IL-6 mediates the hepatic acute phase response after prerenal azotemia in a clinically defined murine model

Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2023 Sep 1;325(3):F328-F344. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.00267.2022. Epub 2023 Jul 20.


Prerenal azotemia (PRA) is a major cause of acute kidney injury and uncommonly studied in preclinical models. We sought to develop and characterize a novel model of PRA that meets the clinical definition: acute loss of glomerular filtration rate (GFR) that returns to baseline with resuscitation. Adult male C57BL/6J wild-type (WT) and IL-6-/- mice were studied. Intraperitoneal furosemide (4 mg) or vehicle was administered at time = 0 and 3 h to induce PRA from volume loss. Resuscitation began at 6 h with 1 mL intraperitoneal saline for four times for 36 h. Six hours after furosemide administration, measured glomerular filtration rate was 25% of baseline and returned to baseline after saline resuscitation at 48 h. After 6 h of PRA, plasma interleukin (IL)-6 was significantly increased, kidney and liver histology were normal, kidney and liver lactate were normal, and kidney injury molecule-1 immunofluorescence was negative. There were 327 differentially regulated genes upregulated in the liver, and the acute phase response was the most significantly upregulated pathway; 84 of the upregulated genes (25%) were suppressed in IL-6-/- mice, and the acute phase response was the most significantly suppressed pathway. Significantly upregulated genes and their proteins were also investigated and included serum amyloid A2, serum amyloid A1, lipocalin 2, chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 1, and haptoglobin; hepatic gene expression and plasma protein levels were all increased in wild-type PRA and were all reduced in IL-6-/- PRA. This work demonstrates previously unknown systemic effects of PRA that includes IL-6-mediated upregulation of the hepatic acute phase response.NEW & NOTEWORTHY Prerenal azotemia (PRA) accounts for a third of acute kidney injury (AKI) cases yet is rarely studied in preclinical models. We developed a clinically defined murine model of prerenal azotemia characterized by a 75% decrease in measured glomerular filtration rate (GFR), return of measured glomerular filtration rate to baseline with resuscitation, and absent tubular injury. Numerous systemic effects were observed, such as increased plasma interleukin-6 (IL-6) and upregulation of the hepatic acute phase response.

Keywords: NGAL; acute kidney injury; biomarkers; interleukin-6; organ cross talk; volume depletion.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury* / metabolism
  • Acute-Phase Reaction / complications
  • Animals
  • Azotemia* / complications
  • Biomarkers
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Furosemide
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate / physiology
  • Interleukin-6 / genetics
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism
  • Lipocalin-2 / genetics
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL


  • Biomarkers
  • Furosemide
  • Interleukin-6
  • Lipocalin-2
  • interleukin-6, mouse

Associated data

  • figshare/10.6084/m9.figshare.22463218.v1