Normal phosphate homeostasis is essential for normal linear growth. The phosphaturic fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23)/Klotho axis is a major regulator of phosphate homeostasis; therefore, an intact FGF23/Klotho axis is important for normal linear growth. On the other hand, GH/IGF1 axis has opposing effects on phosphate homeostasis, but the underline mechanisms remain unclear.
The main objective of this study was to investigate the possible interactions of FGF23 and its co-receptor Klotho, with growth hormone (GH)/IGF1 axis in the regulation of phosphate metabolism in GH-deficient children under GH treatment.
We studied 23 GH-deficient children, before and 3 months after the onset of GH treatment. Anthropometry and assessment of biochemical parameters were performed, as well as measurement of FGF23 (intact FGF23/iFGF23 and C-terminal FGF23/cFGF23) and soluble α-Klotho (sKlotho) levels.
After 3 months on GH treatment, the elevation of serum phosphate and TmPO4/GFR (P<0.0001 and P<0.01 respectively) was accompanied by a significant increase in cFGF23 (P<0.01), iFGF23 (P<0.0001), sKlotho (P<0.0001) and IGF1 (P<0.0001). Serum phosphate and TmPO4/GFR were positively associated with iFGF23 (P<0.01 and P<0.05) and IGF1 (P<0.05 and P<0.05). iFGF23 levels were positively correlated with sKlotho (P<0.001), IGF1 (P<0.0001) and height SDS (P<0.0001), whereas sKlotho was positively associated with IGF1 (P<0.0001) and height SDS (P<0.001).
The increase in serum phosphate, which we found in GH-deficient children under GH treatment, is not associated with suppression but rather than with upregulation of the phosphaturic FGF23/Klotho axis.