Role of mitochondrial dysfunction in renal fibrosis promoted by hypochlorite-modified albumin in a remnant kidney model and protective effects of antioxidant peptide SS-31

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Oxidative stress aggravates renal fibrosis, a pathway involved in almost all forms of chronic kidney disease (CKD). However, the underlying mechanism involved in the pathogenesis of renal oxidative stress has not been completely elucidated. In this study, we explored the role and mechanism of hypochlorite-modified albumin (HOCl-alb) in mediating oxidative stress and fibrotic response in a remnant-kidney rat model. Five-sixths nephrectomy (5/6 NX) was performed on the rats and then the animals were randomly assigned to intravenous treatment with either vehicle alone, or HOCl-rat serum albumin (RSA) in the presence or absence of SS-31 (administered intraperitoneally). A sham-operation control group was set up concurrently. Compared with the control group, 5/6 NX animals displayed marked mitochondrial (mt) dysfunction, as evidenced by decrease of mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), ATP production, mtDNA copy number alterations and manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) activity, release of cytochrome C (Cyto C) from mitochondria to the cytoplasm, and increase of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species in renal tissues. They also displayed increased levels of HOCl-alb in both plasma and renal tissues. These changes were accompanied by accumulation of extracellular matrix, worsened proteinuria, deteriorated renal function, and a marked increase of macrophage infiltration along with up-regulation of monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)−1 and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 expression. HOCl-alb challenge further exacerbated the above biological effects in 5/6 NX animals, but these adverse effects were prevented by administration of SS-31, a mitochondrial targeted antioxidant peptide. These data suggest that accumulation of HOCl-alb may promote renal inflammation and fibrosis, probably related to mitochondrial oxidative stress and dysfunction and that the mitochondrial targeted peptide SS-31 might be a novel therapy for renal fibrosis and chronic renal failure (CRF).

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