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J Am Soc Nephrol. 2007 Mar;18(3):833-45. Epub 2007 Jan 31.

Protective role of ecto-5'-nucleotidase (CD73) in renal ischemia.

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Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Tübingen University Hospital, Tübingen, Germany.


Acute renal failure from ischemia significantly contributes to cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Extracellular adenosine has been implicated as an anti-inflammatory metabolite particularly during conditions of limited oxygen availability (e.g., ischemia). Because ecto-5'-nucleotidase (CD73) is rate limiting for extracellular adenosine generation, this study examined the contribution of CD73-dependent adenosine production to ischemic preconditioning (IP) of the kidneys. After the initial observation that murine CD73 transcript, protein, and function are induced by renal IP, its role in IP-mediated kidney protection was studied. In fact, increases in renal adenosine concentration with IP are attenuated in cd73(-/-) mice. Moreover, pharmacologic inhibition of CD73 or its targeted gene deletion abolished renal protection by IP as measured by clearance studies, plasma electrolytes, and renal tubular destruction, and reconstitution of cd73(-/-) mice with soluble 5'-nucleotidase resulted in complete restoration of renal protection by IP. Finally, renal injury after ischemia was attenuated by intraperitoneal treatment of wild-type mice with soluble 5'-nucleotidase to a similar degree as by IP. Taken together, these data reveal what is believed to be a previously unrecognized role of CD73 in renal protection from ischemia and suggest treatment with soluble 5'-nucleotidase as a novel therapeutic approach in the treatment of renal diseases that are precipitated by limited oxygen availability.

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