Different Acute Kidney Injury Patterns after Renal Ischemia Reperfusion Injury and Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation in Mice.

The use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is associated with acute kidney injury (AKI) in thoracic organ transplantation. However, multiple other factors contribute to AKI development after these procedures such as renal ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI) due to hypo-perfusion of the kidney during surgery. In this study, we aimed to explore the kidney injury patterns in mouse models of ECMO and renal IRI. Kidneys of C57BL/6 mice were examined after moderate (35 min) and severe (45 min) unilateral transient renal pedicle clamping and 2 h of veno-venous ECMO. Renal injury markers, neutrophil infiltration, tubular transport function, pro-inflammatory cytokines, and renal heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) expression were determined by immunofluorescence and qPCR. Both procedures caused AKI, but with different injury patterns. Severe neutrophil infiltration of the kidney was evident after renal IRI, but not following ECMO. Tubular transport function was severely impaired after renal IRI, but preserved in the ECMO group. Both procedures caused upregulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the renal tissue, but with different time kinetics. After ECMO, but not IRI, HO-1 was strongly induced in tubular cells indicating contact with hemolysis-derived proteins. After IRI, HO-1 was expressed on infiltrating myeloid cells in the tubulo-interstitial space. In conclusion, renal IRI and ECMO both caused AKI, but kidney damage after renal IRI was more pronounced including severe neutrophil infiltration and tubular transport impairment. Enhanced HO-1 expression in tubular cells after ECMO encourages limitation of hemolysis as a therapeutic approach to reduce ECMO-associated AKI.


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