Original research| Volume 26, ISSUE 1, P14-18, January 2023

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Marathon running and cell-cycle arrest biomarkers of acute kidney injury

Published:October 24, 2022DOI:



      Endurance exercise is known to cause a rise in serum creatinine. It is not known to what extent this rise reflects renal stress and a potential acute kidney injury (AKI). Increases in Insulin Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 7 (IGFBP7) and Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloprotinases-2 (TIMP-2), urinary biomarkers of cell cycle arrest and renal stress, are associated with the development of AKI in clinical populations.


      Repeated measures study.


      Runners were recruited at the 2019 Brighton Marathon (UK) and provided urine and blood samples at baseline, immediately post-race and 24 h post-race. Serum creatinine, urinary creatinine and urinary IGFBP7 and TIMP-2 were analysed from the samples.


      Seventy nine participants (23 females, 56 males), aged 43 ± 10 yrs. (mean ± SD), finish time 243 ± 40mins were included for analysis. Serum creatinine increased over the race by 40 ± 26% (p < 0.001), TIMP-2 increased by 555 ± 697% (p < 0.001) and IGFBP7 increased by 1094 ± 1491% (p < 0.001) over the race. A subset of twenty-two participants supplied samples 24 h post-race, reporting values similar to baseline for all variables.


      This study is the first to report large rises in IGFBP7 and TIMP-2 following marathon running. This suggests that rises in creatinine are not fully explained by changes in production and clearance and marathon running induces a state of kidney stress and potential injury.


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