RIPK3-MLKL-mediated necroinflammation contributes to AKI progression to CKD

Cell Death Dis. 2018 Aug 29;9(9):878. doi: 10.1038/s41419-018-0936-8.


Necroptosis predominates functionally over apoptosis in the pathophysiology of renal ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI). Inhibition of the core components of the necroptotic pathway-receptor-interacting protein kinase 1 (RIPK1), RIPK3 or mixed lineage kinase domain-like protein (MLKL) reduced renal injury after ischemia/reperfusion (IR). Necrosis can initiate inflammation, which enhances necrosis in a positive feedback loop, subsequently leading to triggering more inflammation, termed as necroinflammation. However, the mechanisms underlying necroinflammation driven by renal tubular cell necroptosis in progression of AKI to CKD are still largely unknown. Here we showed that the upregulated expression and interactions between RIPK3 and MLKL induced necroptosis of renal proximal tubular cells and contributed to NLRP3 inflammasome activation under the conditions of IRI. Gene deletion of Ripk3 or Mlkl ameliorated renal tubular cell necroptosis, macrophage infiltration and NLRP3 inflammasome activation with a reduction in caspase-1 activation and maturation of IL-1β, and then finally reduced interstitial fibrogenesis in the long term after IRI. Bone marrow chimeras confirmed that RIPK3-MLKL-dependent necroptosis is responsible for the initiation of the early renal injury after IRI, and then necroptosis triggered NLRP3 inflammasome activation, which subsequently accelerates necroptosis and triggers more inflammation in an auto-amplification loop. These data indicate that necroinflammation driven by RIPK3-MLKL-dependent necroptosis plays a crucial role in the progression of IRI to CKD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury / metabolism*
  • Acute Kidney Injury / pathology
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / physiology
  • Caspases / metabolism
  • Disease Progression
  • Inflammasomes / metabolism
  • Inflammation / metabolism*
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Interleukin-1beta / metabolism
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Macrophages / pathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Necrosis / metabolism
  • Necrosis / pathology
  • Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Receptor-Interacting Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / metabolism*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / pathology
  • Reperfusion Injury / metabolism
  • Reperfusion Injury / pathology
  • Up-Regulation / physiology


  • Inflammasomes
  • Interleukin-1beta
  • MLKL protein, human
  • Protein Kinases
  • RIPK3 protein, human
  • Receptor-Interacting Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Caspases