Sepsis remains a serious cause of morbidity and mortality in critically ill patients, with limited therapeutic options available. Of the several disorders connected with sepsis, acute kidney injury (AKI) is one of the major complications. The pathophysiology of sepsis-induced AKI is characterized by severe inflammation in renal parenchyma with endothelial dysfunction, intra-glomerular thrombosis and tubular injury. Endothelial dysfunction is regulated by several mechanisms implicated in cellular de-differentiation, such as endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EndMT). Gram-negative bacteria and their cell wall component lipopolysaccharides (LPSs) are frequently involved in the pathogenesis of AKI. The host recognition of LPS requires a specific receptor, which belongs to the Toll-like receptor (TLR) family of proteins, called TLR4, and two carrier proteins, namely the LPS-binding protein (LBP) and cluster of differentiation 14 (CD14). In particular, LBP is released as a consequence of Gram-negative infection and maximizes the activation of TLR4 signalling. Recent findings regarding the emerging role of LBP in mediating sepsis-induced AKI, and the possible beneficial effects resulting from the removal of this endogenous adaptor protein, will be discussed in this review.
Keywords: LPS-binding protein; endothelial dysfunction; renal fibrosis; sepsis-induced acute kidney injury; tubular maladaptive response.
© The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of ERA-EDTA. All rights reserved.