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Publication Detail
Pericyte-mediated constriction of renal capillaries evokes no-reflow and kidney injury following ischaemia
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Authors:
    Freitas F, Attwell D
  • Publisher:
    eLife Sciences Publications, Ltd
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  • Keywords:
    cell biology, medicine, mouse, rat
  • Notes:
    © 2022, Freitas & Attwell This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Acute kidney injury is common, with ~13 million cases and 1.7 million deaths/year worldwide. A major cause is renal ischaemia, typically following cardiac surgery, renal transplant or severe hemorrhage. We examined the cause of the sustained reduction in renal blood flow ('no-reflow'), which exacerbates kidney injury even after an initial cause of compromised blood supply is removed. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats, or NG2-dsRed male mice were used in this study. After 60 min kidney ischaemia and 30-60 min reperfusion, renal blood flow remained reduced, especially in the medulla, and kidney tubule damage was detected as Kim-1 expression. Constriction of the medullary descending vasa recta and cortical peritubular capillaries occurred near pericyte somata, and led to capillary blockages, yet glomerular arterioles and perfusion were unaffected, implying that the long-lasting decrease of renal blood flow contributing to kidney damage was generated by pericytes. Blocking Rho kinase to decrease pericyte contractility from the start of reperfusion increased the post-ischaemic diameter of the descending vasa recta capillaries at pericytes, reduced the percentage of capillaries that remained blocked, increased medullary blood flow and reduced kidney injury. Thus, post-ischaemic renal no-reflow, contributing to acute kidney injury, reflects pericytes constricting the descending vasa recta and peritubular capillaries. Pericytes are therefore an important therapeutic target for treating acute kidney injury.
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