environmental Health - German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) State of Bavaria German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) Deutsche Diabetes Gesellschaft (DDG) Virtual Diabetes Institute (Helmholtz Zentrum Munchen)