Role of arachidonic acid and its metabolites in the biological and clinical manifestations of idiopathic nephrotic syndrome

Stefano Turolo, Alberto Edefonti, Alessandra Mazzocchi, Marie Louise Syren, William Morello, Carlo Agostoni, Giovanni Montini

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Studies concerning the role of arachidonic acid (AA) and its metabolites in kidney disease are scarce, and this applies in particular to idiopathic nephrotic syndrome (INS). INS is one of the most frequent glomerular diseases in childhood; it is characterized by T-lymphocyte dysfunction, alterations of pro-and anti-coagulant factor levels, and increased platelet count and aggregation, leading to thrombophilia. AA and its metabolites are involved in several biological processes. Herein, we describe the main fields where they may play a significant role, particularly as it pertains to their effects on the kidney and the mechanisms underlying INS. AA and its metabolites influence cell membrane fluidity and permeability, modulate platelet activity and coagulation, regulate lymphocyte activity and inflammation, preserve the permeability of the glomerular barrier, influence podocyte physiology, and play a role in renal fibrosis. We also provide suggestions regarding dietary measures that are able to prevent an imbalance between arachidonic acid and its parental compound linoleic acid, in order to counteract the inflammatory state which characterizes numerous kidney diseases. On this basis, studies of AA in kidney disease appear as an important field to explore, with possible relevant results at the biological, dietary, and pharmacological level, in the final perspective for AA to modulate INS clinical manifestations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5452
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2021


  • Arachidonic acid
  • Kidney
  • Nephrotic syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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