Treprostinil, a prostacyclin analog, ameliorates renal ischemia-reperfusion injury: preclinical studies in a rat model of acute kidney injury

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Background. Renal ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI) is a major factor causing acute kidney injury (AKI). No pharmacological treatments for prevention or amelioration of I/R-induced renal injury are available. Here we investigate the protective effects of treprostinil, a prostacyclin analog, against renal IRI in vivo. Methods. Male Sprague Dawley rats were subjected to bilateral renal ischemia (45 min) followed by reperfusion for 1-168 h. Treprostinil (100 ng/kg/min) or placebo was administered subcutaneously for 18-24 h before ischemia. Results. Treatment with treprostinil both significantly reduced peak elevation and accelerated the return to baseline levels for serum creatinine and blood urea nitrogen versus I/R-placebo animals following IRI. I/R-treprostinil animals exhibited reduced histopathological features of tubular epithelial injury versus I/R-placebo animals. IRI resulted in a marked induction of messenger RNA coding for kidney injury biomarkers, kidney injury molecule-1 and neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin and for pro-inflammatory cytokines chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2, interleukin 1b, interleukin 6 and intracellular adhesion molecular 1 in animals treated with placebo only relative to sham controls. Upregulation of expression of all these genes was significantly suppressed by treprostinil. Treprostinil significantly suppressed the elevation in renal lipid peroxidation found in the I/R-placebo group at 1-h post-reperfusion. In addition, renal protein expression of cleaved poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 and caspase-3, -8 and -9 in I/R-placebo animals was significantly inhibited by treprostinil. Conclusions. This study demonstrates the efficacy of treprostinil in ameliorating I/R-induced AKI in rats by significantly improving renal function early post-reperfusion and by inhibiting renal inflammation and tubular epithelial apoptosis. Importantly, these data suggest that treprostinil has the potential to serve as a therapeutic agent to protect the kidney against IRI in vivo. VC The Author(s) 2020. Published byOxford University Press on behalf of ERA-EDTA. All rights reserved.

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Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation