Pretreatment with a novel Toll-like receptor 4 agonist attenuates renal ischemia-reperfusion injury.


Acute kidney injury (AKI) is common in surgical and critically ill patients. This study examined whether pretreatment with a novel Toll-like receptor 4 agonist attenuated ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI)-induced AKI (IRI-AKI). We performed a blinded, randomized-controlled study in mice pretreated with 3-deacyl 6-acyl phosphorylated hexaacyl disaccharide (PHAD), a synthetic Toll-like receptor 4 agonist. Two cohorts of male BALB/c mice received intravenous vehicle or PHAD (2, 20, or 200 µg) at 48 and 24 h before unilateral renal pedicle clamping and simultaneous contralateral nephrectomy. A separate cohort of mice received intravenous vehicle or 200 µg PHAD followed by bilateral IRI-AKI. Mice were monitored for evidence of kidney injury for 3 days postreperfusion. Kidney function was assessed by serum blood urea nitrogen and creatinine measurements. Kidney tubular injury was assessed by semiquantitative analysis of tubular morphology on periodic acid-Schiff (PAS)-stained kidney sections and by kidney mRNA quantification of injury [neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (), kidney injury molecule-1 (), and heme oxygenase-1 ()] and inflammation [interleukin-6 (), interleukin-1β (), and tumor necrosis factor-α ()] using quantitative RT-PCR. Immunohistochemistry was used to quantify proximal tubular cell injury and renal macrophages by quantifying the areas stained with Kim-1 and F4/80 antibodies, respectively, and TUNEL staining to detect the apoptotic nuclei. PHAD pretreatment yielded dose-dependent kidney function preservation after unilateral IRI-AKI. Histological injury, apoptosis, Kim-1 staining, and mRNA were lower in PHAD-treated mice and mRNA was higher in PHAD-treated mice. Similar pretreatment protection was noted with 200 mg PHAD after bilateral IRI-AKI, with significantly reduced Kim-1 immunostaining in the outer medulla of mice treated with PHAD after bilateral IRI-AKI. In conclusion, PHAD pretreatment leads to dose-dependent protection from renal injury after unilateral and bilateral IRI-AKI in mice. Pretreatment with 3-deacyl 6-acyl phosphorylated hexaacyl disaccharide; a novel synthetic Toll-like receptor 4 agonist, preserves kidney function during ischemia-reperfusion injury-induced acute kidney injury.