Metabolomic profiling demonstrates evidence for kidney and urine metabolic dysregulation in a piglet model of cardiac surgery-induced acute kidney injury

Jesse A. Davidson, Justin Robison, Ludmila Khailova, Benjamin S. Frank, James Jaggers, Richard J. Ing, Scott Lawson, John Iguidbashian, Eiman Ali, Amy Treece, Danielle E. Soranno, Suzanne Osorio-Lujan, Jelena Klawitter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a common cause of morbidity after congenital heart disease surgery. Progress on diagnosis and therapy remains limited, however, in part due to poor mechanistic understanding and a lack of relevant translational models. Metabolomic approaches could help identify novel mechanisms of injury and potential therapeutic targets. In the present study, we used a piglet model of cardiopulmonary bypass with deep hypothermic circulatory arrest (CPB/DHCA) and targeted metabolic profiling of kidney tissue, urine, and serum to evaluate metabolic changes specific to animals with histological acute kidney injury. CPB/DHCA animals with acute kidney injury were compared with those without acute kidney injury and mechanically ventilated controls. Acute kidney injury occurred in 10 of 20 CPB/DHCA animals 4 h after CPB/DHCA and 0 of 7 control animals. Injured kidneys showed a distinct tissue metabolic profile compared with uninjured kidneys (R2 = 0.93, Q2 = 0.53), with evidence of dysregulated tryptophan and purine metabolism. Nine urine metabolites differed significantly in animals with acute kidney injury with a pattern suggestive of increased aerobic glycolysis. Dysregulated metabolites in kidney tissue and urine did not overlap. CPB/DHCA strongly affected the serum metabolic profile, with only one metabolite that differed significantly with acute kidney injury (pyroglutamic acid, a marker of oxidative stress). In conclusion, based on these findings, kidney tryptophan and purine metabolism are candidates for further mechanistic and therapeutic investigation. Urine biomarkers of aerobic glycolysis could help diagnose early acute kidney injury after CPB/DHCA and warrant further evaluation. The serum metabolites measured at this early time point did not strongly differentiate based on acute kidney injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)F20-F32
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • Warburg effect
  • cardiopulmonary bypass
  • congenital heart disease
  • kynurenic acid
  • metabolism


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