M2 macrophages predict worse long-term outcomes in human acute tubular necrosis

Myung Gyu Kim, Kijoon Lim, Yoo Jin Lee, Jihyun Yang, Se Won Oh, Won Yong Cho, Sang Kyung Jo

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    12 Citations (Scopus)


    Although macrophages are important players in the injury/repair processes in animal models of acute kidney injury (AKI), their roles in human AKI remains uncertain owing to a paucity of human biopsy studies. We investigated the role of macrophages in 72 cases of biopsy-proven acute tubular necrosis (ATN) and six cases of healthy kidney. Macrophages were identified by CD68 and CD163 immunohistochemistry and analyzed for their effect on renal outcomes. CD163+ M2 macrophages outnumbered CD68+ cells in the healthy kidneys, suggesting that CD163+ macrophages are resident macrophages. The infiltration of both subtypes of macrophages increased significantly in ATN. The density of the CD68+ macrophages was significantly higher in advanced-stage AKI, whereas CD163+ M2 macrophages was not. Eighty percent of patients exhibited renal functional recovery during follow-up. Older age and a higher density of CD163+ macrophages predicted non-recovery, whereas the AKI stage, tubular injury score, and density of CD68+ cells did not. The density of CD163+ M2 macrophages was an independent predictor of low eGFR at 3 months in advanced-stage AKI. This is the first human study demonstrating the possible role of macrophages in the injury and repair phases of AKI.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number2122
    JournalScientific reports
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec 1

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General


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