MIF-2/D-DT enhances proximal tubular cell regeneration through SLPI- and ATF4-dependent mechanisms

Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2017 Sep 1;313(3):F767-F780. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.00683.2016. Epub 2017 May 24.


Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is a cytokine with pleiotropic actions that is produced by several organs and cell types. Depending on the target cell and the inflammatory context, MIF can engage its two component receptor complex CD74 and CD44 and the chemokine receptors CXCR2/4. MIF is constitutively expressed in renal proximal tubular cells, stored in intracellular preformed pools, and released at a low rate. Recently, a second MIF-like protein (i.e., MIF-2/D-DT) has been characterized in mammals. Our study was aimed at examining the role of MIF-2/D-DT, which mediates tissue protection in the heart, in tubular cell regeneration from ischemia-reperfusion injury. We found that Mif-/-, Mif-2-/-, and Cd74-/- mice had significantly worse tubular injury compared with wild-type (WT) control mice and that treatment with MIF-2/D-DT significantly improved recovery of injured epithelial cells. RNAseq analysis of kidney tissue from the ischemia-reperfusion injury model revealed that MIF-2/D-DT treatment stimulates secretory leukocyte proteinase inhibitor (SLPI) and cyclin D1 expression. MIF-2/D-DT additionally activates of eukaryotic initiation factor (eIF) 2α and activating transcription factor (ATF) 4, two transcription factors involved in the integrated stress response (ISR), which is a cellular stress response activated by hypoxia, nutrient deprivation, and oxygen radicals. MIF-2/D-DT also inhibited apoptosis and induced autophagy in hypoxia-treated mouse proximal tubular (MPT) cells. These results indicate that MIF-2/D-DT is an important factor in tubular cell regeneration and may be of therapeutic utility as a regenerative agent in the clinical setting of ischemic acute kidney injury.

Keywords: ATF4; MIF; SLPI; apoptosis; autophagy; ischemia; regeneration.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Activating Transcription Factor 4 / deficiency
  • Activating Transcription Factor 4 / genetics
  • Activating Transcription Factor 4 / metabolism*
  • Acute Kidney Injury / metabolism*
  • Acute Kidney Injury / pathology
  • Acute Kidney Injury / physiopathology
  • Acute Kidney Injury / prevention & control
  • Animals
  • Antigens, Differentiation, B-Lymphocyte / genetics
  • Antigens, Differentiation, B-Lymphocyte / metabolism
  • Apoptosis
  • Autophagy
  • Cell Hypoxia
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Proliferation*
  • Cyclin D1 / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-2 / metabolism
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / genetics
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / metabolism
  • Intramolecular Oxidoreductases / deficiency
  • Intramolecular Oxidoreductases / genetics
  • Intramolecular Oxidoreductases / metabolism*
  • Kidney Tubules, Proximal / metabolism*
  • Kidney Tubules, Proximal / pathology
  • Kidney Tubules, Proximal / physiopathology
  • Macrophage Migration-Inhibitory Factors / genetics
  • Macrophage Migration-Inhibitory Factors / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Phenotype
  • Regeneration*
  • Reperfusion Injury / metabolism*
  • Reperfusion Injury / pathology
  • Reperfusion Injury / physiopathology
  • Reperfusion Injury / prevention & control
  • Secretory Leukocyte Peptidase Inhibitor / genetics
  • Secretory Leukocyte Peptidase Inhibitor / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Time Factors
  • Transfection


  • Antigens, Differentiation, B-Lymphocyte
  • Atf4 protein, mouse
  • Ccnd1 protein, mouse
  • Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-2
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
  • Macrophage Migration-Inhibitory Factors
  • Secretory Leukocyte Peptidase Inhibitor
  • Slpi protein, mouse
  • invariant chain
  • Cyclin D1
  • Activating Transcription Factor 4
  • Intramolecular Oxidoreductases
  • Mif protein, mouse
  • dopachrome isomerase