Document Type


Date of Original Version



Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences


Background: Renal ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI) is a major factor contributing to acute kidney injury and it is associated with a high morbidity and mortality if untreated. Renal IRI depletes cellular and tissue adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which compromises mitochondrial function, further exacerbating renal tubular injury. Currently, no treatment for IRI is available. This study investigates the protective role of treprostinil in improving mitochondria biogenesis and recovery during rat renal IRI.

Methods: Male Sprague Dawley rats were randomly assigned to groups: control, sham, IRI-placebo or IRI-treprostinil and subjected to 45 min of bilateral renal ischemia followed by 1–72 h reperfusion. Placebo or treprostinil (100 ng/kg/min) was administered subcutaneously via an osmotic minipump.

Results: Treprostinil significantly reduced peak elevated serum creatinine (SCr) levels and accelerated normalization relative to IRI-placebo (p < 0.0001). Treatment with treprostinil also inhibited IRI-mediated renal apoptosis, mitochondrial oxidative injury (p < 0.05), and the release of cytochrome c (p < 0.01) vs. IRI-placebo. In addition, treprostinil preserved renal mitochondrial DNA copy number (p < 0.0001) and renal ATP levels (p < 0.05) to nearly those of sham-operated animals. Non-targeted semi-quantitative proteomics showed reduced levels of ATP synthase subunits in the IRI-placebo group which were restored to sham levels by treprostinil treatment (p < 0.05). Furthermore, treprostinil reduced renal IRI-induced upregulated Drp1 and pErk protein levels, and restored Sirt3 and Pgc-1α levels to baseline (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: Treprostinil reduces mitochondrial-mediated renal apoptosis, inhibits mitochondria fission, and promotes mitochondria fusion, thereby accelerating mitochondrial recovery and protecting renal proximal tubules from renal IRI. These results support the clinical investigation of treprostinil as a viable therapy to reduce renal IRI.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.