Int J Med Sci 2021; 18(4):883-890. doi:10.7150/ijms.52397 This issue

Research Paper

Cathelicidin protects mice from Rhabdomyolysis-induced Acute Kidney Injury

Beatriz Helena Cermaria Soares da Silva1, Suely Kubo Ariga1, Hermes Vieira Barbeiro1, Rildo Aparecido Volpini2, Denise Frediani Barbeiro1, Antonio Carlos Seguro2, Fabiano Pinheiro da Silva1✉

1. Departamento de Emergências Clínicas, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
2. Laboratório de Investigação Médica 12 (LIM12), Hospital das Clínicas HCFMUSP, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

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da Silva BHCS, Ariga SK, Barbeiro HV, Volpini RA, Barbeiro DF, Seguro AC, Pinheiro da Silva F. Cathelicidin protects mice from Rhabdomyolysis-induced Acute Kidney Injury. Int J Med Sci 2021; 18(4):883-890. doi:10.7150/ijms.52397. Available from

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Background: Cathelicidins are ancient and well-conserved antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) with intriguing immunomodulatory properties in both infectious and non-infectious inflammatory diseases. In addition to direct antimicrobial activity, cathelicidins also participate in several signaling pathways inducing both pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory effects. Acute kidney injury (AKI) is common in critically ill patients and is associated with high mortality and morbidity. Rhabdomyolysis is a major trigger of AKI.

Objectives: Here, we investigated the role of cathelicidins in non-infectious Acute kidney Injury (AKI).

Method: Using an experimental model of rhabdomyolysis, we induced AKI in wild-type and cathelicidin-related AMP knockout (CRAMP-/-) mice. Results: We previously demonstrated that CRAMP-/- mice, as opposed wild-type mice, are protected from AKI during sepsis induced by cecal ligation and puncture. Conversely, in the current study, we show that CRAMP-/- mice are more susceptible to the rhabdomyolysis model of AKI. A more in-depth investigation of wild-type and CRAMP-/- mice revealed important differences in the levels of several inflammatory mediators.

Conclusion: Cathelicidins can induce a varied and even opposing repertoire of immune-inflammatory responses depending on the subjacent disease and the cellular context.

Keywords: antimicrobial peptide, cathelicidin, innate immunity, acute kidney injury, sepsis, rhabdomyolysis, inflammation