Pediatric research

Renal dysfunction in early adulthood following birth asphyxia in male spiny mice, and its amelioration by maternal creatine supplementation during pregnancy.

PMID 27997529


Acute kidney injury affects ~70% of asphyxiated newborns, and increases their risk of developing chronic kidney disease later in life. Acute kidney injury is driven by renal oxygen deprivation during asphyxia, thus we hypothesized that creatine administered antenatally would protect the kidney from the long-term effects of birth asphyxia. Pregnant spiny mice were fed standard chow or chow supplemented with 5% creatine from 20-d gestation (midgestation). One day prior to term (37-d gestation), pups were delivered by caesarean or subjected to intrauterine asphyxia. Litters were allocated to one of two time-points. Kidneys were collected at 1 mo of age to estimate nephron number (stereology). Renal function (excretory profile and glomerular filtration rate) was measured at 3 mo of age, and kidneys then collected for assessment of glomerulosclerosis. Compared with controls, at 1 mo of age male (but not female) birth-asphyxia offspring had 20% fewer nephrons (P < 0.05). At 3 mo of age male birth-asphyxia offspring had 31% lower glomerular filtration rate (P < 0.05) and greater glomerular collagen IV content (P < 0.01). Antenatal creatine prevented these renal injuries arising from birth asphyxia. Maternal creatine supplementation during pregnancy may be an effective prophylactic to prevent birth asphyxia induced acute kidney injury and the emergence of chronic kidney disease.