Baseline urinary metabolites predict albuminuria response to spironolactone in type 2 diabetes

Skander Mulder, Paul Perco, Christina Oxlund, Uzma F Mehdi, Thomas Hankemeier, Ib A Jacobsen, Robert Toto, Hiddo J L Heerspink, Michelle J Pena*

*Corresponding author for this work

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The mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist spironolactone significantly reduces albuminuria in subjects with diabetic kidney disease, albeit with a large variability between individuals. Identifying novel biomarkers that predict response to therapy may help to tailor spironolactone therapy. We aimed to identify a set of metabolites for prediction of albuminuria response to spironolactone in subjects with type 2 diabetes. Systems biology molecular process analysis was performed a priori to identify metabolites linked to molecular disease processes and drug mechanism of action. Individual subject data and urine samples were used from 2 randomized placebo controlled double blind clinical trials (NCT01062763, NCT00381134). A urinary metabolite score was developed to predict albuminuria response to spironolactone therapy using penalized ridge regression with leave-one-out cross validation. Bioinformatic analysis identified a set of 18 metabolites linked to a diabetic kidney disease molecular model and potentially affected by spironolactone mechanism of action. Spironolactone reduced UACR relative to placebo by median -42% (25th to 75% percentile -65 to 6) and -29% (25th to 75% percentile -37 to -1) in the test and replication cohorts, respectively. In the test cohort, UACR reduction was higher in the lowest tertile of the baseline urinary metabolite score compared with middle and upper tertiles -58% (25th to 75% percentile -78 to 33), -28% (25th to 75% percentile -46 to 8), -40% (25th to 75% percentile -52% to 31), respectively, P= 0.001 for trend). In the replication cohort, UACR reduction was -54% (25th to 75% percentile -65 to -50), -41 (25th to 75% percentile -46% to 30), and -17% (25th to 75% percentile -36 to 5), respectively, P= 0.010 for trend). We identified a set of 18 urinary metabolites through systems biology to predict albuminuria response to spironolactone in type 2 diabetes. These data suggest that urinary metabolites may be used as a tool to tailor optimal therapy and move in the direction of personalized medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-27
Number of pages11
JournalTranslational Research
Early online date2020
Publication statusPublished - Aug-2020


  • Metabolomics
  • Albuminuria
  • Spironolactone
  • Response

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