Intrarenal modulation of NF-κB activity attenuates cardiac injury in a swine model of CKD: A renal-cardio axis

Alejandro R. Chade, Jason E. Engel, Michael E. Hall, Alfonso Eirin, Gene L. Bidwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) have a high cardiovascular mortality. CKD and heart failure (HF) coexist in up to 50% of patients, and both associate with inflammation. We aimed to define the cardiac phenotype of a novel swine model of CKD and test the hypothesis that inflammation of renal origin propels the development of precursors of HF in CKD. CKD was induced in 14 pigs, which were followed for 14 wk. Renal (multidetector computed tomography) and cardiac (echocardiography) hemodynamics were quantified before and 8 wk after single intrarenal administration of placebo or a biopolymer-fused peptide inhibitor of NF-κB that blocks NF-κB activity and decreases inflammatory activity (SynB1-ELP-p50i). Blood was collected to quantify cytokines (TNF-a, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, and interleukins), markers of inflammation (C-reactive protein), and biomarkers of HF (atrial and brain natriuretic peptides). Pigs were then euthanized, and kidneys and hearts were studied ex vivo. Normal pigs were used as time-matched controls. Renal dysfunction in CKD was accompanied by cardiac hypertrophy and fibrosis, diastolic dysfunction, increased renal and cardiac expression of TNF-a, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, and interleukins, canonical and noncanonical mediators of NF-κB signaling, circulating inflammatory factors, and biomarkers of HF. Notably, most of these changes were improved after intrarenal SynB1-SynB1-ELP-p50i, although cardiac inflammatory signaling remained unaltered. The translational traits of this model support its use as a platform to test novel technologies to protect the kidney and heart in CKD. A targeted inhibition of renal NF-κB signaling improves renal and cardiac function, suggesting an inflammatory renal-cardio axis underlying early HF pathophysiology in CKD. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a progressive disorder with high cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. This work supports the role of inflammatory cytokines of renal origin in renal-cardio pathophysiology in CKD and that the heart may be a target. Furthermore, it supports the feasibility of a new strategy in a translational fashion, using targeted inhibition of renal NF-κB signaling to offset the development of cardiac injury in CKD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)F411-F423
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Chronic renal disease
  • Cytokines
  • Diastolic dysfunction
  • Elastin-like polypeptide
  • Nuclear factor-κB

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Urology


Dive into the research topics of 'Intrarenal modulation of NF-κB activity attenuates cardiac injury in a swine model of CKD: A renal-cardio axis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this