In vivo transfection of NF-kappaB decoy oligodeoxynucleotides attenuate renal ischemia/reperfusion injury in rats

Kidney Int. 2004 Mar;65(3):834-45. doi: 10.1111/j.1523-1755.2004.00463.x.


Background: Ischemic acute renal failure (ARF) is a common and often fatal condition characterized by tubular epithelial cell necrosis and marked monocyte infiltration. Inflammatory mechanisms, including cell adhesion, cell infiltration, and cytokine production, are involved. These processes are thought to be directly or indirectly regulated by nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB). Targeted of NF-kappaB might ameliorate ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury by inhibiting the production of genes that involved in ischemic ARF. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effect of NF-kappaB decoy oligodeoxynucleotides (ODN) in experimental rat ischemic ARF.

Methods: Ischemic ARF was induced by left renal artery clamping for 60 minutes, while the right kidney was being removed in female Sprague-Dawley rats. The effect of cationic liposome-protamine-NF-kappaB decoy ODN was evaluated after infusion into the kidney via the renal artery before clamping. After 24 hours of reperfusion, we then assessed morphologic and functional parameters, NF-kappaB/DNA binding activity, monocyte/macrophage (M/MPhi) infiltration, and gene expression in I/R kidney.

Results: After 24 hours of reperfusion, compared with sham-operated animals, serum creatinine and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) levels in ischemic ARF animals were increased about 10-fold and fivefold respectively. (255.67 +/- 34.48 micromol/L vs. 25.33 +/- 2.23 micromol/L and 43.47 +/- 5.50 mmol/L vs. 8.45 +/- 0.43 mmol/L, P < 0.001), NF-kappaB/DNA binding activity was markedly elevated [median value was 1.75 vs. 0.15 relative density unit (RDU), P < 0.005]. NF-kappaB decoy ODN treatment reduced the elevation of serum creatinine level by 70% (79.17 +/- 8.64 micromol/L vs. 255.67 +/- 34.48 micromol/L, P < 0.01), BUN level by 40% (28.33 +/- 4.86 mmol/L vs. 43.47 +/- 5.50 mmol/L, P= NS), and almost abolished the NF-kappaB activation compared with levels observed in sham-operated rats (median value was 0.25 vs. 1.9 RDU, P < 0.005). Furthermore, NF-kappaB decoy ODN pretreatment prevented the occurrence of tubular necrosis and reduced the renal tubular damage scores markedly (1.85 +/- 0.06 vs. 3.63 +/- 0.06 scores, P < 0.01). In addition, M/MPhi infiltration was obviously suppressed (9.77 +/- 1.19 cells/hpf vs. 29.22 +/- 1.94 cells/hpf, P < 0.01), Moreover, results of reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and immunohistochemistry showed the up-regulation of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) was greatly decreased, inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and endothelin-1 (ET-1) expression were also reduced, approaching levels observed in sham-operated animals. The data suggest that NF-kappaB decoy ODN treatment protects renal tissue from the effects of I/R injury and thus reduces the severity of ARF.

Conclusion: These experiments demonstrated that NF-kappaB plays a critical role in renal I/R injury by reducing a series of inflammatory genes. NF-kappaB decoy ODN treatment reduces the renal dysfunction and damage associated with ischemic ARF. Therefore, in vivo transfection of NF-kappaB decoy ODN provides a new therapeutic strategy for ischemic ARF.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury / immunology
  • Acute Kidney Injury / pathology
  • Acute Kidney Injury / therapy*
  • Animals
  • Cations
  • Chemokine CCL2 / genetics
  • Endothelin-1 / genetics
  • Female
  • Genetic Therapy / methods*
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 / genetics
  • Lipids
  • Macrophages / pathology
  • NF-kappa B / genetics*
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase / genetics
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides
  • Protamines
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Renal Artery
  • Reperfusion Injury / immunology
  • Reperfusion Injury / pathology
  • Reperfusion Injury / therapy*
  • Transfection


  • Cations
  • Chemokine CCL2
  • Endothelin-1
  • Lipids
  • NF-kappa B
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides
  • Protamines
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II
  • Nos2 protein, rat