Pathologic effects of uremia in the kidney and brain
Russell, Teresa Lynn
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Chronic kidney disease (CKD), a reduction in kidney function, has reached pandemic proportions and imposes a major healthcare burden worldwide. A hallmark of CKD is the accumulation of several chemical compounds, called uremic toxins, which inflict systemic and renal-specific damage. Of the known uremic toxins, kynurenine (Kyn) is known to be particularly vasculotoxic and is implicated in several complications of CKD. Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1 (IDO), which catalyzes the first step in the metabolism of Tryptophan (Trp), regulates immune response to inflammatory cytokines in tissues. IDO plays a role in apoptosis and damage during acute kidney injury (AKI), a transient decrease in kidney function. During metabolism of Trp, IDO generates Kyn, a uremic solute, and therefore IDO may play a role in the brain and kidney damage due to accumulation of Kyn. The objective of the current study was to investigate the role and regulation of IDO in CKD pathology. Studies were performed to determine whether IDO is protective or pathologic and to find how IDO is regulated in the kidney during CKD. IDO in renopathology was examined using murine models of CKD. CKD was induced via a 0.2% adenine-supplemented diet (AD) model for 21 days. IDO regulation was examined using an Indoxyl Sulfate (IS)-specific solute model. Renal function in the IDO+/+ and IDO-/- AD mice was assessed through weekly measurement of blood urea nitrogen (BUN). H&E and Masson’s trichrome stains were used to assess percentages of glomerulosclerosis (GS) and immune infiltration (II), and combined interstitial fibrosis and tubular atrophy (IFTA) score in IDO+/+ and IDO-/- mice with and without CKD. IDO protein concentration in the kidneys of all mice with and without CKD and IDO+/+ IS mice was determined via immunoblotting. Patients with kidney disease suffer from neuropsychological disorders and neurocognitive decline. The effects of uremic solutes on the CNS was examined using immortalized human umbilical endothelial vein cells (HUVEC-TERT), in vitro. Cell proliferation and viability, in the presence of IS, were measured by BrdU and Alamar blue assays, respectively. In both IDO+/+ and IDO-/-, 21 days of AD results in significant deterioration of renal function. The average IFTA score and percentage of II in IDO-/- mice increased with AD compared to ND (p<0.05, p<0.001). IDO expression was seen sporadically in the glomeruli and walls of major vessels in the kidneys of 4d AD IDO+/+ mice, and in the tubules and vessel walls in the kidneys of 14d AD IDO+/+ mice. In IDO+/+ ND mice, endogenous IDO protein expression was undetectable at a signal intensity of 119.86 ± 268.01, whereas IDO+/+ AD mice showed a 370-fold higher level of IDO protein expression compared to IDO+/+ ND (p<0.001). IDO-/- AD IDO protein expression was 9.5-fold higher than in IDO-/- AD (p<0.05). IDO expression was found to be 58-fold higher in IDO+/+ mice with IS treatment (p<0.05). In the IS mice, non-significant trends toward decrease in cellular proliferation and viability with time were also observed (p=ns). IDO is upregulated at the protein level both in a CKD model and directly by the uremic solute, IS. IDO appears to be protective in the kidney during CKD, given the trend toward increased percentage of GS and II in IDO-/- compared to IDO+/+ mice with CKD, though there is little difference seen in total kidney IFTA. IDO upregulation is linked to increased apoptosis. Blocking uremic solute production would therefore prevent IDO protein upregulation and reduce apoptosis, alleviating renal damage during CKD.
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