- Open Access
Impact of sepsis-associated cytokine storm on plasma NGAL during acute kidney injury in a model of polymicrobial sepsis
Critical Care volume 17, Article number: 419 (2013)
Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a common, early and severe organ dysfunction during sepsis . One promising biomarker for its early detection is neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) [2, 3]. During sepsis, cytokines, including TNFα, IL6 and IL10, initiate a broad variety of signalling that affect AKI development. Using a lipo polysaccharide-induced AKI animal model, correlation of NGAL expression to TNFα but not IL6 expression was previously described . During polymicrobial sepsis, it remains unclear whether there is a correlation between protein levels and the role of plasma NGAL as an inflammatory protein rather than a marker of AKI.
After gaining permission (Thueringer Landesamt fuer Lebensmittelsicherheit und Verbraucherschutz; TVA02-10/10), sepsis in mice was induced by injection of human faeces. Mice were sacrificed at baseline, 6 h and 24 h post-sepsis insult. Plasma NGAL, cytokines, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), serum creatinine (Crea) and other laboratory markers were ascertained and ANOVA and Spearman correlation testing performed.
Sepsis symptoms developed within the first 6 h (Table 1). During sepsis, IL6, IL10, monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP1), interferon-gamma (IFNγ) and TNFα significantly increased (Figure 1a). Concerning sepsis-associated AKI, plasma NGA L was already elevated at 6 h, whereas Crea and BUN remained stable (Figure 1b). After 24 h, these markers were increased as well. Although Crea was still normal at 6 h, there was a significant positive correlation with NGAL, which was maintained at 24 h (Table 2). A significant correlation between NGAL and TNFα was observed at 6 h and 24 h. In addition, significant correlations of NGAL with IL6, IL10 and MCP1 were found exclusively after 24 h but not after 6 h. No correlation was detected for IFNγ.
Data indicate that the early increase of plasma NGAL during sepsis is not solely a result of inflammation and its associated cytokine storm but rather results from early kidney damage. As described recently , the association of TNFα with NGAL could be confirmed during polymicrobial sepsis. Since cytokines stimulate the expression of each other, it might be assumed that the late association of NGAL with IL6, IL10 and MCP1 was triggered by TNFα. We hypothesize that septic AKI, as remote organ failure, is mainly initiated by TNFα. This might explain further why higher NGAL levels are found in septic versus non-septic AKI .
acute kidney injury
blood urea nitrogen
monocyte chemotactic protein-1
neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin
tumour necrosis factor.
Chertow GM, Burdick E, Honour M, Bonventre JV, Bates DW: Acute kidney injury, mortality, length of stay, and costs in hospitalized patients. J Am Soc Nephrol 2005, 16: 3365-3370. 10.1681/ASN.2004090740
Clerico A, Galli C, Fortunato A, Ronco C: Neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) as biomarker of acute kidney injury: a review of the laboratory characteristics and clinical evidences. Clin Chem Lab Med 2012, 50: 1505-1517.
Constantin JM, Futier E, Perbet S, Roszyk L, Lautrette A, Gillart T, Guerin R, Jabaudon M, Souweine B, Bazin JE, Sapin V: Plasma neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin is an early marker of acute kidney injury in adult critically ill patients: a prospective study. J Crit Care 2010, 25: 176 e171-176.
Han M, Li Y, Liu M, Cong B: Renal neutrophil gelatinase associated lipocalin expression in lipopolysaccharide-induced acute kidney injury in the rat. BMC Nephrol 2012, 13: 25. 10.1186/1471-2369-13-25
Bagshaw SM, Bennett M, Haase M, Haase-Fielitz A, Egi M, Morimatsu H, D'Amico G, Goldsmith D, Devarajan P, Bellomo R: Plasma and urine neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin in septic versus non-septic acute kidney injury in critical illness. Intensive Care Med 2010, 36: 452-461. 10.1007/s00134-009-1724-9
The authors would like to thank Edith Walter and Danny Himsel for their excellent technical support. This publication was supported by the BMBF to the Center of Sepsis Control and Care (BMBF; FKZ 01EO1002, CSCC; project number D1.21 and A1.2).
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
GPO and MB designed the study and wrote the first draft of the manuscript. MS was involved in data analysis and interpretation. RAC was involved in supervision, and data analysis and its interpretation. All authors read and approved the final draft of the manuscript.
Authors’ original submitted files for images
Below are the links to the authors’ original submitted files for images.
About this article
Cite this article
Otto, G.P., Busch, M., Sossdorf, M. et al. Impact of sepsis-associated cytokine storm on plasma NGAL during acute kidney injury in a model of polymicrobial sepsis. Crit Care 17, 419 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1186/cc12540
- Blood Urea Nitrogen
- Acute Kidney Injury
- Spearman Correlation Testing
- Cytokine Storm
- NGAL Level