The Role of Uric Acid in Inflammasome-Mediated Kidney Injury

Tarcio Teodoro Braga; Orestes Foresto-Neto; Niels Olsen Saraiva Camara


Curr Opin Nephrol Hypertens. 2020;29(4):423-431. 

In This Article


The role of uric acid in kidney dysfunction has long been a topic of interest to nephrologists. In recent years, evidence has accumulated - both experimental and clinical - that uric acid, even without crystal deposition, plays a role in the pathogenesis of kidney injury. sUA modulates immunity and metabolic components in different cell types. In macrophages and renal cells, sUA activates the NLRP3 inflammasome and promotes metabolic changes, and pro-inflammatory cytokine production. Therapies to reduce circulating uric acid levels prevent NLRP3 inflammasome activation and exert renoprotective effects in experimental CKD. Circulating and renal uric acid – and associated metabolic and immune effects - can become important therapeutic targets in the quest to prevent the development and progression of human kidney disease.