• Rapamycin alternatively modifies mitochondrial dynamics in dendritic cells to reduce kidney ischemic reperfusion injury

      Namwanje, Maria; Bisunke, Bijay; Rousselle, Thomas V.; Lamanilao, Gene G.; Sunder, Venkatadri S.; Patterson, Elizabeth C.; Kuscu, Canan; Kuscu, Cem; Maluf, Daniel; Kiran, Manjari; et al. (MDPI AG, 2021-05-20)
      Dendritic cells (DCs) are unique immune cells that can link innate and adaptive immune responses and Immunometabolism greatly impacts their phenotype. Rapamycin is a macrolide compound that has immunosuppressant functions and is used to prevent graft loss in kidney transplantation. The current study evaluated the therapeutic potential of ex-vivo rapamycin treated DCs to protect kidneys in a mouse model of acute kidney injury (AKI). For the rapamycin single (S) treatment (Rapa-S-DC), Veh-DCs were treated with rapamycin (10 ng/mL) for 1 h before LPS. In contrast, rapamycin multiple (M) treatment (Rapa-M-DC) were exposed to 3 treatments over 7 days. Only multiple ex-vivo rapamycin treatments of DCs induced a persistent reprogramming of mitochondrial metabolism. These DCs had 18-fold more mitochondria, had almost 4-fold higher oxygen consumption rates, and produced more ATP compared to Veh-DCs (Veh treated control DCs). Pathway analysis showed IL10 signaling as a major contributing pathway to the altered immunophenotype after Rapamycin treatment compared to vehicle with significantly lower cytokines Tnfa, Il1b, and Il6, while regulators of mitochondrial content Pgc1a, Tfam, and Ho1 remained elevated. Critically, adoptive transfer of rapamycin-treated DCs to WT recipients 24 h before bilateral kidney ischemia significantly protected the kidneys from injury with a significant 3-fold improvement in kidney function. Last, the infusion of DCs containing higher mitochondria numbers (treated ex-vivo with healthy isolated mitochondria (10 µg/mL) one day before) also partially protected the kidneys from IRI. These studies demonstrate that pre-emptive infusion of ex-vivo reprogrammed DCs that have higher mitochondria content has therapeutic capacity to induce an anti-inflammatory regulatory phenotype to protect kidneys from injury. © 2021 by the authors.