Background: Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a major complication for infants following an asphyxic insult at birth. We aimed to determine if kidney structure and function were affected in an animal model of birth asphyxia and if maternal dietary creatine supplementation could provide an energy reserve to the fetal kidney, maintaining cellular respiration during asphyxia and preventing AKI.
Methods: Pregnant spiny mice were maintained on normal chow or chow supplemented with creatine from day 20 gestation. On day 38 (term ~39 d), pups were delivered by cesarean section (c-section) or subjected to intrauterine asphyxia. Twenty-four hours after insult, kidneys were collected for histological or molecular analysis. Urine and plasma were also collected for biochemical analysis.
Results: AKI was evident at 24 h after birth asphyxia, with a higher incidence of shrunken glomeruli (P < 0.02), disturbance to tubular arrangement, tubular dilatation, a twofold increase (P < 0.02) in expression of Ngal (early marker of kidney injury), and decreased expression of the podocyte differentiation marker nephrin. Maternal creatine supplementation prevented the glomerular and tubular abnormalities observed in the kidney at 24 h and the increased expression of Ngal.
Conclusion: Maternal creatine supplementation may prove useful in ameliorating kidney injury associated with birth asphyxia.
Field of Research
111199 Nutrition and Dietetics not elsewhere classified
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