Apelin affects the mouse aging urinary peptidome with minimal effects on kidney

Sci Rep. 2019 Jul 23;9(1):10647. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-47109-4.


Kidney function is altered by age together with a declined filtration capacity of 5-10% per decade after 35 years. Renal aging shares many characteristics with chronic kidney disease. Plasma levels of the bioactive peptide apelin also decline with age and apelin has been shown to be protective in chronic kidney disease. Therefore we evaluated whether apelin could also improve aging-induced renal lesions and function in mice. Since urine is for the major part composed of proteins and peptides originating from the kidney, we first studied apelin-induced changes, in the aging urinary peptidome. Despite the recently published age-associated plasma decrease of apelin, expression of the peptide and its receptor was increased in the kidneys of 24 months old mice. Twenty-eight days treatment with apelin significantly modified the urinary peptidome of 3 and 24 months old mice towards a signature suggesting more advanced age at 3 months, and a younger age at 24 months. The latter was accompanied by a decreased staining of collagen (Sirius red staining) in 24 months old apelin-treated mice, without changing aging-induced glomerular hypertrophy. In addition, apelin was without effect on aging-induced renal autophagy, apoptosis, inflammation and reduced renal function. In conclusion, treatment of aged mice with apelin had a limited effect on kidney lesions although modifying the urinary peptidome towards a younger signature. This supports evidence of apelin inducing more general beneficial effects on other aging organs, muscles in particular, as recently shown for sarcopenia, markers of which end up via the glomerular filtration in urine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging / urine*
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Apelin / metabolism
  • Apelin Receptors / metabolism
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Autophagy / drug effects
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate / drug effects
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / pharmacology*
  • Kidney / drug effects*
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Models, Biological
  • Peptides / urine*
  • Proteome*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Support Vector Machine


  • Apelin
  • Apelin Receptors
  • Apln protein, mouse
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Peptides
  • Proteome
  • RNA, Messenger
  • apelin-13 peptide