Complement inhibition attenuates acute kidney injury after ischemia-reperfusion and limits progression to renal fibrosis in mice

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Abstract

The complement system is an essential component of innate immunity and plays a major role in the pathogenesis of ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI). In this study, we investigated the impact of human C1-inhibitor (C1INH) on the early inflammatory response to IRI and the subsequent progression to fibrosis in mice. We evaluated structural damage, renal function, acute inflammatory response, progression to fibrosis and overall survival at 90-days post-injury. Animals receiving C1INH prior to reperfusion had a significant improvement in survival rate along with superior renal function when compared to vehicle (PBS) treated counterparts. Pre-treatment with C1INH also prevented acute IL-6, CXCL1 and MCP-1 up-regulation, C5a release, C3b deposition and infiltration by neutrophils and macrophages into renal tissue. This anti-inflammatory effect correlated with a significant reduction in the expression of markers of fibrosis alpha smooth muscle actin, desmin and picrosirius red at 30 and 90 days post-IRI and reduced renal levels of TGF-β1 when compared to untreated controls. Our findings indicate that intravenous delivery of C1INH prior to ischemic injury protects kidneys from inflammatory injury and subsequent progression to fibrosis. We conclude that early complement blockade in the context of IRI constitutes an effective strategy in the prevention of fibrosis after ischemic acute kidney injury.

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Danobeitia, J. S., Ziemelis, M., Ma, X., Zitur, L. J., Zens, T., Chlebeck, P. J., … Fernandez, L. A. (2017). Complement inhibition attenuates acute kidney injury after ischemia-reperfusion and limits progression to renal fibrosis in mice. PLoS ONE, 12(8). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0183701

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