What If Not All Metabolites from the Uremic Toxin Generating Pathways Are Toxic? A Hypothesis - Aix-Marseille Université Access content directly
Journal Articles Toxins Year : 2022

What If Not All Metabolites from the Uremic Toxin Generating Pathways Are Toxic? A Hypothesis


The topic of uremic toxicity has received broad attention from the nephrological community over the past few decades. An aspect that is much less often considered is the possibility that the metabolic pathways that generate uremic toxins also may produce molecules that benefit body functions. Here, we discuss this dualism based on the example of tryptophan-derived metabolites, which comprise elements that are mainly toxic, such as indoxyl sulfate, kynurenine and kynurenic acid, but also beneficial compounds, such as indole, melatonin and indole-3-propionic acid, and ambivalent (beneficial for some aspects and harmful for others) compounds such as serotonin. This dualism can also be perceived at the level of the main receptor of the tryptophan-derived metabolites, the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR), which has also been linked to both harm and benefit. We hypothesize that these beneficial effects are the reason why uremic toxin generation remained preserved throughout evolution. This duality is also not unique for the tryptophan-derived metabolites, and in this broader context we discuss the remote sensing and signaling theory (RSST). The RSST proposes that transporters (e.g., organic anion transporter 1—OAT1; ATP-binding cassette transporter G—ABCG2) and drug metabolizing enzymes form a large network of proteins interacting to promote small molecule remote communication at the inter-organ (e.g., gut–liver–heart–brain–kidney) and inter-organismal (e.g., gut microbe–host) levels. These small molecules include gut microbe-derived uremic toxins as well as beneficial molecules such as those discussed here. We emphasize that this positive side of uremic metabolite production needs more attention, and that this dualism especially needs to be considered when assessing and conceiving of therapeutic interventions. These homeostatic considerations are central to the RSST and suggest that interventions be aimed at preserving or restoring the balance between positive and negative components rather than eliminating them all without distinction.
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hal-03685859 , version 1 (29-06-2023)





Raymond Vanholder, Sanjay Nigam, Stéphane Burtey, Griet Glorieux. What If Not All Metabolites from the Uremic Toxin Generating Pathways Are Toxic? A Hypothesis. Toxins, 2022, 14 (3), pp.221. ⟨10.3390/toxins14030221⟩. ⟨hal-03685859⟩
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