Iron loading enhances susceptibility to renal ischemia in rats

Zhao Long Wu, Mark S. Palter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Because chronic iron overload can cause organ injury in hemochromatosis and because iron participates in injury during renal ischemia-reperfusion, the effect of mild subacute renal iron loading on the susceptibility to ischemic acute renal failure was evaluated. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were injected with iron nitrilotriacetate (1 mg iron/kg BW i.p. daily) for 5 days. Controls were instead injected with nitrilotriacetate. Seventy-two hours later animals were subjected to 40-min renal artery ischemia. Iron loading produced a 28% increase in kidney iron content without any change in baseline renal function (plasma creatinine) or histology. Ischemic renal injury was far more severe in iron-loaded animals. Plasma creatinine 24 and 48 h after ischemia was significantly higher in iron-loaded rats (3.3 and 3.4 vs. 2.2 and 0.8 mg/dL) and GFR was significantly lower in iron-loaded rats (0.30 vs. 0.78 mL/min). In addition, iron-loaded rats showed a dramatically greater extent of damage by histologic evaluation using a semiquantitative scoring method. Therefore, a small increase in renal iron content greatly increased renal injury after an ischemic insult. These findings may be relevant to human renal disease because there is accumulating evidence of renal iron accumulation in a variety of proteinuric and chronic renal diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)471-480
Number of pages10
JournalRenal Failure
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1994

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Drs. Tk-cmi Ohtsuki and Helen Enright for per-Jrming the measurements of kidney iron by flameless atomic absorption spectroscopy. This work was generously supported by an American Heart Association-Winthrop Pharmaceuticals Grant-in-Aid and by ;in extramural grant from Baxter Healthcare Corporation. Dr. Wu’s visit to the University of Minnesota was sponsored by Shanghai Medical [Jniversity and the China Medical Board of New York.


  • Acute renal failure
  • Acute tubular necrosis
  • Hemochromatosis
  • Iron nitrilotriacetate
  • Oxygen free radicals


Dive into the research topics of 'Iron loading enhances susceptibility to renal ischemia in rats'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this