Skip to main content
Publications of the Week

Targeting Innate Immunity-Driven Inflammation in CKD and Cardiovascular Disease

By September 14, 2022No Comments

Mortality among patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) is largely a consequence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and is a particular concern given the increasing prevalence of CKD. Sterile inflammation triggered by activation of the innate immune system is an important driver of both CKD and associated CVD. Several endogenous mediators, including lipoproteins, crystals such as silica, urate and cholesterol crystals, or compounds released from dying cells interact with pattern recognition receptors expressed on a variety of different cell types, leading to the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Disturbed regulation of the haematopoietic system by damage-associated molecular patterns, or as a consequence of clonal haematopoiesis or trained innate immunity, also contributes to the development of inflammation. In observational and genetic association studies, inflammation is linked to the progression of CKD and cardiovascular events. In 2017, the CANTOS trial of canakinumab provided evidence that inhibiting inflammation driven by NLRP3-IL-1-IL-6-mediated signalling significantly reduced cardiovascular event rates in individuals with and without CKD. Other approaches to target innate immune pathways are now under investigation for their ability to reduce cardiovascular events and slow disease progression among patients with atherosclerosis and stage 3 and 4 CKD. This Review summarizes current understanding of the role of inflammation in the pathogenesis of CKD and its associated CVD, and how this knowledge may translate into novel therapeutics.