Mfsd2a-mediated lysolipid transport is important for renal recovery after acute kidney injury

J Lipid Res. 2023 Aug;64(8):100416. doi: 10.1016/j.jlr.2023.100416. Epub 2023 Jul 17.


Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a global public health concern with high mortality and morbidity. In ischemic-reperfusion injury (IRI), a main cause of AKI, the brush border membrane of S3 proximal tubules (PT) is lost to the tubular lumen. How injured tubules reconstitute lost membrane lipids during renal recovery is not known. Here, we identified Mfsd2a, a sodium-dependent lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) transporter, to be expressed specifically in the basolateral membrane of S3 PT. Using an in vivo activity probe for Mfsd2a, transport activity was found to be specific to the S3 PT. Mice with haploinsufficiency of Mfsd2a exhibited delayed recovery of renal function after acute IRI, with depressed urine osmolality and elevated levels of histological markers of damage, fibrosis, and inflammation, findings corroborated by transcriptomic analysis. Lipidomics revealed a deficiency in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) containing phospholipids in Mfsd2a haploinsufficiency. Treatment of Mfsd2a haploinsufficient mice with LPC-DHA improved renal function and reduced markers of injury, fibrosis, and inflammation. Additionally, LPC-DHA treatment restored S3 brush border membrane architecture and normalized DHA-containing phospholipid content. These findings indicate that Mfsd2a-mediated transport of LPC-DHA is limiting for renal recovery after AKI and suggest that LPC-DHA could be a promising dietary supplement for improving recovery following AKI.

Keywords: Acute kidney injury; DHA; Mfsd2a; Phospholipid; Transporter; omega-3 fatty acid.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury*
  • Animals
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids
  • Kidney / physiology
  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Mice
  • Phospholipids
  • Symporters*


  • Symporters
  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids
  • Phospholipids
  • Mfsd2a protein, mouse