Fang Q, Wang L, Yang D, Chen X, Shan X, Zhang Y, Lum H, Wang J, Zhong P, Liang G, Wang Y.
Obesity is a major and independent risk factor of kidney diseases. The pathogenic mechanisms of obesity-associated renal injury are recognized to at least involve a lipid-rich and pro-inflammatory state of the renal tissues, but specific mechanisms establishing causal relation remain unknown. Saturated fatty acids are elevated in obesity, and known to induce chronic inflammation in kidneys. Myeloid differentiation protein 2 (MD2) is an important protein in lipopolysaccharide-induced innate immunity response and inflammation. We suggested that obesity-associated renal injury is regulated by MD2 thereby driving an inflammatory renal injury. The used three mouse models for in vivo study: MD2 knockout mice (KO) maintained on high fat diet (HFD), wild-type mice on HFD plus L6H21, a specific MD2 inhibitor and KO mice given palmitic acid (PA) by IV injection. The in vitro studies were carried out in cultured renal tubular epithelial cells, mouse mesangial cells and primary macrophages, respectively. The HFD mice presented with increased hyperlipidemia, serum creatinine and proteinuria. Renal tissue from HFD mice had increased fibrosis, inflammatory cytokines, macrophage infiltration, and activation of NF-κB and MAPKs. This HFD-induced renal injury profile was not observed in KO mice or L6H21-treated mice. Mice given PA mimmicked the HFD-induced renal injury profiles, which were prevented by MD2 knockout. The in vitro data further confirmed MD2 mediates PA-induced inflammation. MD2 is causally related with obesity-associated renal inflammatory injury. We believe that MD2 is an attractive target for future therapeutic strategies in obesity-associated kidney diseases.