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Seung Seob Son, Jeong Suk Kang, Eun Young Lee
(Department of Internal Medicine, Soonchunhyang University Cheonan Hospital, Cheonan, South Korea)
Med Sci Monit Basic Res 2020; 26:e928265
Palmitate, a common saturated free fatty acid, is increased in patients with diabetic nephropathy (DN). Excessive palmitate in kidney is known to cause proteinuria and fibrosis. Several studies have demonstrated that paclitaxel has anti-fibrotic and anti-inflammatory effects on kidney disease. However, whether paclitaxel can relieve podocyte injury is unclear.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Immortalized mouse podocytes were used as an in vitro system. Palmitate was used to induce podocyte injury. Podocytes were divided into 4 groups: bovine serum albumin, palmitate, palmitate+1 nM paclitaxel, and palmitate+5 nM paclitaxel. The effects of paclitaxel on palmitate-induced podocyte injury were analyzed by western blot and real-time PCR. Intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and podocyte cytoskeletons were analyzed using CM-H2DCF-DA and phalloidin staining.
RESULTS: Paclitaxel restored downregulated expression of nephrin and synaptopodin and upregulated VEGF expression after injury induced by palmitate. Remarkably, palmitate-induced actin cytoskeleton rearrangement in podocytes was repaired by paclitaxel. Four endoplasmic reticulum stress markers, ATF-6alpha, Bip, CHOP, and spliced xBP1, were significantly increased in palmitate-treated podocytes compared with control podocytes. Such increases were decreased by paclitaxel treatment. Palmitate-induced ROS generation was ameliorated by paclitaxel. Elevated Nox4 expression was also improved by paclitaxel. Paclitaxel alleviated the expression levels of the antioxidant molecules, Nrf-2, HO-1, SOD-1, and SOD-2. The paclitaxel effects were accompanied by inhibition of the inflammatory cytokines, MCP-1, TNF-alpha, TNF-R2, and TLR4, as well as attenuation of the apoptosis markers, Bax, Bcl-2, and Caspase-3. Furthermore, paclitaxel suppressed the palmitate-induced fibrosis molecules, fibronectin and TGF-ß1.
CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that paclitaxel could be a therapeutic agent for treating palmitate-induced podocyte injury in DN.