We explored the renal protective effects by a gut peptide, Ghrelin. Daily peritoneal injection with Ghrelin ameliorated renal damages in continuously angiotensin II (AngII)-infused C57BL/6 mice as assessed by urinary excretion of protein and renal tubular markers. AngII-induced increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels and senescent changes were attenuated by Ghrelin. Ghrelin also inhibited AngII-induced upregulations of transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), ameliorating renal fibrotic changes. These effects were accompanied by concomitant increase in mitochondria uncoupling protein, UCP2 as well as in a key regulator of mitochondria biosynthesis, PGC1α. In renal proximal cell line, HK-2 cells, Ghrelin reduced mitochondria membrane potential and mitochondria-derived ROS. The transfection of UCP2 siRNA abolished the decrease in mitochondria-derived ROS by Ghrelin. Ghrelin ameliorated AngII-induced renal tubular cell senescent changes and AngII-induced TGF-β and PAI-1 expressions. Finally, Ghrelin receptor, growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHSR)-null mice exhibited an increase in tubular damages, renal ROS levels, renal senescent changes and fibrosis complicated with renal dysfunction. GHSR-null mice harbored elongated mitochondria in the proximal tubules. In conclusion, Ghrelin suppressed AngII-induced renal damages through its UCP2 dependent anti-oxidative stress effect and mitochondria maintenance. Ghrelin/GHSR pathway played an important role in the maintenance of ROS levels in the kidney.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)