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Renoprotection With Pituitary Adenylate Cyclase-Activating Polypeptide in Cyclosporine A-Induced Nephrotoxicity

Abstract

Background Acute and long-term nephrotoxicity is the major dose-limiting factor for cyclosporine A (CsA). We evaluated the protective effects of pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP)38 on CsA-induced nephrotoxicity in human renal proximal tubule epithelial (human kidney-2) cells and in intact mice.

Methods Confluent (human kidney-2 cells were exposed to CsA (25-50 μmol/L) in the presence or absence of PACAP38 or vasoactive intestinal peptide (10−10 to 10−6 M). For studies in vivo, male BALB/c mice (n = 5 in each group) were given a single intraperitoneal injection of CsA (5 mg/kg body weight). Treatment group received 20 μg of PACAP38 2 hours before exposure to CsA and additional doses daily for 10 days.

Results Cyclosporine A caused oxidative injury, marked morphological alterations, apoptosis, and increased expression of transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 in cell cultures. Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide 38 at 10−8 mol/L restored cell confluency, reduced TGF-β1 secretion, and preserved cell integrity. In mice, CsA caused tubular injury characterized by loss of tubular epithelial cell brush border membranes, tubular collapse, cellular necrosis, interstitial fibrosis, increased production of TGF-β1, and elevated serum creatinine (3.39 ± 0.21 vs 0.13 ± 0.02 mg/dL in controls, P < 0.01). Treatment with PACAP38 reduced TGF-β1 and tumor necrosis factor-α production in kidney, prevented epithelial-mesenchymal transition of the renal cells, and reduced serum creatinine levels to 1.01 ± 0.18 mg/dL, P < 0.01 versus CsA group.

Conclusions Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide 38 ameliorated renal tubular injury, reduced oxidative injury, and inhibited the expression of TGF-β1 in CsA-exposed murine kidneys. Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide could be a novel renoprotective and antifibrotic agent for CsA nephrotoxicity.

Key Words
  • antifibrotic
  • interstitial fibrosis
  • neuropeptide
  • tumor growth factor-β1
  • apoptosis
  • calcineurin inhibitor

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