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Korean J Intern Med ; 2020 Sep 18.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32942841


Background/Aims: Accumulating evidence indicates that L-carnitine (LC) protects against multiorgan damage through its antioxidant properties and preservation of the mitochondria. Little information is available about the effects of LC on renal fibrosis. This study examined whether LC treatment would provide renoprotection in a rat model of unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO) and in vitro. Methods: Sprague-Dawley rats that underwent UUO were treated daily with LC for 7 or 14 days. The influence of LC on renal injury caused by UUO was evaluated by histopathology, and analysis of gene expression, oxidative stress, mitochondrial function, programmed cell death, and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/ AKT/forkhead box protein O 1a (FoxO1a) signaling. In addition, H2O2-exposed human kidney cells (HK-2) were treated with LC. Results: LC treatment inhibited expression of proinflammatory and profibrotic cytokines, and was followed by a significant attenuation of tubulointerstitial inflammation and fibrosis. The increased oxidative stress caused by UUO was associated with mitochondrial dysfunction and excessive apoptosis and autophagy via PI3K/AKT/FoxO1a-dependent signaling, and this was abrogated by administration of LC. In H2O2-exposed HK-2 cells, LC decreased intracellular production of reactive oxygen species, and suppressed expression of profibrotic cytokines and reduced the number of apoptotic cells. Conclusions: LC protects against the progression of tubulointerstitial fibrosis in an obstructed kidney.

Acta Pharmacol Sin ; 2020 Jun 17.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32555441


Reducing immunosuppressant-related complications using conventional drugs is an efficient therapeutic strategy. L-carnitine (LC) has been shown to protect against various types of renal injury. In this study, we investigated the renoprotective effects of LC in a rat model of chronic tacrolimus (TAC) nephropathy. SD rats were injected with TAC (1.5 mg · kg-1 · d-1, sc) for 4 weeks. Renoprotective effects of LC were assessed in terms of renal function, histopathology, oxidative stress, expression of inflammatory and fibrotic cytokines, programmed cell death (pyroptosis, apoptosis, and autophagy), mitochondrial function, and PI3K/AKT/PTEN signaling. Chronic TAC nephropathy was characterized by severe renal dysfunction and typical histological features of chronic nephropathy. At a molecular level, TAC markedly increased the expression of inflammatory and fibrotic cytokines in the kidney, induced oxidative stress, and led to mitochondrial dysfunction and programmed cell death through activation of PI3K/AKT and inhibition of PTEN. Coadministration of LC (200 mg · kg-1 · d-1, ip) caused a prominent improvement in renal function and ameliorated histological changes of kidneys in TAC-treated rats. Furthermore, LC exerted anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, prevented mitochondrial dysfunction, and modulated the expression of a series of apoptosis- and autophagy-controlling genes to promote cell survival. Human kidney proximal tubular epithelial cells (HK-2 cells) were treated with TAC (50 µg/mL) in vitro, which induced production of intracellular reactive oxygen species and expression of an array of genes controlling programmed cell death (pyroptosis, apoptosis, and autophagy) through interfering with PI3K/AKT/PTEN signaling. The harmful responses of HK-2 cells to TAC were significantly attenuated by cotreatment with LC and the PI3K inhibitor LY294002 (25 µM). In conclusion, LC treatment protects against chronic TAC nephropathy through interfering the PI3K/AKT/PTEN signaling.