Journal Article

Identification and kinetics of leukocytes after severe ischaemia/reperfusion renal injury

Dirk K. Ysebaert, Kathleen E. De Greef, Sven R. Vercauteren, Manuela Ghielli, Gert A. Verpooten, Erik J. Eyskens and Marc E. De Broe

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Published on behalf of European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Assoc

Volume 15, issue 10, pages 1562-1574
Published in print October 2000 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online October 2000 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI:
Identification and kinetics of leukocytes after severe ischaemia/reperfusion renal injury

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Background. Leukocyte adhesion/infiltration in response to renal ischaemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury is a well‐known but poorly understood phenomenon. The identification, kinetics, and exact role of these inflammatory cells in I/R injury and regeneration are still matters of debate.

Methods. Uninephrectomized rats were submitted to 60 min renal ischaemia by clamping of renal vessels.

Results. Severe acute renal failure was observed, with maximum functional impairment on day 2. By 12 h after the ischaemic event, up to 80% of proximal tubular cells in the outer stripe of outer medulla (OSOM) were already severely damaged. Proliferation (proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) staining) started after 24 h, reaching maximum activity on day 3. Regeneration of tubular morphology started on the 3rd day, and after 10 days 50% of tubules had regenerated completely. Interstitial leukocytes (OX‐1 immunohistochemical staining) were already prominent at day 1, thereafter gradually increasing with time. The so‐called neutrophil‐specific identification methods (myeloperoxidase (MPO), chloroacetate esterase, mAb HIS‐48) proved to be non‐specific, since they also stained for macrophages, as demonstrated by flow cytometry and the combination of these stainings with the macrophage‐specific ED‐1 staining. MPO activity was already significantly increased at 1 h post‐I/R (439±34%, P<0.005), reaching its maximum activity after 12 h of I/R (1159±138%, P<0.0005), declining thereafter. On the other hand, neutrophil presence investigated by H&E staining revealed only a few neutrophils in glomeruli, medullary rays, and OSOM at 24 h after the ischaemic event (4.7±4.2 cells/mm2vs controls=2.3±2.0 cells/mm2 (n.s.)), and remained unchanged over the next 10 days. In contrast, significant monocyte/macrophage adhesion/infiltration (ED‐1 staining) occurred at the OSOM at 24 h post‐ischaemia (at 24 h, 120±46 cells/mm2 vs sham=18±4 cells/mm2 (P<0.05)), became prominent at day 5 (1034±161 cells/mm2 vs sham=18±18 cells/mm2 (P<0.05)), and almost disappeared after 10 days. CD4+ cells (W3/25) gradually increased from day 5, reaching a maximum at day 10. A few CD8+ cells (OX‐8) were apparent from days 3 until 10, but no B‐cells (OX‐33) were observed.

Conclusions. After severe warm I/R renal injury, a pronounced acute tubular necrosis occurs during the first 12–24 h in the absence of a marked cellular infiltrate, but with an important renal MPO activity, reflecting the activation of the adhering inflammatory cells (polymorphonuclear cells (PMNs) and mainly monocytes/macrophages). Only later at the time and site (OSOM) of regeneration a sequential accumulation of monocytes/macrophages and T cells becomes prominent, in contrast with the low number of neutrophils found in the kidney during the 10‐day post‐ischaemic period. The non‐specificity of the so‐called neutrophil‐specific identification methods (MPO activity, naphthol AS‐D chloroacetate esterase, or mAb HIS‐48 staining), cross‐reacting with monocytes/macrophages, explains the controversy in literature concerning the number of PMNs in post‐ischaemic injury.

Keywords: damage; kidney; macrophages; myeloperoxidase; neutrophils; rat; regeneration

Journal Article.  6554 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Nephrology

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