Metabolite accumulation from oral NMN supplementation drives aging-specific kidney inflammation

The mitochondrial-rich renal tubule cells are key regulators of blood homeostasis via excretion and reabsorption of metabolic waste. With age, tubules are subject to increasing mitochondrial dysfunction and declining nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) levels, both hampering ATP production efficiency. We tested two mitochondrial interventions in young (6-mo) and aged (26-mo) adult male mice: elamipretide (ELAM), a tetrapeptide in clinical trials that improves mitochondrial structure and function, and nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN), an NAD+ intermediate and commercially available oral supplement. Kidneys were analyzed from young and aged mice after eight weeks of treatment with ELAM (3 mg/kg/day), NMN (300 mg/kg/day), or from aged mice treated with the two interventions combined (ELAM+NMN). We hypothesized that combining pharmacologic treatments to ameliorate mitochondrial dysfunction and boost NAD+ levels, would more effectively reduce kidney aging than either intervention alone. Unexpectedly, in aged kidneys, NMN increased expression of genetic markers of inflammation (IL-1β and Ccl2) and tubule injury (Kim-1). Metabolomics of endpoint sera showed that NMN-treated aged mice had higher circulating levels of uremic toxins than either aged controls or young NMN-treated mice. ELAM+NMN-treated aged mice accumulated uremic toxins like NMN-only aged mice, but reduced IL-1β and Ccl2 kidney mRNA. This suggests that pre-existing mitochondrial dysfunction in aged kidney underlies susceptibility to inflammatory signaling with NMN supplementation in aged, but not young, mice. These findings demonstrate age and tissue dependent effects on downstream metabolic accumulation from NMN and highlight the need for targeted analysis of aged kidneys to assess the safety of anti-aging supplements in older populations.

Summary Statement Declining levels of NAD+ and increasing mitochondrial dysfunction with age are functionally linked and are popular mechanistic targets of commercially available anti-aging therapeutics. Studies have focused on nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN), nicotinamide riboside (NR) and nicotinamide (NAM) supplementation to boost cellular NAD+, but a consensus on the dosage and regimen that is beneficial or tolerable has not been reached. We show that although high levels of sustained NMN supplementation are beneficial to liver and heart in aged mice, the same dosing regimen carries age-associated signs of kidney inflammation. Our findings underscore a complex state of age- and tissue-specific metabolic homeostasis and raise questions not only about how much, and for how long, but at what age is NAD+ boosting safe.


It’s NMNover for good.

You may need to pair it with an SGLT2I in order to protect your kidneys.

But it seems like NMN shouldn’t be a top pick for a longevity supplement.

B3 types seem to have a positive and negative buzz around them.

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