Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) is a pleiotropic neuropeptide with a widespread distribution throughout the entire body including the urinary system. PACAP exerts protective actions in different injury models related to several organ systems. Its protective effect is mainly based on its antiapoptotic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. The present review aims to summarize the effects of PACAP in pathologies associated with inflammation and oxidative stress-induced damage in the kidney. Both in vitro and in vivo data are available proving its protective actions against oxidative stress, hypoxia, renal ischemia/reperfusion, diabetic nephropathy, myeloma kidney injury, amyloidosis and different types of drug-induced nephropathies. Data showing the nephroprotection by PACAP emphasize the potential of PACAP's therapeutic use in various renal pathologies.
Keywords: PACAP; cytokine expression; cytoprotection; drug-induced nephropathy; renal ischemia-reperfusion.