Molecular Medicine

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 553–562 | Cite as

Administration of α-Galactosylceramide Improves Adenine-Induced Renal Injury

  • Cristhiane Favero Aguiar
  • Cristiane Naffah-de-Souza
  • Angela Castoldi
  • Matheus Corrêa-Costa
  • Tárcio T. Braga
  • Érika L. Naka
  • Mariane T. Amano
  • Débora T. R. S. Abate
  • Meire I. Hiyane
  • Marcos A. Cenedeze
  • Alvaro Pacheco e Silva Filho
  • Niels O. S. Câmara
Research Article


Natural killer T (NKT) cells are a subset of lymphocytes that reacts to glycolipids presented by CD1d. Invariant NKT cells (iNKT) correspond to >90% of the total population of NKTs and reacts to a-galactosylceramide (αGalCer). αGalCer promotes a complex mixture of Th1 and Th2 cytokines, as interferon (IFN)-γ and interleukin (IL)-4. NKT cells and IFN-γ are known to participate in some models of renal diseases, but further studies are still necessary to elucidate their mechanisms. The aim of our study was to analyze the participation of iNKT cells in an experimental model of tubule-interstitial nephritis. We used 8-wk-old C57BL/6j, Jα18KO and IFN-γKO mice. They were fed a 0.25% adenine diet for 10 d. Both adenine-fed wild-type (WT) and Jα18KO mice exhibited renal dysfunction, but adenine-fed Jα18KO mice presented higher expression of kidney injury molecule-1 (KIM-1), tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and type I collagen. To analyze the role of activated iNKT cells in our model, we administered αGalCer in WT mice during adenine ingestion. After αGalCer injection, we observed a significant reduction in serum creatinine, proinflammatory cytokines and renal fibrosis. However, this improvement in renal function was not observed in IFN-γKO mice after αGalCer treatment and adenine feeding, illustrating that this cytokine plays a role in our model. Our findings may suggest that IFN-γ production is one of the factors contributing to improved renal function after αGalCer administration



The authors thank Masaru Taniguchi at the RIKEN Research Center for Allergy and Immunology (Japan) for Jα18KO mice and Paulo Albe for preparing the histology slides. This work was supported by Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES), Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP grant numbers 07/07139-3, 2012/02270-2 and 2012/16794-3) and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq, Complex Fluids INCT). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis; decision to publish; or preparation of the manuscript.

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Authors and Affiliations

  • Cristhiane Favero Aguiar
    • 1
    • 2
  • Cristiane Naffah-de-Souza
    • 2
  • Angela Castoldi
    • 2
  • Matheus Corrêa-Costa
    • 2
  • Tárcio T. Braga
    • 2
  • Érika L. Naka
    • 1
  • Mariane T. Amano
    • 2
  • Débora T. R. S. Abate
    • 2
  • Meire I. Hiyane
    • 2
  • Marcos A. Cenedeze
    • 1
  • Alvaro Pacheco e Silva Filho
    • 1
    • 3
  • Niels O. S. Câmara
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratory of Clinical and Experimental Immunology, Nephrology DivisionFederal University of São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Laboratory of Transplantation Immunobiology, Department of Immunology, Institute of Biomedical Sciences IVUniversity of São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  3. 3.Instituto Israelita de Ensino e Pesquisa Albert Einstein, Renal Transplantation UnitAlbert Einstein HospitalSão PauloBrazil

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