Chinese Medical Sciences Journal ›› 2020, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (1): 31-42.doi: 10.24920/003573

• Original Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

NF-κB Inhibitor Parthenolide Promotes Renal Tubules Albumin Uptake in Type 2 Diabetic Nephropathy

Hao Qiufa, Wang Baobao, Zhang Wei, Qiu Wei, Liu Qianling, Li Xuemei()   

  1. Department of Nephrology, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medicine Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100730, China
  • Received:2019-04-02 Online:2020-03-31 Published:2020-02-29
  • Contact: Li Xuemei E-mail:professorliunion@163.com
  • Supported by:
    This study was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Beijing, China(Grant No. 7122143)
In this study, the authors aimed to explore whether reducing inflammation and remodeling the insulin signaling pathway could improve albumin uptake of renal tubules in type 2 diabetic nephropathy. They observed the upregulation of inflammatory factor NF-κB p65, the decreased phosphorylation of AKT (s473), and the reduction of albumin receptors AMN-cubilin in db/db mouse kidneys and tumor necrosis factor α stimulating HKC cells. Furthermore, they found nuclear factor kappa-B inhibitor parthenolide could mitigate inflammation and remodel impaired insulin signaling, and promote the expression of cubilin in db/db mice and improve the albumin uptake in renal tubule cells. These results indicate that inflammation impairing insulin signaling may be one of the mechanisms that accounts for the reduction in tubular albumin reabsorption in the early stage of diabetic nephropathy.

Abstract:

Objective Injured tubular reabsorption is highlighted as one of the causes of increased albuminuria in the early stage of diabetic nephropathy; however, the underlying mechanism has not been fully elucidated. In this study, we aimed to explore whether reducing inflammation and remodeling the insulin signaling pathway could improve albumin uptake of renal tubules.
Methods 8-week-old male db/db mice (n=8), a type 2 diabetic nephropathy model, administered with nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-κB) inhibitor parthenolide (PTN, 1 mg/kg) intraperitoneally every other day for 8 weeks, were as the treatment group. Meanwhile, the age-matched male db/m mice (n=5) and db/db mice (n=8) were treated with saline as the control group and type 2 diabetic nephropathy group. When the mice were sacrificed, blood and urine were collected to examine homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and urine albumin creatinine ratio, and kidney samples were used to analyze histopathologic changes with periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) staining, NF-κB p65, phosphorylation of AKT (p-AKT), amnionless and cubilin expressions with immunohistochemistry as well as western blot, and the albumin uptake of renal tubules by using immunofluorescence. In addition, HKC cells were divided into the insulin group treated with insulin alone, the TNF-α group treated with insulin and tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α), and the TNF-α+PTN group exposed to PTN, insulin and TNF-α. The levels of albumin uptake and expression levels of NF-κB p65, p-IRS-1/IRS-1, p-AKT/AKT, amnionless and cubilin in HKC cells were measured.
Results Compared with the db/db group, the db/db+PTN group demonstrated decreased levels of HOMA-IR (36.83±14.09 vs. 31.07±28.05) and urine albumin creatinine ratio (190.3±7.3 vs. 143.0±97.6 mg/mmol); however, the differences were not statistically significant (P>0.05). Periodic acid-Schiff staining showed PTN could alleviate the glomerular hypertrophy and reduce the matrix in mesangial areas of db/db mice. The renal expression of NF-κB p65 was increased and p-AKT (s473) decreased in the db/db group compared with the db/m group (P<0.05). PTN significantly reduced the renal expression of NF-κB p65 and ameliorated the decline of p-AKT (s473) compared with the db/db group (P<0.05). Compared with the db/m group, the expression of amnionless and cubilin decreased and albumin uptake in tubules were reduced in the db/db group (P<0.05), and PTN could significantly increase the expression of cubilin (P<0.05), and improve albumin uptake in tubules. Insulin promoted albumin uptake and the expression of amnionless and cubilin in HKC cells (P<0.05). TNF-α stimulated the expression of NF-κB p65, increased p-IRS-1 (s307) and reduced p-AKT (s473) in HKC cells (P<0.05). In the TNF-α+PTN group, the expression of NF-κB p65 declined and p-IRS-1 (s307) and p-AKT (s473) were restored, compared with the TNF-α group (P<0.05). The expression of amnionless and cubilin decreased in the TNF-α group (P<0.05), and PTN could significantly increase the expression of cubilin (P<0.05).
Conclusions Inflammation caused damage to insulin signaling, which reduced amnionless-cubilin expression and albumin uptake. PTN could reduce inflammation and remodel the impaired insulin signaling pathway, which promoted the expression of cubilin and albumin uptake. Our study can shed light on the role of inflammation in the reduction of albumin uptake of renal tubules in type 2 diabetic nephropathy.

Key words: inflammation, insulin resistance, albuminuria, diabetic nephropathy, parthenolide

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