A gut feeling on endotoxemia: causes and consequences in chronic kidney disease

Nephron Clin Pract. 2011;118(2):c165-72; discussion c172. doi: 10.1159/000321438. Epub 2010 Dec 16.


Chronic inflammation is closely linked to several complications of chronic kidney disease (CKD), such as vascular calcification, accelerated atherosclerosis, loss of appetite, insulin resistance, increased muscle catabolism and anemia. As a consequence, inflammation is a predictor of mortality in this group of patients. Specific causes of the activation of the immune system in CKD are largely unknown. Endotoxin (ET) release to the circulation represents a potentially important target for interventions aiming to reduce mortality in CKD patients. In this minireview, we propose that there are several potential sources of endotoxemia in CKD and that gut translocation, leading to the generation of ligands of the innate immune response, represents a potentially reversible cause. Prevention of endotoxemia, through treating foci of ET (periodontal disease, catheters, vascular access) or reducing translocation from the gut, will potentially reduce the inflammatory response.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Endotoxemia / etiology*
  • Endotoxemia / immunology
  • Endotoxemia / pathology
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / immunology
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / metabolism
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / pathology
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / etiology
  • Inflammation / mortality
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / mortality
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / pathology