ErHuang Formula Improves Renal Fibrosis in Diabetic Nephropathy Rats by Inhibiting CXCL6/JAK/STAT3 Signaling Pathway.
ABSTRACT: Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is one of the main causes of renal fibrosis and is associated with high morbidity and mortality. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) therapy has a long history of usage in a clinical setting and its usage is increasing. ErHuang Formula (EHF), a Chinese herbal compound, has been clinically used in treating DN for more than 30 years. However, its mechanism of action is still unknown. This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of EHF on renal fibrosis in a DN rat model and explore its underlying mechanism. The DN rat model was established by high-sugar-fat diet combined with a single intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin (STZ), and EFH extract (4, 2, 1 g/kg d-1) was administered orally for 8 weeks. The biochemical parameters (blood glucose, weight, Scr, BUN, UA, U-Alb and UAE) were analyzed. The pathological changes in renal tissue were observed by histological staining with H&E and Masson. The effect of EHF on the proliferation of NRK-49F cells was examined by CCK-8 assay and the levels of several inflammation and fibrosis related cytokines (IL-6, TNF-?, TGF-?1, Collagen I/III, MMP2/9) in serum and NRK-49F cell culture supernatants were detected by enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA). The mRNA levels of CXCL6, CXCR1, Collagen I/III, MMP2/9 in renal tissue were also measured by quantitative RT-PCR. Furthermore, the protein expression of PCNA, Collagen I/III, MMP2/9, CXCL6, CXCR1, p-STAT3, STAT3 in renal tissue and NRK-49F cells were determined by western blot. EHF improved the abnormal biochemical parameters and ameliorated the abnormal histology and fibrosis of renal tissue in a dose-dependent manner. EHF inhibited NRK-49F proliferation and decreased the expressions of inflammation and fibrosis related factors both in vitro and in vivo. Interestingly, the levels of Collagen I/III, PCNA, MMP2/9 and p-STAT3 were positively correlated with CXCL6. The amelioration of renal fibrosis in DN by EHF is related to CXCL6/JAK/STAT3 signal pathway, which is associated with inflammation and fibrosis of the tissue. These findings may have clinical implications for the treatment of DN.
Project description:In this study the role of CXCL6 in diabetic nephropathy (DN) was investigated. It was found to be overexpression in DN patients and DN rat model. And the expression of fibrosis-related cytokines was consistent with the expression of CXCL6. High glucose significantly increased the proliferation of rat renal fibroblasts NRK-49F cell and the expression of CXCL6. Knockdown of CXCL6 ameliorated the pro-proliferation effect of high glucose and decreased the expression of fibrosis-related cytokines, while CXCL6 overexpression exhibited the opposite phenomenon. Gene set enrichment analysis, Western blot and ELISA showed that Janus kinase-signal transducer and activator of transcription (JAK-STAT) and CYTOKINE_CYTOKINE_RECEPTOR_INTERACTION signaling pathways were correlative with CXCL6. This data indicates that CXCL6 may promote fibrosis-related factors to accelerate the development of DN renal interstitial fibrosis by activating JAK/STAT3 signaling pathway. CXCL6 is promising to be a potential novel therapeutic target and candidate biomarker for JAK/STAT3 signaling for the treatment of DN.
Project description:Advanced glycation end product (AGE) is important in the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy, which is characterized by cellular hypertrophy/hyperplasia leading to renal fibrosis. However, the signal transduction pathways of AGE remain poorly understood. The Janus kinase (JAK)/signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT) pathway has been associated with cellular proliferation in some extra-renal cells. Because interstitial fibroblast proliferation might be important in renal fibrosis, we studied the role of the JAK/STAT pathway in NRK-49F (normal rat kidney fibroblast) cells cultured in AGE/BSA and non-glycated BSA. We showed that AGE dose-dependently (10-200 microgram/ml) increased cellular mitogenesis in NRK-49F cells at 5 and 7 days. However, cellular mitogenesis was unaffected by the simultaneous presence of BSA. Regarding the JAK/STAT pathway, AGE (100 microgram/ml) induced tyrosine phosphorylation of JAK2 (but not JAK1, JAK3 or TYK2) at 15-60 min; it also induced the tyrosine phosphorylation of STAT1 and STAT3 at 1-2 h and 0.5-4 h respectively. Being a transcription factor, AGE also increased the DNA-binding activities of STAT1 and STAT3 AG-490 (a specific JAK2 inhibitor) (5 microM) inhibited tyrosine phosphorylation of JAK2 and the DNA-binding activities of STAT1 and STAT3. The same results were obtained by using specific 'decoy' oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs) that prevented STAT1 and STAT3 from binding to DNA. Meanwhile, the STAT1 or STAT3 decoy ODN and AG-490 were effective in reversing AGE-induced cellular mitogenesis. We concluded that the JAK2-STAT1/STAT3 signal transduction pathway is necessary for AGE-induced cellular mitogenesis in NRK-49F cells.
Project description:Renal interstitial fibrosis is a common pathological feature of chronic kidney disease that may involve changes of metabolism in kidney cells. In the present study, we first showed that blockade of glycolysis with either dichloroacetate (DCA) or shikonin to target different glycolytic enzymes reduced renal fibrosis in a mouse model of unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO). Both inhibitors evidently suppressed the induction of fibronectin and collagen type I in obstructed kidneys, with DCA also showing inhibitory effects on collagen type IV and ?-smooth muscle actin (?-SMA). Histological examination also confirmed less collagen deposition in DCA-treated kidneys. Both DCA and shikonin significantly inhibited renal tubular apoptosis but not interstitial apoptosis in UUO. Macrophage infiltration after UUO injury was also suppressed. Shikonin, but not DCA, caused obvious animal weight loss during UUO. To determine whether shikonin and DCA worked on tubular cells and/or fibroblasts, we tested their effects on cultured renal proximal tubular BUMPT cells and renal NRK-49F fibroblasts during hypoxia or transforming growth factor-?1 treatment. Although both inhibitors reduced fibronectin and ?-SMA production in NRK-49F cells during hypoxia or transforming growth factor-?1 treatment, they did not suppress fibronectin and ?-SMA expression in BUMPT cells. Altogether, these results demonstrate the inhibitory effect of glycolysis inhibitors on renal interstitial fibrosis. In this regard, DCA is more potent for fibrosis inhibition and less toxic to animals than shikonin.
Project description:Activation of interstitial myofibroblasts and excessive production of extracellular matrix proteins are common pathways that contribute to chronic kidney disease. In a number of tissues, AMP-activated kinase (AMPK) activation has been shown to inhibit fibrosis. Here, we examined the inhibitory effect of the AMPK activator, 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxyamide ribonucleoside (AICAR), on renal fibrosis in vivo and TGF-?1-induced renal fibroblasts activation in vitro. A unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO) model was induced in male BALB/c mice. Mice with UUO were administered AICAR (500 mg/Kg/day) or saline intraperitoneally 1 day before UUO surgery and daily thereafter. Both kidneys were harvested 7 days after surgery for further analysis. For the in vitro studies, NRK-49F rat fibroblasts were pre-incubated with AICAR before TGF-?1 stimulation. The inhibitory effects of AICAR on signaling pathways down-stream of TGF-?1 were analyzed. In UUO model mice, administration of AICAR attenuated extracellular matrix protein deposition and the expression of ?-smooth muscle actin (?-SMA), type I collagen and fibronectin. Pre-incubation of NRK-49F cells with AICAR inhibited TGF-?1-induced myofibroblast activation. Silencing of AMPK?1 by siRNA or by blocking AMPK activation with Compound C diminished the inhibitory effect of AICAR. Moreover, the inhibitory effects of AICAR on TGF-?1-mediated myofibroblast activation were associated with down-regulation of ERK 1/2 and STAT3. Our results suggest that AICAR reduces tubulointerstitial fibrosis in UUO mice and inhibits TGF-?1-induced kidney myofibroblast activation. AMPK activation by AICAR may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of renal tubulointerstitial fibrosis.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Activation of renal fibroblasts is a critical mechanism in the process of renal fibrosis. As a commonly used herbal formula, Shenkang (SK) has been found to attenuate renal fibrosis and renal parenchyma destruction. However, the effect of SK on renal fibroblast activation in unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO) mice and its molecular mechanism remain undetermined. The present study was performed to elucidate the effect of SK on renal fibroblast activation and renal fibrosis, as well as the potential underlying mechanism, in both NRK-49F cells and UUO mice.<h4>Methods</h4>NRK-49F cells were stimulated with 10?ng/ml TGF-?1 for 48?h. After SK treatment, the CCK-8 method was used to evaluate cell viability. Thirty-six C57BL/6 mice were randomly divided into the sham group, UUO group, angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) group, and SK high-, moderate- and low-dose groups. UUO was induced in mice except those in the sham group. Drugs were administered 1 day later. On the 13th day, the fractional anisotropy (FA) value was determined by MRI to evaluate the degree of renal fibrosis. After 14?days, serum indexes were assessed. Hematoxylin and eosin (HE) and Sirius red staining were used to observe pathological morphology and the degree of fibrosis of the affected kidney. Western blotting and PCR were used to assess the expression of related molecules in both cells and animals at the protein and gene levels.<h4>Results</h4>Our results showed that SK reduced extracellular matrix (ECM) and ?-smooth muscle actin (?-SMA) expression both in vitro and in vivo and attenuated renal fibrosis and the pathological lesion degree after UUO, suppressing JAK2/STAT3 activation. Furthermore, we found that SK regulated the JAK2/STAT3 pathway regulators peroxiredoxin 5 (Prdx5) in vitro and suppressor of cytokine signaling protein 1 (SOCS1) and SOCS3 in vivo.<h4>Conclusions</h4>These results indicated that SK inhibited fibroblast activation by regulating the JAK2/STAT3 pathway, which may be a mechanism underlying its protective action in renal fibrosis.
Project description:Indoxyl sulfate (IS) accumulation occurs early during chronic kidney disease (CKD) progression and contributes to renal dysfunction by inducing fibrosis, inflammation, oxidative stress, and tissue remodeling. Renal toxicity of high IS concentrations (250??M) has been widely explored, particularly in resident tubular and glomerular cells, while the effect of a moderate IS increase on kidneys is still mostly unknown. To define the effects of IS accumulation on renal fibroblasts, we first analyzed kidneys of C57BL/6 mice receiving IS (0.1%) in drinking water for 12 weeks. As a next step, we treated renal fibroblasts (NRK-49F) with IS (20??M) with or without the HSP90 inhibitor 17-AAG (1??M). In mouse kidneys, IS increased the collagen deposition and HSP90 and ?-SMA expression (immunohistochemistry) in interstitial fibroblasts and caused tubular necrosis (histological H&E and picrosirius red staining). In NRK-49F cells, IS induced MCP1, TGF-?, collagen I, ?-SMA, and HSP90 gene/protein expression and Smad2/3 pathway activation. IS had no effects on fibroblast proliferation and ROS production. 17-AAG counteracted IS-induced MCP1, TGF-?, collagen I, and ?-SMA expression and Smad2/3 phosphorylation. Our study demonstrates that the IS increase promotes renal fibroblast activation by a HSP90-dependent pathway and indicates HSP90 inhibition as a potential strategy to restrain IS-induced kidney inflammation and fibrosis in CKD.
Project description:Fibroblast-myofibroblast transdifferentiation (FMT) is widely recognized as the major pathological feature of renal fibrosis. Although melatonin has exerted antifibrogenic activity in many diseases, its role in renal FMT remains unclear. In the present study, the aim was to explore the effect of melatonin on renal FMT and the underlying mechanisms. We established the transforming growth factor (TGF)-?1 stimulated rat renal fibroblast cells (NRK-49F) model in vitro and unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO) mice model in vivo. We assessed levels of ?-smooth muscle actin (?-SMA), col1a1 and fibronectin, STAT3 and AP-1, as well as miR-21-5p and its target genes (Spry1, PTEN, Smurf2 and PDCD4). We found that melatonin reduced the expression of ?-SMA, col1a1 and fibronectin, as well as the formation of ?-SMA filament in TGF-?1-treated NRK-49F cells. Meanwhile, melatonin inhibited STAT3 phosphorylation, down-regulated miR-21-5p expression, and up-regulated Spry1 and PTEN expression. Moreover, miR-21-5p mimics partially antagonized the anti-fibrotic effect of melatonin. For animal experiments, the results revealed that melatonin remarkably ameliorated UUO-induced renal fibrosis, attenuated the expression of miR-21-5p and pro-fibrotic proteins and elevated Spry1 and PTEN expression. Nevertheless, agomir of miR-21-5p blocked the renoprotective effect of melatonin in UUO mice. These results indicated that melatonin could alleviate TGF-?1-induced renal FMT and UUO-induced renal fibrosis through down-regulation of miR-21-5p. Regulation of miR-21-5p/PTEN and/or miR-21-5p/Spry1 signal might be involved in the anti-fibrotic effect of melatonin in the kidneys of UUO mice.
Project description:Although activation of sirtuin-1 (SIRT1) has been shown to protect the kidney from acute injury, its role in renal fibrosis remains controversial since both inhibition and activation of SIRT1 have been reported to attenuate renal fibrosis. To resolve this conflict, we further examined the effect of SIRT1 activators on the activation of renal interstitial fibroblasts and development of renal fibrosis in vivo and in vitro. In a murine model of renal fibrosis induced by unilateral ureteral obstruction, administration of SRT1720 (N-[2-[3-(piperazin-1-ylmethyl)imidazo[2,1-b][1,3]thiazol-6-yl]phenyl]quinoxaline-2-carboxamide), a potent activator of SIRT1, accelerated deposition of collagen fibrils and increased expression of fibroblast activation markers (?-smooth muscle actin [?-SMA], collagen I, and fibronectin) in the obstructive kidney of mice. In cultured rat renal interstitial fibroblasts (NRK-49F), exposure of cells to SRT1720 or YK-3-237 (B-[2-methoxy-5-[(1E)-3-oxo-3-(3,4,5-trimethoxyphenyl)-1-propen-1-yl]phenyl]-boronic acid), another SIRT1 activator, also resulted in enhanced expression of ?-SMA and fibronectin. Mechanistic studies showed that augmentation of renal fibrogenesis by SRT1720 is associated with elevated phosphorylation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and platelet-derived growth factor receptor ? (PDGFR?). SRT1720 treatment also increased the phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 and protein kinase B in the fibrotic kidney and NRK-49F cells. However, SRT1720 treatment did not affect expression of proliferating cell nuclear protein, a proliferation marker and activation of extracellular signal regulated kinase 1/2 in vitro and in vivo. These results indicate that SIRT1-activating compounds can provoke renal fibrogenesis through a mechanism involved in the activation of EGFR and PDGFR signaling pathways and suggest that long-term use of SIRT1 activators risks the development and progression of chronic kidney disease.
Project description:Our recent studies revealed that blocking class I/II histone deacetylases (HDACs) inhibits renal interstitial fibroblast activation and proliferation and alleviates development of renal fibrosis. However, the effect of class III HDAC, particularly sirtuin 1 and 2 (SIRT1 and SIRT2), inhibition on renal fibrogenesis remains elusive. Here, we demonstrate that both SIRT1 and SIRT2 were expressed in cultured renal interstitial fibroblasts (NRK-49F). Exposure of NRK-49F to sirtinol, a selective inhibitor of SIRT1/2, or EX527 (6-chloro-2,3,4,9-tetrahydro-1H-carbazole-1-carboxamide), an inhibitor for SIRT1, resulted in reduced expression of fibroblast activation markers (?-smooth muscle actin, fibronectin, and collagen I) as well as proliferation markers (proliferating cell nuclear antigen, cyclin D1, cyclin E) in dose- and time-dependent manners. Treatment with a SIRT2 inhibitor, AGK2 (2-cyano-3-[5-(2,5-dichlorophenyl)-2-furanyl]-N-5-quinolinyl-2-propenamide), also dose- and time-dependently inhibited renal fibroblast activation and, to a lesser extent, cell proliferation. Furthermore, silencing of either SIRT1 or SIRT2 by small interfering RNA exhibited similar inhibitory effects. In a mouse model of obstructive nephropathy, administration of sirtinol attenuated deposition of collagen fibrils as well as reduced expression of ?-smooth muscle actin, collagen I, and fibronectin in the injured kidney. SIRT1/2 inhibition-mediated antifibrotic effects are associated with dephosphorylation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), platelet-derived growth factor receptor-? (PDGFR?), and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3. Thus, SIRT1/2 activity may contribute to renal fibroblast activation and proliferation as well as renal fibrogenesis through activation of at least EGFR and PDGFR? signaling. Blocking SIRT1/2 activation may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of chronic kidney disease.
Project description:To investigate the effects of ROS scavenger N-acetylcysteine (NAC) on angiotensin II (Ang II)-mediated renal fibrosis in vivo and in vitro.Mice were subjected to unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO), and then treated with vehicle or NAC (250 mg/kg, ip) for 7 days. Histological changes of the obstructed kidneys were observed with Masson's trichrome staining. ROS levels were detected with DHE staining. The expression of relevant proteins in the obstructed kidneys was assessed using Western blotting assays. Cultured rat renal fibroblast NRK-49F cells were used for in vitro experiments.In the obstructed kidneys, Ang II levels were significantly elevated, and collagen I was accumulated in the interstitial spaces. Furthermore, ROS production and the expression of p47 (a key subunit of NADPH oxidase complexes) were increased in a time-dependent manner; the expression of fibronectin, α-SMA and TGF-β were upregulated. Administration of NAC significantly alleviated the fibrotic responses in the obstructed kidneys. In cultured NRK-49F cells, treatment with Ang II (0.001-10 μmol/L) increased the expression of fibronectin, collagen I, α-SMA and TGF-β in dose-dependent and time-dependent manners. Ang II also increased ROS production and the phosphorylation of Smad3. Pretreatment with NAC (5 μmol/L) blocked Ang II-induced oxidative stress and ECM production in the cells.In mouse obstructed kidneys, the fibrotic responses result from Ang II upregulation can be alleviated by the ROS scavenger N-acetylcysteine.