Macrophage involvement in the kidney repair phase after ischaemia/reperfusion injury

J Pathol. 2008 Jan;214(1):104-13. doi: 10.1002/path.2259.


Macrophage infiltration is a common feature of the early phase of renal ischaemia/reperfusion injury. Indeed, it is generally regarded as the cause of tissue injury in this phase, although it is also clear that it can lead to tissue repair in other phases. In order to ascertain whether macrophages are directly involved in the repair/late phase, which follows the pro-inflammatory and injury process of renal ischaemia/reperfusion, we used two different approaches based on macrophage depletion. Firstly, we produced renal ischaemia in mice that were previously treated with clodronate liposome. Secondly, during reperfusion we re-injected RAW 264.7 to macrophage-depleted mice 24 h prior to sacrifice. The results showed that regeneration, as evaluated by stathmin and PCNA markers, was macrophage-dependent: it was blocked when macrophage depletion was provoked and recovered with macrophage re-injection. The cytokine profile revealed the influence of the inflammatory environment on kidney repair: pro-inflammatory cytokines (MCP-1, MIP-1alpha) increased during the early stages of reperfusion, coinciding with low regeneration, and the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 increased during the longer periods of reperfusion when regeneration was more evident. We conclude that macrophages induce renal regeneration after ischaemia/reperfusion, depending on the inflammatory milieu.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adoptive Transfer
  • Animals
  • Clodronic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis
  • Gene Expression / physiology
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism
  • Kidney / blood supply*
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Kidney / physiology*
  • Liposomes
  • Macrophages / physiology*
  • Macrophages / transplantation
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen / genetics
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Regeneration / physiology*
  • Reperfusion Injury / metabolism
  • Reperfusion Injury / pathology
  • Reperfusion Injury / physiopathology*


  • Cytokines
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Liposomes
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Clodronic Acid