Renal Klotho is Reduced in Septic Patients and Pretreatment With Recombinant Klotho Attenuates Organ Injury in Lipopolysaccharide-Challenged Mice

Daniela Jou-Valencia, Grietje Molema, Eliane Popa, Adnan Aslan, Fransien van Dijk, Rik Mencke, Jan-Luuk Hillebrands, Peter Heeringa, Joost G Hoenderop, Jan G Zijlstra, Matijs van Meurs, Jill Moser*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Objectives: To determine the applicability of recombinant Klotho to prevent inflammation and organ injury in sepsis in man and mice.

Design: Prospective, clinical laboratory study using warm human postmortem sepsis-acute kidney injury biopsies. Laboratory study using a mouse model of endotoxemia.

Setting: Research laboratory at a university teaching hospital.

Subjects: Adult patients who died of sepsis in the ICU and control patients undergoing total nephrectomy secondary to renal cancer; male C57BL/6 and Klotho haploinsufficient mice.

Interventions: Lipopolysaccharide (0.05mg/kg) injection and kill after 4, 8, and 24 hours. Mice received recombinant Klotho (0.05mg/kg) 30 minutes prior to lipopolysaccharide (1mg/kg) injection. Mice treated with saline were included as controls.

Measurements and Main Results: Quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemical staining were used to quantify Klotho messenger RNA and protein expression in the kidney of sepsis-acute kidney injury patients and the kidney and brain of mice. The messenger RNA and protein expression of damage markers, inflammatory cytokine, chemokines, and endothelial adhesion molecules were also determined in mice. Renal neutrophil influx was quantified. We found significantly lower renal Klotho messenger RNA and protein levels in sepsis-acute kidney injury biopsies than in control subjects. These findings were recapitulated in the kidney and brain of lipopolysaccharide-challenged mice. Decreased Klotho expression paralleled an increase in kidney damage markers neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin and kidney injury molecule-1. Administration of recombinant Klotho prior to lipopolysaccharide injection attenuated organ damage, inflammation and endothelial activation in the kidney and brain of mice. Furthermore, less neutrophils infiltrated into the kidneys of recombinant Klotho mice compared with lipopolysaccharide only treated mice.

Conclusions: Renal Klotho expression in human sepsis-acute kidney injury and in mouse models of sepsis was significantly decreased and correlated with renal damage. Recombinant Klotho intervention diminished organ damage, inflammation, and endothelial activation in the kidney and brain of lipopolysaccharide-challenged mice. Systemic Klotho replacement may potentially be an organ-protective therapy for septic patients to halt acute, inflammatory organ injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E1196-E1203
Number of pages8
JournalCritical Care Medicine
Issue number12
Early online date19-Sept-2018
Publication statusPublished - Dec-2018


  • acute kidney injury
  • delirium
  • endothelial activation
  • endotoxemia
  • Klotho
  • sepsis

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