Kidney international

Macrophage and epithelial cell H-ferritin expression regulates renal inflammation.

PMID 25874599


Inflammation culminating in fibrosis contributes to progressive kidney disease. Cross-talk between the tubular epithelium and interstitial cells regulates inflammation by a coordinated release of cytokines and chemokines. Here we studied the role of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) and the heavy subunit of ferritin (FtH) in macrophage polarization and renal inflammation. Deficiency in HO-1 was associated with increased FtH expression, accumulation of macrophages with a dysregulated polarization profile, and increased fibrosis following unilateral ureteral obstruction in mice: a model of renal inflammation and fibrosis. Macrophage polarization in vitro was predominantly dependent on FtH expression in isolated bone marrow-derived mouse monocytes. Using transgenic mice with conditional deletion of FtH in the proximal tubules (FtH(PT-/-)) or myeloid cells (FtH(LysM-/-)), we found that myeloid FtH deficiency did not affect polarization or accumulation of macrophages in the injured kidney compared with wild-type (FtH(+/+)) controls. However, tubular FtH deletion led to a marked increase in proinflammatory macrophages. Furthermore, injured kidneys from FtH(PT-/-) mice expressed significantly higher levels of inflammatory chemokines and fibrosis compared with kidneys from FtH(+/+) and FtH(LysM-/-) mice. Thus, there are differential effects of FtH in macrophages and epithelial cells, which underscore the critical role of FtH in tubular-macrophage cross-talk during kidney injury.