Background: Acute renal failure (ARF) is caused by ischemic and nephrotoxic insults acting alone or in combination. Anti-inflammatory agents have been shown to decrease renal ischemia-reperfusion and cisplatin-induced injury and leukocyte infiltration. Interleukin-10 (IL-10) is a potent anti-inflammatory cytokine that inhibits inflammatory and cytotoxic pathways implicated in acute renal injury. Therefore, we sought to determine if IL-10 inhibits acute renal injury.
Methods: The effects of IL-10 were studied in mice following cisplatin administration and bilateral renal ischemia-reperfusion, in a rat model of renal transplantation, and in cultured mouse cortical tubule cells.
Results: IL-10 significantly decreased renal injury following cisplatin administration and following renal ischemia/reperfusion. Delay of IL-10 treatment for one hour after cisplatin also significantly inhibited renal damage. IL-10 and alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH) increased recovery following transplantation of a kidney subjected to warm ischemia. To explore the mechanism of action of IL-10, its effects were measured on mediators of leukocyte trafficking and inducible nitric oxide synthase (NOS-II). IL-10 inhibited cisplatin and ischemia-induced increases in mRNA for tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), and NOS-II. IL-10 also inhibited staining for markers of apoptosis and cell cycle activity following cisplatin administration, and nitric oxide production in cultured mouse cortical tubules.
Conclusions: IL-10 protects against renal ischemic and cisplatin-induced injury. IL-10 may act, in part, by inhibiting the maladaptive activation of genes that cause leukocyte activation and adhesion, and induction of iNOS.