Renal PGC1α May Be Associated with Recovery after Delayed Graft Function

Erika R. Drury, Zsuzsanna K. Zsengeller, Isaac E. Stillman, Eliyahu V. Khankin, Martha Pavlakis, Samir M. Parikh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Delayed renal graft function (DGF) contributes to the determination of length of hospitalization, risk of acute rejection, and graft loss. Existing tools aid the diagnosis of specific DGF etiologies such as antibody-mediated rejection, but markers of recovery have been elusive. The peroxisome proliferator gamma co-activator-1-alpha (PGC1α) is highly expressed in the renal tubule, regulates mitochondrial biogenesis, and promotes recovery from experimental acute kidney injury. Objectives: We aimed to determine the association between renal allograft PGC1α expression and recovery from delayed graft function. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed patients undergoing renal transplantation at a single center from January 1, 2008 to June 30, 2014. PGC1α expression was assessed by immunostaining and ultrastructural characteristics by transmission electron microscopy. Of 34 patients who underwent renal biopsy for DGF within 30 days of transplant, 21 were included for analysis. Results: Low PGC1α expression was associated with a significantly longer time on dialysis after transplant (median of 35.5 vs. 16 days, p < 0.05) and a significantly higher serum creatinine (sCr) at 4 weeks after transplantation among those who discontinued dialysis (5 vs. 1.65 mg/dL, p < 0.0001). Low PGC1α expression was not associated with higher sCr at 12 weeks after transplantation. Ultrastructural characteristics including apical membrane blebbing and necrotic luminal debris were not informative regarding clinical outcomes. Conclusions: These data suggest that higher PGC1α expression is associated with faster and more complete recovery from DGF. Mitochondrial biogenesis may be a therapeutic target for DGF. Larger studies are needed to validate these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-309
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute kidney injury
  • Delayed graft function
  • Kidney transplantation
  • Mitochondria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Nephrology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Urology


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