Acute renal injury after cardiopulmonary bypass is common and associated with high mortality. We aimed to demonstrate the glomerular protective effects of recombinant human erythropoietin using an in vivo rat cardiopulmonary bypass model and to explore the possible mechanism.Methods:
Dose-related renal protective effects of recombinant human erythropoietin were studied in phase I. Male Sprague Dawley rats were randomly divided into 5 groups: sham group, cardiopulmonary bypass group, and 3 recombinant human erythropoietin–treated cardiopulmonary bypass groups (bolus doses of 500, 3000, and 5000 U/kg 24 hours before surgery). Blood and urine samples were collected just before surgery and at 2, 4, 24, 48, and 72 hours after surgery. In phase II, rats were divided into 3 groups: sham group, cardiopulmonary bypass group, and 5000 U/kg recombinant human erythropoietin group. Kidneys were harvested at 4, 24, 48, and 72 hours after surgery. Ultra-organization of glomeruli was observed. Glomerular transient receptor potential channel 6 (TRPC6) expression was studied by immunofluorescence and Western blot. Nuclei nuclear factor of activated T-cells, cytoplasmic, calcineurin-dependent 1 (NFATc1) activity was analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and electrophoretic mobility shift assay.Results:
Pretreatment of 5000 U/kg recombinant human erythropoietin decreased the urine protein (72 hours: 7.82 ± 1.13 g/L vs 11.28 ± 1.73 g/L), serum creatinine (72 hours: 35.0 ± 3.5 μmol/L vs 60.7 ± 7.6 μmol/L), and cystatin-C (2 hours: 336.5 ± 28.2 μg/L vs 452.6 ± 63.8 μg/L) compared with the control group (P < .01). Cardiopulmonary bypass induced morphologic abnormalities of podocyte foot processes and slit diaphragms, which was improved by recombinant human erythropoietin. Furthermore, recombinant human erythropoietin significantly relieved glomerular TRPC6 increase and NFATc1 activation induced by cardiopulmonary bypass.Conclusions:
Pretreatment of 5000 U/kg recombinant human erythropoietin elicited potent glomerular protection against cardiopulmonary bypass. This protection may be partly due to downregulation of glomerular TRPC6-NFATc1 pathway.