Biomarker and drug-target discovery using proteomics in a new rat model of sepsis-induced acute renal failure

M. K. Holly, J. W. Dear, X. Hu, A. N. Schechter, M. T. Gladwin, S. M. Hewitt, P. S.T. Yuen, R. A. Star

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


Sepsis is one of the common causes of acute renal failure (ARF). The objective of this study was to identify new biomarkers and therapeutic targets. We present a new rat model of sepsis-induced ARF based on cecal ligation and puncture (CLP). We used this model to find urinary proteins which may be potential biomarkers and/or drug targets. Aged rats were treated with fluids and antibiotics after CLP. Urinary proteins from septic rats without ARF and urinary proteins from septic rats with ARF were compared by difference in-gel electrophoresis (DIGE). CLP surgery elevated interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-10 serum cytokines and blood nitrite compared with sham-operated rats. However, there was a range of serum creatinine values at 24 h (0.4-2.3 mg/dl) and only 24% developed ARF. Histology confirmed renal injury in these rats. Forty-nine percent of rats did not develop ARF. Rats without ARF also had less liver injury. The mortality rate at 24 h was 27% but was increased by housing the post-surgery rats in metabolic cages. Creatinine clearance and urine output 2-8 h after CLP was significantly reduced in rats which died within 24 h. Using DIGE we identified changes in a number of urinary proteins including albumin, brush-border enzymes (e.g., meprin-1-alpha) and serine protease inhibitors. The meprin-1-alpha inhibitor actinonin prevented ARF in aged mice. In summary, we describe a new rat model of sepsis-induced ARF which has a heterogeneous response similar to humans. This model allowed us to use DIGE to find changes in urinary proteins and this approach identified a potential biomarker and drug target - meprin-1-alpha.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)496-506
Number of pages11
JournalKidney International
Issue number3
StatePublished - 21 Aug 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute renal failure
  • DIGE
  • Proteomics
  • Rat model
  • Sepsis


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