Cinnamaldehyde impairs high glucose-induced hypertrophy in renal interstitial fibroblasts

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Cinnamaldehyde is a major and a bioactive compound isolated from the leaves of Cinnamomum osmophloeum kaneh. To explore whether cinnamaldehyde was linked to altered high glucose (HG)-mediated renal tubulointerstitial fibrosis in diabetic nephropathy (DN), the molecular mechanisms of cinnamaldehyde responsible for inhibition of HG-induced hypertrophy in renal interstitial fibroblasts were examined. We found that cinnamaldehyde caused inhibition of HG-induced cellular mitogenesis rather than cell death by either necrosis or apoptosis. There were no changes in caspase 3 activity, cleaved poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) protein expression, and mitochondrial cytochrome c release in HG or cinnamaldehyde treatments in these cells. HG-induced extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)/c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK)/p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) (but not the Janus kinase 2/signal transducers and activators of transcription) activation was markedly blocked by cinnamaldehyde. The ability of cinnamaldehyde to inhibit HG-induced hypertrophy was verified by the observation that it significantly decreased cell size, cellular hypertrophy index, and protein levels of collagen IV, fibronectin, and α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA). The results obtained in this study suggest that cinnamaldehyde treatment of renal interstitial fibroblasts that have been stimulated by HG reduces their ability to proliferate and hypertrophy through mechanisms that may be dependent on inactivation of the ERK/JNK/p38 MAPK pathway.

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