Acute and chronic microvascular alterations in a mouse model of ischemic acute kidney injury

Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2007 Sep;293(3):F688-95. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.00452.2006. Epub 2007 Jul 11.


Functional and structural abnormalities in the renal microvasculature are important processes contributing to the pathophysiology of ischemic acute kidney injury (AKI). In this study, we examine the contribution of endothelial cell loss via apoptosis on microvascular permeability and rarefaction in a mouse model of ischemic AKI. Three-dimensional reconstructions of microvascular networks obtained 24 h following acute ischemic injury demonstrate an intact endothelial monolayer in areas of increased microvascular permeability. A 45% decrease in microvascular density was observed 4 wk after acute ischemic injury. Examination of microvascular endothelial cells following acute ischemic injury did not reveal evidence of positive terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP-mediated nick-end labeling staining at 1, 2, 8, and 16 days following ischemia; however, activation of caspase-3 was evident in endothelial cells following acute ischemic injury. Examination of angiopoietin (Ang) protein expression in the kidney 24 h after ischemic injury revealed an eightfold increase in Ang-1 but no significant change in Ang-2. No significant difference in the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor or Ang-2 was observed 4 wk after ischemic injury, although an almost twofold elevation in Ang-1 was observed. An increase in angiostatic breakdown products of collagen IV was observed at both 24 h and 4 wk after ischemic injury. Taken together, these findings indicate that the loss of endothelial cells following ischemic injury is not a major contributor to altered microvascular permeability, although renal microvascular endothelial cells are vulnerable to the initiation of apoptotic mechanisms following ischemic injury that can ultimately impact microvascular density.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Capillary Permeability / physiology
  • Caspase 3 / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Endothelial Cells
  • Endothelium, Vascular / metabolism
  • Endothelium, Vascular / pathology
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Ischemia / metabolism*
  • Ischemia / pathology
  • Kidney / blood supply*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Microcirculation
  • Renal Insufficiency / metabolism*


  • Caspase 3