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Yu Gu, Fei Huang and Yanling Wang contributed equally to this work
Ischemia–reperfusion (I/R)-induced acute kidney injury (AKI) not only prolongs the length of hospital stay, but also seriously affects the patient’s survival rate. Although our previous investigation has verified that reactive oxygen species (ROS) transferred through gap junction composed of connexin32 (Cx32) contributed to AKI, its underlying mechanisms were not fully understood and viable preventive or therapeutic regimens were still lacking. Among various mechanisms involved in organs I/R-induced injuries, endoplasmic reticulum stress (ERS)-related apoptosis is currently considered to be an important participant. Thus, in present study, we focused on the underlying mechanisms of I/R-induced AKI, and postulated that Cx32 mediated ROS/ERS/apoptosis signal pathway activation played an important part in I/R-induced AKI.
We established renal I/R models with Cx32+/+ and Cx32−/− mice, which underwent double kidneys clamping and recanalization. ROS scavenger (N-acetylcysteine, NAC) and ERS inhibitors (4-phenyl butyric acid, 4-PBA, and tauroursodeoxycholic acid, TUDCA) were used to decrease the content of ROS and attenuate ERS activation, respectively.
Renal damage was progressively exacerbated in a time-dependent manner at the reperfusion stage, that was consistent with the alternation of ERS activation, including glucose regulated protein 78 (BiP/GRP78), X box-binding protein1, and C/EBP homologous protein expression. TUDCA or 4-PBA application attenuated I/R-induced ERS activation and protected against renal tubular epithelial cells apoptosis and renal damage. Cx32 deficiency decreased ROS generation and distribution between the neighboring cells, which attenuated I/R-induced ERS activation, and improved cell apoptosis and renal damage.
Cx32 mediated ROS/ERS/apoptosis signal pathway activation played an important part in I/R-induced AKI. Cx32 deficiency, ROS elimination, and ERS inhibition all could protect against I/R-induced AKI.