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Erythropoietin Protects the Kidney by Regulating the Effect of TNF-α in L-NAME-Induced Hypertensive Rats

24 May 2018

Background/Aims: Hypertension is the leading cause of death worldwide. Chronic high blood pressure induces inflammation. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α plays a major role in inflammation and also depresses the synthesis of erythropoietin, which exerts protective effects on tissue; however, the mechanism is still unclear. We investigated the protective effect of erythropoietin against tissue damage caused by hypertension in the kidney and whether this effect was suppressed by TNF-α. Methods: First, we detected the optimum chronic dose for darbepoetin-α (Depo), which is a long-acting erythropoietin analog for rats. We separated 60 female adult rats into 6 groups: control, Nω-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester hydrochloride (L-NAME), L-NAME+Depo, L-NAME+Remicade (an anti-TNF-α antibody), L-NAME+Depo+Remicade, Depo, and control. After 1 month of treatment, we measured cardiovascular parameters, took blood samples, sacrificed the rats, and removed kidneys for analyses. Results: The apoptotic index and the plasma and kidney mRNA levels of TNF-α increased in the L-NAME group and decreased in all other treatment groups. Macrophage accumulation increased in the L-NAME and L-NAME+Remicade groups, while it decreased in the Depo group. The mRNA abundance of TNF receptor 1 (TNFR1) decreased slightly in the Depo group and TNFR2 increased significantly in the same group. Conclusion: Erythropoietin protects kidney tissue against hypertension by preventing the apoptotic effects of TNF-α by blocking macrophage accumulation, decreasing TNF-α levels, and switching the TNF-α receptors from the apoptotic receptor TNFR1 to the proliferative receptor TNFR2.
Kidney Blood Press Res 2018;43:807–819

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Kidney and Blood Pressure Research