Gender differences control the susceptibility to ER stress-induced acute kidney injury

Rawad Hodeify, Judit Megyesi, Adel Tarcsafalvi, Hossam I. Mustafa, Nang San Hti Lar Seng, Peter M. Price

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)


Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress contributes to acute kidney injury induced by several causes. Kidney dysfunction was shown to be influenced by gender differences. In this study we observed differences in the severity of kidney injury between male and female mice in response to tunicamycin, an ER stress agent. Tunicamycin-treated male mice showed a severe decline in kidney function and extensive kidney damage of proximal tubules in the kidney outer cortex (S1 and S2 segments). Interestingly, female tunicamycin-treated mice did not show a decline in kidney function, and their kidneys showed damage localized primarily to proximal tubules in the inner cortex (S3 segment). Protein markers of ER stress, glucose-regulated protein, and X-box binding protein 1 were also more elevated in male mice. Similarly, the induction of apoptosis was higher in tunicamycin-treated male mice, as measured by the activation of Bax and caspase-3. Testosterone administered to female mice before tunica-mycin resulted in a phenotype similar to male mice with a comparable decline in renal function, tissue morphology, and induction of ER stress markers. We conclude that kidneys of male mice are much more susceptible to ER stress-induced acute kidney injury than those of females. Moreover, this sexual dimorphism could provide an interesting model to study the relation between kidney function and injury to a specific nephron segment.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes



  • Acute kidney injury
  • Endoplasmic reticulum stress
  • Inner cortex
  • Outer cortex
  • Sex differences
  • Tunicamycin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Urology

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