Obesity- related kidney disease occurs as a result of complex interactions between metabolic and hemodynamic effects. Changes in microvascular perfusion may play a major role in kidney disease; however, these changes are difficult to assess in vivo. Here, we used perfusion ultrasound imaging to evaluate cortical blood flow in a mouse model of high-fat diet-induced kidney disease. C57BL/6J mice were randomized to a standard diet (STD) or a high-fat diet (HFD) for 30 wk and then treated either with losartan or a placebo for an additional 6 wk. Noninvasive ultrasound perfusion imaging of the kidney was performed during infusion of a microbubble contrast agent. Blood flow within the microvasculature of the renal cortex and medulla was derived from imaging data. An increase in the time required to achieve full cortical perfusion was observed for HFD mice relative to STD. This was reversed following treatment with losartan. These data were concurrent with an increased glomerular filtration rate in HFD mice compared with STD- or HFD-losartan-treated mice. Losartan treatment also abrogated fibro-inflammatory disease, assessed by markers at the protein and messenger level. Finally, a reduction in capillary density was found in HFD mice, and this was reversed upon losartan treatment. This suggests that alterations in vascular density may be responsible for the elevated perfusion time observed by imaging. These data demonstrate that ultrasound contrast imaging is a robust and sensitive method for evaluating changes in renal microvascular perfusion and that cortical perfusion time may be a useful parameter for evaluating obesity-related renal disease.
- Obesity-related kidney disease
- Renal perfusion
- Ultrasound contrast imaging
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