Targeting JNK by a new curcumin analog to inhibit NF-kB-mediated expression of cell adhesion molecules attenuates renal macrophage infiltration and injury in diabetic mice

Yong Pan, Xiuhua Zhang, Yi Wang, Lu Cai, Luqing Ren, Longguang Tang, Jingying Wang, Yunjie Zhao, Yonggang Wang, Quan Liu, Xiaokun Li, Guang Liang
PloS One 2013, 8 (11): e79084
Macrophage infiltration contributes to the pathogenesis of diabetic renal injury. However, the regulatory mechanisms between macrophage infiltration and epithelial cell activation are still unclear. Our previous study found that C66, a novel curcumin analog, was able to inhibit inflammatory cytokine expression in vitro and in vivo. This study further elucidated whether C66 can prevent glucose-induced renal epithelial activation and inflammatory macrophage infiltration by a MAPK/NF-κB medicated mechanism. Our data show that pretreatment with C66 not only significantly reduced high glucose (HG)-induced over-expressions of VCAM-1, ICAM-1 and MCP-1, but also remarkably inhibited NF-κB activation, MAPKs phosphorylation, and subsequently macrophage adhesion in renal epithelial NRK-52E cells. Furthermore, we find that MAPKs, especially JNK, play important roles in HG-induced NF-κB activation, which regulates the over-expression of adhesion molecules in HG-stimulated NRK-52E cells. A molecular docking predicted that C66 may target JNK2, which leads to its anti-inflammatory actions. In vivo, administration of C66 or JNK special inhibitor SP600125 at 5 mg/kg markedly decreased diabetes-induced renal adhesion molecule expression, NF-κB activation, inflammatory cell infiltration, and pathological indexes in the kidneys of diabetic mice. These findings provide a perspective on the renoprotective effects of C66 in diabetes, and outline a novel therapeutic strategy of JNK inhibition for the treatment of diabetic nephropathy.

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