Abstract

Renal vasoconstriction, an early manifestation of ischemic acute kidney injury (AKI), results in renal hypoperfusion and a rapid decline in kidney function. The pathophysiological mechanisms that underlie ischemia–reperfusion (IR)-induced renal insufficiency are poorly understood, but possibilities include alterations in ion channel-dependent renal vasoregulation. In the present study, we show that pharmacological activation of TRPV4 channels constricted preglomerular microvessels and elicited renal hypoperfusion in neonatal pigs. Bilateral renal ischemia followed by short-term reperfusion increased TRPV4 protein expression in resistance size renal vessels and TRPV4-dependent cation currents in renal vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs). Selective TRPV4 channel blockers attenuated IR-induced reduction in total renal blood flow (RBF), cortical perfusion, and glomerular filtration rate (GFR). TRPV4 inhibition also diminished renal IR-induced increase in AKI biomarkers. Furthermore, the level of angiotensin II (Ang II) was higher in the urine of IR- compared with sham-operated neonatal pigs. IR did not alter renal vascular expression of Ang II type 1 (AT1) receptors. However, losartan, a selective AT1 receptor antagonist, ameliorated IR-induced renal insufficiency in the pigs. Blockade of TRPV4 channels attenuated Ang II-evoked receptor-operated Ca2+ entry and constriction in preglomerular microvessels. TRPV4 inhibition also blunted Ang II-induced increase in renal vascular resistance (RVR) and hypoperfusion in the pigs. Together, our data suggest that SMC TRPV4-mediated renal vasoconstriction and the ensuing increase in RVR contribute to early hypoperfusion and renal insufficiency elicited by renal IR in neonatal pigs. We propose that multimodal signaling by renal vascular SMC TRPV4 channels controls neonatal renal microcirculation in health and disease.

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