Study of Renal Accumulation of Targeted Polycations in Acute Kidney Injury

Weimin Tang, Sudipta Panja, Chinmay M. Jogdeo, Siyuan Tang, Ao Yu, David Oupický

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a global healthcare burden characterized by rapid loss of renal function and high morbidity and mortality. Chemokine receptor CXCR4 participates in the renal infiltration of immune cells following injury and in local inflammatory enhancement. Injured renal tubule cells overexpress CXCR4, which could be used as a target for improved drug delivery in AKI. Plerixafor is a small-molecule CXCR4 antagonist that has shown beneficial effects against AKI and has been previously developed into a polymeric analog (polymeric plerixafor, PP). With the goal of gaining a better understanding of how overall charge and hydrophilicity affect renal accumulation of PP, we have synthesized PP copolymers containing hydroxyl, carboxyl, primary amine, and alkyl moieties using Michael-type addition copolymerization. All synthesized copolymers showed excellent CXCR4-binding and inhibiting ability in vitro and improved cellular uptake in hypoxia-reoxygenation stimulated mouse tubule cells. Analysis of serum protein binding revealed that polymers with hydroxyl group modification showed the least amount of protein binding. Biodistribution of the polymers was tested in a unilateral ischemia reperfusion-induced AKI mouse model. The results showed significant differences in accumulation in the injured kidneys depending on the net charge and hydrophilicity of the polymers. The findings of this study will guide the development of polymeric drug carriers for targeted delivery to injured kidneys for better AKI therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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