[Effect of multi-glycoside of Tripterygium wilfordii Hook. f. in intervening TGF-beta1/Smad signaling pathway of adriamycin-induced nephropathy model rat]

Yi-gang Wan, Wei Sun, Chen-hui Dou
Chinese Journal of Integrated Traditional and Western Medicine 2011, 31 (4): 517-24

OBJECTIVE: To explore the potential molecular mechanisms of multi-glycoside of Tripterygium wilfordii Hook. f. (GTW) for ameliorating glomerulosclerosis (GS) by observing its intervention effect on transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta1/Smad signaling pathway in adriamycin-induced nephropathy (ADRN) model rat.

METHODS: Fifteen female Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were randomly divided into three groups, the sham-operation group (A), the untreated model group (B), and the GTW treated model group (C). Rats in Group B and C were made into ADRN model by right nephrectomy and intravenous injection of adriamycin (ADR, 0. 4 mL and 0. 2 mL respectively in 4 weeks). After the model was successfully established, rats in Group C were orally given GTW (50 mg/kg per day), while rats in Group B were intervened with distilled water. The intervention for two groups was 6 weeks. Rats' body weight were weighed and 24 h urinary protein excretion (Upro) detected by the end of the 2nd, 4th, 8th and 10th week. All rats were sacrificed at the end of 10th week after operation to withdraw blood and kidney tissue to examine serum biochemical parameters, glomerular morphological changes, alpha-smooth muscle actin (alpha-SMA), and collagen type I expression. Besides, the mRNA expressions of TGF-beta1, Smad3 and Smad7, as well as protein expressions of TGF-beta1, and phosphorylated Smad2/3 (p-Smad2/3) in glomeruli were detected by RT-PCR or Western blotting.

RESULTS: As compared with Group B, in Group C, Upro and serum albumin were improved significantly, but no difference between groups was found in levels of blood urea nitrogen(BUN), serum creatinine(SCr), or hepatic cell injury. Mesangial cell proliferation, extracellular matrix (ECM) and collagen deposition were suppressed by GTW. Expressions of alpha-SMA and collagen type I decreased, and the characteristic changes of GS were attenuated. The mRNA expressions of TGF-P,31, Smad3 and protein expression of TGF-beta1, p-Smad2/3 in renal tissues were down-regulated, while the protein expression of Smad7 mRNA was up-regulated.

CONCLUSION: GTW showed effect in ameliorating GS in vivo. It could reduce the ECM deposition and improve GS by way of intervening TGF-beta1/Smad signaling pathway in the kidney through regulating the mRNA or protein expressions of key signal molecules, such as Smad3 and p-Smad2/3.

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