Changes in metabolic profiles during acute kidney injury and recovery following ischemia/reperfusion

PLoS One. 2014 Sep 5;9(9):e106647. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0106647. eCollection 2014.


Changes of metabolism have been implicated in renal ischemia/reperfusion injury (IRI). However, a global analysis of the metabolic changes in renal IRI is lacking and the association of the changes with ischemic kidney injury and subsequent recovery are unclear. In this study, mice were subjected to 25 minutes of bilateral renal IRI followed by 2 hours to 7 days of reperfusion. Kidney injury and subsequent recovery was verified by serum creatinine and blood urea nitrogen measurements. The metabolome of plasma, kidney cortex, and medulla were profiled by the newly developed global metabolomics analysis. Renal IRI induced overall changes of the metabolome in plasma and kidney tissues. The changes started in renal cortex, followed by medulla and plasma. In addition, we identified specific metabolites that may contribute to early renal injury response, perturbed energy metabolism, impaired purine metabolism, impacted osmotic regulation and the induction of inflammation. Some metabolites, such as 3-indoxyl sulfate, were induced at the earliest time point of renal IRI, suggesting the potential of being used as diagnostic biomarkers. There was a notable switch of energy source from glucose to lipids, implicating the importance of appropriate nutrition supply during treatment. In addition, we detected the depressed polyols for osmotic regulation which may contribute to the loss of kidney function. Several pathways involved in inflammation regulation were also induced. Finally, there was a late induction of prostaglandins, suggesting their possible involvement in kidney recovery. In conclusion, this study demonstrates significant changes of metabolome kidney tissues and plasma in renal IRI. The changes in specific metabolites are associated with and may contribute to early injury, shift of energy source, inflammation, and late phase kidney recovery.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury / etiology*
  • Acute Kidney Injury / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Inflammation / etiology
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Kidney Function Tests
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Male
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways
  • Metabolome*
  • Metabolomics*
  • Mice
  • Osmoregulation
  • Purines / metabolism
  • Reperfusion Injury / complications*
  • Time Factors


  • Purines
  • Glucose
  • purine