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Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a sudden decay in renal function leading to increasing morbidity and mortality. miR-182 has been reported to be actively involved in kidney diseases. However, the function and molecular mechanism of miR-182 in AKI still need to be elucidated. The levels of serum creatinine (SCr), blood urea nitrogen (BUN), and urine Kim-1 in I/R-induced rat AKI model were detected by a Beckman Autoanalyzer. miR-182 and transcription factor 7-like-2 (TCF7L2) mRNA expression were measured by qRT-PCR. Flow cytometry and caspase-3 colorimetry analysis were performed to determine NRK-52E cell apoptosis. Bioinformatics and dual-luciferase reporter were used to identify the interaction between miR-182 and TCF7L2. miR-182 expression was increased in both I/R-induced rat models and hypoxia-treated NRK-52E cells, and miR-182 overexpression stimulated the apoptosis of hypoxia-induced NRK-52E cells. Dual-luciferase analysis disclosed that TCF7L2 was a target of miR-182. TCF7L2 suppressed hypoxia-induced apoptosis in NRK-52E cells, and the inhibitory effect of TCF7L2 on cell apoptosis could be reversed with miR-182 restoration. Moreover, the activity of Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway was promoted following overexpression of TCF7L2 in NRK-52E cells with hypoxia treatment, and this effect was greatly attenuated by the increased miR-182 expression. Finally, in vivo experiment also validated the alleviation of miR-182 inhibitor on I/R-induced kidney injury and apoptosis via regulating TCF7L2/ Wnt/β-catenin pathway. miR-182 exacerbated AKI involving the targeting and regulation of TCF7L2/Wnt/β-catenin signaling, unveiling a novel regulatory pathway in ischemia-reperfusion injury and elucidating a potential biomarker for AKI treatment.