The aim of this study was to investigate whether in vivo administration of a low, sub-lethal dose of lipoteichoic acid (LTA), a bacterial wall-fragment derived from the Gram-positive bacterium Staphylococcus aureus, protects the kidney against the renal dysfunction and injury caused by ischemia/reperfusion (I/R). Methods Male Wistar rats were administered LTA from S. aureus (1 mg/kg, IP). After 24 hours, rats were subjected to bilateral renal ischemia (45 min) followed by reperfusion (6 h). Serum and urinary markers were measured for the assessment of renal function, tubular and reperfusion-injury. Renal sections were used for histological grading of renal injury and for immunohistochemical localization of P-selectin, inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and nitrotyrosine (indicative of peroxynitrite formation). Kidney myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels were measured for assessment of polymorphonuclear (PMN) cell infiltration and lipid peroxidation, respectively. Nitric oxide (NO) production was determined by measurement of plasma nitrite/nitrate levels. Results LTA pretreatment significantly reduced renal dysfunction, tubular and reperfusion-injury caused by I/R of the kidney as well as histological evidence of renal injury. LTA also reduced the expression of P-selectin and kidney MPO activity associated with renal I/R. MDA levels were significantly reduced by LTA pretreatment suggesting a reduction in the lipid peroxidation and formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). LTA pretreatment also markedly reduced both the expression of iNOS and the formation of nitrotyrosine associated with renal I/R. Although LTA significantly reduced plasma nitrite/nitrate levels associated with I/R, nitrite/nitrate levels remained at levels significantly higher than that measured from the plasma obtained from Sham-operated animals. Conclusions These data suggest, to our knowledge for the first time, that LTA pretreatment for 24 hours significantly reduces renal I/R injury. We propose that the mechanism of the protective effect involves reduction of the production of NO, ROS and peroxynitrite subsequent to reduced P-selectin and iNOS expression and PMN recruitment. However, although LTA pretreatment resulted in a reduction of iNOS expression and NO production, we hypothesize that the remaining significant levels of NO contribute to the beneficial actions provided by LTA.
- kidney transplantation
- Gram positive bacteria
- inducible nitric oxide synthase
- nitric oxide