Objective: The objective of this article is to investigate the renoprotecive effects of exendin-4 in a mouse model of unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO) and explore the putative mechanisms.
Methods: Male Balbc mice underwent sham operation or UUO surgery, and then received intraperitoneal injection of vehicle or exendin-4, respectively. After 14 days, mice were sacrificed and the left kidneys were collected and analyzed by histology, immunohistochemistry, Western blot, quantitative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, radioimmunoassay and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
Results: As compared to the sham group, mice that underwent UUO surgery developed more severe tubular injury and interstitial fibrosis, as well as higher expression of fibronectin (FN), collagen-1 (Col-1) and α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA). Also, we observed higher expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) while lower expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), higher levels of intrarenal angiotensin II (Ang II) while lower levels of intrarenal angiotensin-(1-7), and higher expression of transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1) and phosphorylation of Smad3 (p-Smad3) in the obstructed kidneys. Impressively, these pathologic changes were significantly attenuated in the mice group of UUO treated with exendin-4.
Conclusion: Our present study indicates for the first time that exendin-4 exerts renoprotective effects in an experimental model of UUO, partly through regulating the balance of the intrarenal renin-angiotensin system and then inhibiting the Ang II-mediated TGF-β1/Smad3 signaling pathway.
Keywords: Angiotensin-converting enzyme; TGF-β1/Smad3; angiotensin II; angiotensin-converting enzyme 2; exendin-4; intrarenal renin-angiotensin system; unilateral ureteral obstruction.
© The Author(s) 2016.