BACKGROUND/AIMS: The renal inflammatory response and kidney regeneration in ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI) are associated with Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4). Here we study the role of TLR4 during IRI in the renal cortex and medulla separately, using wild-type (TLR4-WT) and Knockout (TLR4-KO) TLR4 mice. METHODS: We used 30 minutes of bilateral renal ischemia, followed by 48 hours of reperfusion in C57BL/6 mice. We measured the expression of elements associated with kidney injury, inflammation, macrophage polarization, mesenchymal transition, and proteostasis in the renal cortex and medulla by qRT-PCR and Western blot. In addition, we studied kidney morphology by H/E and PAS. RESULTS: Renal ischemia (30min) and reperfusion (48hrs) induced the mRNA and protein of TLR4 in the renal cortex. In addition, Serum Creatinine (SCr), blood urea nitrogen (BUN), Neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL), and acute tubular necrosis (ATN) were increased in TLR4-WT by IRI. Interestingly, the SCr and BUN had normal levels in TLR-KO during IRI. However, ATN and high levels of NGAL were present in the kidneys of TLR4-KO mice. The pro-inflammatory (IL-6 and TNF-α) and anti-inflammatory (Foxp3 and IL-10) markers increased by IRI only in the cortex of TLR4-WT but not in TLR4-KO mice. Furthermore, the M1 (CD38 and Frp2) and M2 (Arg-I, Erg-2, and c-Myc) macrophage markers increased by IRI only in the cortex of TLR4-WT. The TLR4-KO blunted the IRI-upregulation of M1 but not the M2 macrophage polarization. Vimentin increased in the renal cortex and medulla of TLR4-WT animals but not in the cortex of TLR4-KO mice. In addition, iNOS and clusterin were increased by IRI only in the cortex of TLR4-WT, and the absence of TLR4 inhibited only clusterin upregulation. Finally, Hsp27 and Hsp70 protein levels increased by IRI in the cortex and medulla of TLR4-WT and TRL4-KO lost the IRI-upregulation of Hsp70. In summary, TLR4 participates in renal ischemia and reperfusion through pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory responses inducing impaired kidney function (SCr and BUN). However, the IRI-upregulation of M2 macrophage markers (cortex), iNOS (cortex), IL-6 (medulla), vimentin (medulla), and Hsp27 (cortex and medulla) were independent of TLR4. CONCLUSION: The TLR4 inactivation during IRI prevented the loss of renal function due to the inactivation of inflammation response, avoiding M1 and preserving the M2 macrophage polarization in the renal cortex.
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- TLR4; Clusterin; Vimentin; Fascin1; Hsp70; Foxp3; IL-10; Ischemia-reperfusion injury