Magnetic resonance imaging accurately tracks kidney pathology and heterogeneity in the transition from acute kidney injury to chronic kidney disease

Jennifer R. Charlton, Yanzhe Xu, Teresa Wu, Kim A. deRonde, Jillian L. Hughes, Shourik Dutta, Gavin T. Oxley, Aleksandra Cwiek, Helen P. Cathro, Nathan P. Charlton, Mark R. Conaway, Edwin J. Baldelomar, Neda Parvin, Kevin M. Bennett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Acute kidney injury (AKI) increases the risk for chronic kidney disease (CKD). However, there are few tools to detect microstructural changes after AKI. Here, cationic ferritin-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (CFE-MRI) was applied to examine the heterogeneity of kidney pathology in the transition from AKI to CKD. Adult male mice received folic acid followed by cationic ferritin and were euthanized at four days (AKI), four weeks (CKD-4) or 12 weeks (CKD-12). Kidneys were examined by histologic methods and CFE-MRI. In the CKD-4 and CKD-12 groups, glomerular number was reduced and atubular cortical lesions were observed. Apparent glomerular volume was larger in the AKI, CKD-4 and CKD-12 groups compared to controls. Glomerular hypertrophy occurred with ageing. Interglomerular distance and glomerular density were combined with other MRI metrics to distinguish the AKI and CKD groups from controls. Despite significant heterogeneity, the noninvasive (MRI-based) metrics were as accurate as invasive (histological) metrics at distinguishing AKI and CKD from controls. To assess the toxicity of cationic ferritin in a CKD model, CKD-4 mice received cationic ferritin and were examined one week later. The CKD-4 groups with and without cationic ferritin were similar, except the iron content of the kidney, liver, and spleen was greater in the CKD-4 plus cationic ferritin group. Thus, our study demonstrates the accuracy and safety of CFE-MRI to detect whole kidney pathology allowing for the development of novel biomarkers of kidney disease and providing a foundation for future in vivo longitudinal studies in mouse models of AKI and CKD to track nephron fate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-185
Number of pages13
JournalKidney International
Volume99
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2021

Keywords

  • cationic ferritin–enhanced MRI
  • cluster analysis
  • folic acid
  • glomerular number
  • imaging processing
  • nephron number

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology

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