Loss of ACE2 exacerbates murine renal ischemia-reperfusion injury

PLoS One. 2013 Aug 9;8(8):e71433. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0071433. eCollection 2013.


Ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) is a model of acute kidney injury (AKI) that is characterized by vasoconstriction, oxidative stress, apoptosis and inflammation. Previous studies have shown that activation of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) may contribute to these processes. Angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) metabolizes angiotensin II (Ang II) to angiotensin-(1-7), and recent studies support a beneficial role for ACE2 in models of chronic kidney disease. However, the role of ACE2 in models of AKI has not been fully elucidated. In order to test the hypothesis that ACE2 plays a protective role in AKI we assessed I/R injury in wild-type (WT) mice and ACE2 knock-out (ACE2 KO) mice. ACE2 KO and WT mice exhibited similar histologic injury scores and measures of kidney function at 48 hours after reperfusion. Loss of ACE2 was associated with increased neutrophil, macrophage, and T cell infiltration in the kidney. mRNA levels for pro-inflammatory cytokines, interleukin-1β, interleukin-6 and tumour necrosis factor-α, as well as chemokines macrophage inflammatory protein 2 and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, were increased in ACE2 KO mice compared to WT mice. Changes in inflammatory cell infiltrates and cytokine expression were also associated with greater apoptosis and oxidative stress in ACE2 KO mice compared to WT mice. These data demonstrate a protective effect of ACE2 in I/R AKI.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Angiotensin II / metabolism
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2
  • Animals
  • Chemokine CCL2 / genetics
  • Chemokine CCL2 / immunology
  • Chemokine CXCL2 / genetics
  • Chemokine CXCL2 / immunology
  • Gene Expression
  • Inflammation / enzymology
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Interleukin-1beta / genetics
  • Interleukin-1beta / immunology
  • Interleukin-6 / genetics
  • Interleukin-6 / immunology
  • Kidney / enzymology*
  • Kidney / immunology
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Macrophages / pathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Neutrophil Infiltration
  • Neutrophils / immunology
  • Neutrophils / pathology
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A / genetics*
  • Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A / immunology
  • Renin-Angiotensin System / immunology
  • Reperfusion Injury / enzymology*
  • Reperfusion Injury / immunology
  • Reperfusion Injury / pathology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / pathology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / genetics
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / immunology


  • Ccl2 protein, mouse
  • Chemokine CCL2
  • Chemokine CXCL2
  • Cxcl2 protein, mouse
  • Interleukin-1beta
  • Interleukin-6
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Angiotensin II
  • Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A
  • Ace2 protein, mouse
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2