Does a rise in plasma erythropoietin after high-altitude exposure affect FGF23 in healthy volunteers on a normal or low-phosphorus diet?
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Data of experimental rodent models suggest that hypoxia with subsequent increase in erythropoietin stimulates the expression of the phosphaturic hormone fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23). METHODS AND RESULTS: To translate the findings of animal studies into human physiology, herein we exposed eight healthy volunteers to high altitude (2656 m above sea level) for four days. The volunteers were randomized on a low-phosphorous diet (n = 4) or a normal phosphorus diet (n = 4). Although high-altitude exposure caused a significant increase in plasma erythropoietin (EPO) (before high-altitude exposure: low phosphorus: median EPO 6.6 mIU/ml [interquartile range (IQR) 6.0; 8.2], normal phosphorus: median EPO 9.0 mIU/ml [IQR 7.9; 11.5]; at day 2: low phosphorus: median EPO 21.3 mIU/ml [IQR 19.5; 23.8], normal phosphorus: median EPO 19.4 mIU/ml [IQR 18.0; 20.8]), there was no consistent increase in plasma c-terminal FGF23 or plasma intact FGF23. We observed only a single, intermittent peak in c-terminal FGF23 levels after 5 h of maximal aerobic exercise. CONCLUSION: These data do not support a substantial effect of moderate hypoxia alone on the expression of FGF23, but they suggest that combined exercise and high-altitude exposure may temporarily induce FGF23 expression.
Emrich, IE; Dederer, J; Kircher, A; Klemis, V; Lennartz, CS; Untersteller, K; Wagenpfeil, S; Fliser, D; Wolf, M; Heine, GH
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