Kidney ischemia–reperfusion injury (IRI) is common during transplantation. IRI is characterised by inflammation and thrombosis and associated with acute and chronic graft dysfunction. P-selectin and its ligand PSGL-1 are cell adhesion molecules that control leukocyte-endothelial and leukocyte-platelet interactions under inflammatory conditions. CD39 is the dominant vascular nucleotidase that facilitates adenosine generation via extracellular ATP/ADP-phosphohydrolysis. Adenosine signalling is protective in renal IRI, but CD39 catalytic activity is lost with exposure to oxidant stress. We designed a P-selectin targeted CD39 molecule (rsol.CD39-PSGL-1) consisting of recombinant soluble CD39 that incorporates 20 residues of PSGL-1 that bind P-selectin. We hypothesised that rsol.CD39-PSGL-1 would maintain endothelial integrity by focusing the ectonucleotidase platelet-inhibitory activity and reducing leukocyte adhesion at the injury site. The rsol.CD39-PSGL-1 displayed ADPase activity and inhibited platelet aggregation ex vivo, as well as bound with high specificity to soluble P-selectin and platelet surface P-selectin. Importantly, mice injected with rsol.CD39-PSGL-1 and subjected to renal IRI showed significantly less kidney damage both biochemically and histologically, compared to those injected with solCD39. Furthermore, the equivalent dose of rsol.CD39-PSGL-1 had no effect on tail template bleeding times. Hence, targeting recombinant CD39 to the injured vessel wall via PSGL-1 binding resulted in substantial preservation of renal function and morphology after IRI without toxicity. These studies indicate potential translational importance to clinical transplantation and nephrology.
- Kidney ischemia–reperfusion injury
- Purinergic signalling