αKlotho is amultifunctional protein highly expressed in the kidney. Soluble αKlotho is released through cleavage of the extracellular domain from membrane αKlotho by secretases to function as an endocrine/paracrine substance. The role of the kidney in circulating αKlotho production and handling is incompletely understood, however. Here, we found higher αKlotho concentration in suprarenal compared with infrarenal inferior vena cava in both rats and humans. In rats, serum αKlotho concentration dropped precipitously after bilateral nephrectomy or upon treatment with inhibitors of αKlotho extracellular domain shedding. Furthermore, the serum half-life of exogenous αKlotho in anephric rats was four- to five-fold longer than that in normal rats, and exogenously injected labeled recombinant αKlotho was detected in the kidney and in urine of rats. Both in vivo (micropuncture) and in vitro (proximal tubule cell line) studies showed that αKlotho traffics from the basal tothe apical side of the proximal tubule via transcytosis. Thus, we conclude that the kidney has dual roles in αKlotho homeostasis, producing and releasingaKlotho into the circulationandclearing αKlotho fromthebloodinto the urinary lumen.
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