Renal Cortical Pyruvate Depletion during AKI.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Journal of the American Society of Nephrology : JASN (2014)


2014, Clinical Research Division, January 2014


Pyruvate is a key intermediary in energy metabolism and can exert antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. However, the fate of pyruvate during AKI remains unknown. Here, we assessed renal cortical pyruvate and its major determinants (glycolysis, gluconeogenesis, pyruvate dehydrogenase [PDH], and H2O2 levels) in mice subjected to unilateral ischemia (15-60 minutes; 0-18 hours of vascular reflow) or glycerol-induced ARF. The fate of postischemic lactate, which can be converted back to pyruvate by lactate dehydrogenase, was also addressed. Ischemia and glycerol each induced persistent pyruvate depletion. During ischemia, decreasing pyruvate levels correlated with increasing lactate levels. During early reperfusion, pyruvate levels remained depressed, but lactate levels fell below control levels, likely as a result of rapid renal lactate efflux. During late reperfusion and glycerol-induced AKI, pyruvate depletion corresponded with increased gluconeogenesis (pyruvate consumption). This finding was underscored by observations that pyruvate injection increased renal cortical glucose content in AKI but not normal kidneys. AKI decreased PDH levels, potentially limiting pyruvate to acetyl CoA conversion. Notably, pyruvate therapy mitigated the severity of AKI. This renoprotection corresponded with increases in cytoprotective heme oxygenase 1 and IL-10 mRNAs, selective reductions in proinflammatory mRNAs (e.g., MCP-1 and TNF-α), and improved tissue ATP levels. Paradoxically, pyruvate increased cortical H2O2 levels. We conclude that AKI induces a profound and persistent depletion of renal cortical pyruvate, which may induce additional injury.