Background: Dehydration has deleterious effects in many species, but camels tolerate long periods of water deprivation without serious health compromise. The kidney plays crucial role in water conservation, however, some reports point to elevated kidney function tests in dehydrated camels. In this work, we investigated the effects of dehydration and rehydration on kidney cortex and medulla with respect to pro-inflammatory markers, oxidative stress and apoptosis along with corresponding gene expression.
Results: The cytokines IL-1β and IL-18 levels were significantly elevated in the kidney cortex of dehydrated camel, possibly expressed by tubular epithelium, podocytes and/or mesangial cells. Elevation of IL-18 persisted after rehydration. Dehydration induced oxidative stress in kidney cortex evident by significant increases in MDA and GSH, but significant decreases in SOD and CAT. In the medulla, CAT decreased significantly, but MDA, GSH and SOD levels were not affected. Rehydration abolished the oxidative stress. In parallel with the increased levels of MDA, we observed increased levels of PTGS1 mRNA, in MDA synthesis pathway. GCLC mRNA expression level, involved in GSH synthesis, was upregulated in kidney cortex by rehydration. However, both SOD1 and SOD3 mRNA levels dropped, in parallel with SOD activity, in the cortex by dehydration. There were significant increases in caspases 3 and 9, p53 and PARP1, indicating apoptosis was triggered by intrinsic pathway. Expression of BCL2l1 mRNA levels, encoding for BCL-xL, was down regulated by dehydration in cortex. CASP3 expression level increased significantly in medulla by dehydration and continued after rehydration whereas TP53 expression increased in cortex by rehydration. Changes in caspase 8 and TNF-α were negligible to instigate extrinsic apoptotic trail. Generally, apoptotic markers were extremely variable after rehydration indicating that animals did not fully recover within three days.
Conclusions: Dehydration causes oxidative stress in kidney cortex and apoptosis in cortex and medulla. Kidney cortex and medulla were not homogeneous in all parameters investigated indicating different response to dehydration/rehydration. Some changes in tested parameters directly correlate with alteration in steady-state mRNA levels.
Keywords: Dehydration/rehydration; Dromedary camels; Gene expression; Kidney cortex/medulla; Oxidative stress and apoptosis; Pro-inflammatory markers.