Aurantio-obtusin exerts an anti-inflammatory effect on acute kidney injury by inhibiting NF-κB pathway

Korean J Physiol Pharmacol. 2024 Jan 1;28(1):11-19. doi: 10.4196/kjpp.2024.28.1.11.


Acute kidney injury (AKI) is one of the major complications of sepsis. Aurantio-obtusin (AO) is an anthraquinone compound with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. This study was developed to concentrate on the role and mechanism of AO in sepsis-induced AKI. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated human renal proximal tubular epithelial cells (HK-2) and BALB/c mice receiving cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) surgery were used to establish in vitro cell model and in vivo mouse model. HK-2 cell viability was measured using MTT assays. Histological alterations of mouse renal tissues were analyzed via hematoxylin and eosin staining. Renal function of mice was assessed by measuring the levels of serum creatinine (SCr) and blood urea nitrogen (BUN). The concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines in HK-2 cells and serum samples of mice were detected using corresponding ELISA kits. Protein levels of factors associated with nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-κB) pathway were measured in HK-2 cells and renal tissues by Western blotting. AO exerted no cytotoxic effect on HK-2 cells and AO dose-dependently rescued LPS-induced decrease in HK-2 cell viability. The concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines were increased in response to LPS or CLP treatment, and the alterations were reversed by AO treatment. For in vivo experiments, AO markedly ameliorated renal injury and reduced high levels of SCr and BUN in mice underwent CLP operation. In addition, AO administration inhibited the activation of NF-κB signaling pathway in vitro and in vivo. In conclusion, AO alleviates septic AKI by suppressing inflammatory responses through inhibiting the NF-κB pathway.

Keywords: Acute kidney injury; Aurantio-obtusin; Inflammation; NF-kappa B.

Grants and funding

FUNDING This work was supported by Youth Talent Project of Hubei Provincial Health Commission (No.wj2019H151), Guiding funded proiect of Hubei Provincial Department of Education (No.B2018086) and Doctor Program of Affiliated Hospital of Jianghan University (No.K20230327006).