Autophagy in Cisplatin Nephrotoxicity during Cancer Therapy

Cancers (Basel). 2021 Nov 10;13(22):5618. doi: 10.3390/cancers13225618.


Cisplatin is a widely used chemotherapeutic agent but its clinical use is often limited by nephrotoxicity. Autophagy is a lysosomal degradation pathway that removes protein aggregates and damaged or dysfunctional cellular organelles for maintaining cell homeostasis. Upon cisplatin exposure, autophagy is rapidly activated in renal tubule cells to protect against acute cisplatin nephrotoxicity. Mechanistically, the protective effect is mainly related to the clearance of damaged mitochondria via mitophagy. The role and regulation of autophagy in chronic kidney problems after cisplatin treatment are currently unclear, despite the significance of research in this area. In cancers, autophagy may prevent tumorigenesis, but autophagy may reduce the efficacy of chemotherapy by protecting cancer cells. Future research should focus on developing drugs that enhance the anti-tumor effects of cisplatin while protecting kidneys during cisplatin chemotherapy.

Keywords: acute kidney injury; autophagy; cancer therapy; chronic kidney disease; cisplatin; nephrotoxicity.

Publication types

  • Review