Protocol for a preclinical systematic review and meta-analysis of pharmacological targeting of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors in experimental renal injury

William P Martin, Yeong H D Chuah, Emer Conroy, Alison L Reynolds, Conor Judge, Francisco J López-Hernández, Carel W le Roux, Neil G Docherty

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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IntroductionImpaired lipid metabolism in the renal tubule plays a prominent role in the progression of renal fibrosis following acute kidney injury (AKI) and in chronic kidney disease (CKD). Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are promising druggable targets to mitigate renal fibrosis by redirecting metabolism, including restoration of fatty acid oxidation (FAO) capacity. We aim to synthesise evidence from preclinical studies of pharmacological PPAR targeting in experimental renal injury, and inform the design of future studies evaluating PPAR-mediated restoration of FAO in AKI and CKD.Methods and analysisStudies reporting on the impact of pharmacological PPAR modulation in animal models of renal injury will be collected from MEDLINE (Ovid), Embase and Web of Science databases. Predefined eligibility criteria will exclude studies testing medications which are not specific ligands of one or more PPARs and studies involving multimodal pharmacological treatment. The Systematic Review Centre for Laboratory Animal Experimentation risk of bias tool and Collaborative Approach to Meta-Analysis and Review of Animal Experimental Studies checklist will be used to assess quality of the included studies. Data extraction will be followed by a narrative synthesis of the data and meta-analysis where feasible. Analysis will be performed separately for AKI, CKD and renal transplant models. Subgroup analyses will be performed based on study design characteristics, PPAR isotype(s) targeted, and classes of PPAR-targeting medications used. Risk of publication bias will be assessed using funnel plotting, Egger's regression and trim-and-fill analysis.Ethics and disseminationEthical approval is not required. Findings will be published in a peer-reviewed journal and presented at scientific meetings.Prospero registration numberCRD42021265550.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere100240
Pages (from-to)e100240
Number of pages16
JournalBMJ Open Science
Issue number1
Early online date15 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 15 Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding This work was performed within the Irish Clinical Academic Training (ICAT) Programme, supported by the Wellcome Trust and the Health Research Board (Grant Number 203930/B/16/Z), the Health Service Executive National Doctors Training and Planning and the Health and Social Care, Research and Development Division, Northern Ireland.

Publisher Copyright:
© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2021. Re-use permitted under CC BY. Published by BMJ.


  • fatty acid oxidation
  • peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor
  • preclinical
  • renal injury
  • systematic review


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