Ferroptosis-related renal tubular lesions play important roles in diabetic kidney disease (DKD) progression, and these pathophysiological responses are collectively described as diabetic tubulopathy (DT), which lacks an effective treatment. Total flavones from Abelmoschus manihot (TFA), a natural extract that extensively used in patients with chronic kidney disease, has been used for treatment of renal tubular injury in DKD; however, whether TFA alleviates DT and its potential mechanisms remain unclear. Hence, we investigated the effects of TFA, compared to dapagliflozin, in DT management both in vivo and in vitro, using a DKD rat model and the NRK-52 E cells. Following modeling, the DKD rats received TFA, dapagliflozin, or vehicle for 6 weeks. For the in vitro research, the NRK-52 E cells were exposed to advanced glycation end products (AGEs) plus ferrostatin-1 (Fer-1), dapagliflozin, or TFA. Changes in biochemical parameters and renal tubular injury were analyzed in vivo, while changes in ferroptosis of renal tubular cells and the ferroptosis-related proteins expression were analyzed both in vivo and in vitro. We found that TFA and dapagliflozin improved biochemical parameters, renal tubular injury, and ferroptosis in the DKD rats. Moreover, TFA and dapagliflozin inhibited ferroptosis by ameliorating iron deposition, lipid peroxidation capacity, and ferroptosis-related proteins expression in vitro, which was similar to the effects of Fer-1. Collectively, this study demonstrated that TFA treated DT in a manner similar to dapagliflozin by inhibiting ferroptosis of renal tubular cells via improving iron deposition and antioxidant capacity. Our findings provide new pharmacological evidence for TFA application in DT treatment.
Keywords: diabetic tubulopathy; ferroptosis; renal tubular injury; total flavones of Abelmoschus manihot; 糖尿病肾小管病; 肾小管损伤; 铁死亡; 黄蜀葵花总黄酮.
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