[Effect and mechanism of Jiedu Huoxue Decoction in regulating YAP/ACSL4 pathway to inhibit ferroptosis in treatment of acute kidney injury]

Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2024 Jan;49(1):151-161. doi: 10.19540/j.cnki.cjcmm.20230829.401.
[Article in Chinese]


Jiedu Huoxue Decoction(JDHX), first recorded in the Correction on Errors in Medical Works by WANG Qing-ren, is an effective formula screened out from ancient formulas by the traditional Chinese medicine(TCM) master ZHANG Qi to treat acute kidney injury(AKI) caused by heat, toxicity, stasis, and stagnation. This paper elucidated the therapeutic effect of JDHX on AKI and probed into the potential mechanism from ferroptosis. Thirty-two male C57BL/6 mice were randomized into four groups(n=8): normal, model, and low-and high-dose JDHX. Since the clinical treatment of AKI depends on supportive or alternative therapies and there is no specific drug, this study did not include a positive drug group. The low dose of JDHX corresponded to half of clinically equivalent dose, while the high dose corresponded to the clinically equivalent dose. Mice were administrated with JDHX by gavage daily for 7 consecutive days, while those in the normal group and the model group were administered with the corresponding volume of distilled water. On day 5 of drug administration, mice in other groups except the normal group were injected intraperitoneally with cisplatin solution at a dose of 20 mg·kg~(-1) to induce AKI, and the normal group was injected with saline. All of the mice were sacrificed 72 h after modeling, blood and kidney samples were collected for subsequent analysis. The levels of serum creatine(Scr) and blood urea nitrogen(BUN) were measured by the commercial kits. The expression level of kidney injury molecule 1(KIM-1) in the serum was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Hematoxylin-eosin(HE) staining, periodic acid-Schiff(PAS) staining, and Prussian blue staining were employed to observe the pathological changes, glycogen deposition, and iron deposition, respectively, in the renal tissue. In addition, the levels of glutathione(GSH), superoxide dismutase(SOD), and catalase(CAT) in the renal tissue were examined by biochemical colorimetry. Western blot was performed to determine the protein levels of acyl-CoA synthetase long chain family member 4(ACSL4), lysophosphatidylcholine acyltransferase 3(LPCAT3), and Yes-associated protein(YAP, a key molecule in the Hippo pathway) in the renal tissue. Immunohistochemistry was then employed to detect the location and expression of YAP in the renal tissue. Real-time fluorescence quantitative polymerase chain reaction(qRT-PCR) was performed to measure the mRNA levels of ACSL4 and glutathione peroxidase 4(GPX4). Compared with the normal group, the model group showed elevated serum levels of Scr, BUN, and KIM-1. In the AKI model group, the tubular epithelial cells underwent atrophy and necrotic detachment, disappearance of brush border, and some tubules became protein tubules or experienced vacuole-like degeneration. In addition, this group presented widening of the interstitium or even edema, increased renal tubule injury score, and obvious glycogen and iron deposition in parts of the renal tissue. Moreover, the model group had lower GSH, SOD, and CAT levels, higher ASCL4 and LPCAT3 levels, and lower GPX4 expression and higher YAP expression than the normal group. Compared with the model group, high dose of JDHX effectively protected renal function, lowered the levels of Scr, BUN and KIM-1, alleviated renal pathological injury, reduced glycogen and iron deposition, and elevated the GSH, SOD, and CAT levels in the renal tissue. Furthermore, JDHX down-regulated the protein levels of ACSL4, LPCAT3, and YAP and up-regulated the level of GPX4, compared with the model group. In conclusion, JDHX can protect mice from cisplatin-induced AKI by inhibiting ferroptosis via regulating the YAP/ACSL4 signaling pathway.

Keywords: Jiedu Huoxue Decoction; Yes-associated protein(YAP); acute kidney injury(AKI); acyl-CoA synthetase long chain family member 4(ACSL4); ferroptosis.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • 1-Acylglycerophosphocholine O-Acyltransferase
  • Acute Kidney Injury* / drug therapy
  • Acute Kidney Injury* / genetics
  • Animals
  • Cisplatin / adverse effects
  • Ferroptosis*
  • Glycogen
  • Iron
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Superoxide Dismutase


  • Cisplatin
  • Glycogen
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Iron
  • LPCAT3 protein, mouse
  • 1-Acylglycerophosphocholine O-Acyltransferase