Background: It has been shown that the transcription factors activator protein (AP)-1 and nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB play a pivotal role in various renal diseases. We aimed to study their activations in chronic cyclosporine A (CsA) nephrotoxicity and evaluate the effect of magnesium (Mg) supplementation and blockade of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS), which are known to ameliorate CsA nephrotoxicity, on these transcription factors.
Methods: CsA (15 mg/kg/day) was administered subcutaneously daily to rats maintained on a low-sodium diet for 7, 14, and 28 days. DNA-binding activities of AP-1 and NF-kappaB in renal cortex were determined by electrophoretic mobility shift assay.
Results: DNA-binding activity of AP-1 and NF-kappaB started to increase at day 14 and further elevated at day 28 by CsA treatment. These activations were markedly attenuated when rats were maintained on a high-Mg diet. In contrast, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEI) had no effect on CsA-induced AP-1 activation. CsA-induced activation of NF-kappaB was suppressed by ACEI at day 14, whereas such effect could not be observed at day 28.
Conclusions: Renal cortical AP-1 and NF-kappaB DNA binding were activated in chronic CsA nephrotoxicity. These activations were induced largely by means of RAS-independent mechanisms. It is suggested that prevention of CsA-induced DNA-binding activation of these transcription factors is at least in part responsible for the beneficial effects of Mg supplementation on CsA nephrotoxicity.