Int J Biol Sci 2021; 17(3):742-755. doi:10.7150/ijbs.56424

Research Paper

Bovine serum albumin aggravates macrophage M1 activation and kidney injury in heterozygous Klotho-deficient mice via the gut microbiota-immune axis

Lingyun Lai1*, Yi Li2*, Jianjun Liu3*, Lei Luo2, Jianguo Tang3, Jun Xue1✉, Te Liu4,5✉*

1. Division of Nephrology, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai 200040, China.
2. Division of Nephrology, Shuguang Hospital, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203, China.
3. Trauma-Emergency & Critical Care Medicine Center, Shanghai Fifth People's Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai 200240, China.
4. Shanghai Geriatric Institute of Chinese Medicine, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 200031, China.
5. Department of Pathology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06520, USA.
*Co-first authors with equal contributions to this work.

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Citation:
Lai L, Li Y, Liu J, Luo L, Tang J, Xue J, Liu T. Bovine serum albumin aggravates macrophage M1 activation and kidney injury in heterozygous Klotho-deficient mice via the gut microbiota-immune axis. Int J Biol Sci 2021; 17(3):742-755. doi:10.7150/ijbs.56424. Available from https://www.ijbs.com/v17p0742.htm

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Abstract

Klotho expression abnormalities induces kidney injury and chronic kidney disease, however, the underlying mechanism remains unclear. Here, Klotho+/- mice and wild-type mice were treated with low-dose bovine serum albumin (BSA). Pathological examination demonstrated that the area of glomerular collagen deposition and fibrosis in BSA-Kl-/+ mice was significantly larger than that in BSA-WT mice. The serum levels of superoxide dismutase, malondialdehyde, creatinine, and urea in BSA-Kl-/+ mice were significantly increased. Sequencing of gut microbiota 16S rRNA v3-v4 region indicated that BSA-Kl-/+ mice showed a significantly higher relative abundance of the genera Dubosiella, Akkermansia, Alloprevotella, and Lachnospiraceae and a significantly lower relative abundance of the genera Allobaculum and Muribaculaceae than BSA-WT mice. KEGG analysis revealed that the metabolic pathways of signal transduction, xenobiotic biodegradation and metabolism, and lipid metabolism increased significantly in BSA-Kl-/+ mice. Flow cytometry showed that the proportion of CD68+/CD11b+ cells in the peripheral blood was significantly higher in BSA-KL-/+ mice than that in BSA-WT mice. qPCR and western blot suggested that Klotho and Nrf2 expression in MΦ1 cells of BSA-KL-/+ mice was significantly decreased. Thus, the findings suggest during the immune activation and chronic inflammation induced by the gut microbiota imbalance in Klotho-deficient mice treated to BSA, disrupted expression of proteins in the Nrf2/NF-κB signaling pathway in monocyte-derived macrophage M1 cells leads to the aggravation of inflammation and kidney injury.

Keywords: gut microbiota, macrophage M1, Klotho, Nrf2/NF-κB pathway, kidney injury