Cisplatin is a chemotherapeutic agent used for treating solid tumors. However, nephrotoxicity is the dose-limiting factor in its clinical use. The present study was aimed to determine whether altered regulation of the local nitric oxide (NO) and natriuretic peptide (NP) systems is involved in the pathogenesis of cisplatin-induced nephropathy. Cisplatin (6 mg/kg) was injected intraperitoneally into male Sprague-Dawley rats. The control group was not treated with cisplatin. Expression levels of nitric oxide synthase (NOS), nitrotyrosine, soluble guanylyl cyclase and neutral endopeptidase (NEP) in the kidneys were determined 4 days after treatment by semiquantitative immunoblotting. mRNA expression of NPs and natriuretic peptide receptors (NPRs) was determined by real-time polymerase chain reaction. The activities of soluble and particulate guanylyl cyclase were determined by measuring the amount of cyclic 3',5'-guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) generated in responses to sodium nitroprusside and atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP), respectively. In the test rats, creatinine clearance was decreased, while sodium and water excretion were increased. The expression of inducible NOS (iNOS) and nitrotyrosine was increased in the cortex/outer stripe of outer medullar and inner medullar, while that of endothelial and neuronal NOS was decreased in the inner medullar. Excretion of NO metabolites was increased in these rats. The catalytic activity of soluble guanyly cyclase was blunted in the papilla after cisplatin was administered. The mRNA expression of ANP, brain natriuretic peptide, and C-type natriuretic peptide was increased, while that of NPR-A and NPR-C were decreased in the test rats. The catalytic activity of soluble and particulate guanylyl cyclase in the papilla was blunted after cisplatin was administered. In conclusion, increased production of NO by iNOS may contribute to cytotoxic injury, resulting in cisplatin-induced nephropathy, while the up-regulation of renal natriuretic peptide synthesis together with the down-regulation of NEP and NPR-C may contribute to the natriuresis and diuresis seen in cisplatin-induced nephropathy.
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