The probiotic L. casei Zhang slows the progression of acute and chronic kidney disease

Cell Metab. 2021 Oct 5;33(10):1926-1942.e8. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2021.06.014. Epub 2021 Jul 15.


The relationship between gut microbial dysbiosis and acute or chronic kidney disease (CKD) is still unclear. Here, we show that oral administration of the probiotic Lactobacillus casei Zhang (L. casei Zhang) corrected bilateral renal ischemia-reperfusion (I/R)-induced gut microbial dysbiosis, alleviated kidney injury, and delayed its progression to CKD in mice. L. casei Zhang elevated the levels of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) and nicotinamide in the serum and kidney, resulting in reduced renal inflammation and damage to renal tubular epithelial cells. We also performed a 1-year phase 1 placebo-controlled study of oral L. casei Zhang use (Chinese clinical trial registry, ChiCTR-INR-17013952), which was well tolerated and slowed the decline of kidney function in individuals with stage 3-5 CKD. These results show that oral administration of L. casei Zhang, by altering SCFAs and nicotinamide metabolism, is a potential therapy to mitigate kidney injury and slow the progression of renal decline.

Keywords: Lactobacillus casei Zhang; acute kidney injury; chronic kidney disease; gut microbiota; nicotinamide; short-chain fatty acids.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dysbiosis
  • Fatty Acids, Volatile / metabolism
  • Lacticaseibacillus casei* / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Probiotics* / therapeutic use
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic*


  • Fatty Acids, Volatile