NFAT inhibitor 11R-VIVIT ameliorates mouse renal fibrosis after ischemia-reperfusion-induced acute kidney injury

Zhi yong Xie, Wei Dong, Li Zhang, Meng jie Wang, Zhen meng Xiao, Yu hua Zhang, Wan xin Shi, Ying Huang, Yan Yang, Cui li Li, Lei Fu, Xing chen Zhao, Rui zhao Li, Zhi lian Li, Yuan han Chen, Zhi ming Ye, Shuang xin Liu, Zheng Dong, Xin ling Liang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Acute kidney injury (AKI) with maladaptive tubular repair leads to renal fibrosis and progresses to chronic kidney disease (CKD). At present, there is no curative drug to interrupt AKI-to-CKD progression. The nuclear factor of the activated T cell (NFAT) family was initially identified as a transcription factor expressed in most immune cells and involved in the transcription of cytokine genes and other genes critical for the immune response. NFAT2 is also expressed in renal tubular epithelial cells (RTECs) and podocytes and plays an important regulatory role in the kidney. In this study, we investigated the renoprotective effect of 11R-VIVIT, a peptide inhibitor of NFAT, on renal fibrosis in the AKI-to-CKD transition and the underlying mechanisms. We first examined human renal biopsy tissues and found that the expression of NFAT2 was significantly increased in RTECs in patients with severe renal fibrosis. We then established a mouse model of AKI-to-CKD transition using bilateral ischemia-reperfusion injury (Bi-IRI). The mice were treated with 11R-VIVIT (5 mg/kg, i.p.) on Days 1, 3, 10, 17 and 24 after Bi-IRI. We showed that the expression of NFAT2 was markedly increased in RTECs in the AKI-to-CKD transition. 11R-VIVIT administration significantly inhibited the nuclear translocation of NFAT2 in RTECs, decreased the levels of serum creatinine and blood urea nitrogen, and attenuated renal tubulointerstitial fibrosis but had no toxic side effects on the heart and liver. In addition, we showed that 11R-VIVIT administration alleviated RTEC apoptosis after Bi-IRI. Consistently, preapplication of 11R-VIVIT (100 nM) and transfection with NFAT2-targeted siRNA markedly suppressed TGFβ-induced HK-2 cell apoptosis in vitro. In conclusion, 11R-VIVIT administration inhibits IRI-induced NFAT2 activation and prevents AKI-to-CKD progression. Inhibiting NFAT2 may be a promising new therapeutic strategy for preventing renal fibrosis after IR-AKI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalActa Pharmacologica Sinica
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • 11R-VIVIT
  • acute kidney injury
  • apoptosis
  • chronic kidney disease
  • HK-2 cells
  • NFAT2
  • renal fibrosis
  • renal tubular epithelial cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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