18 March 2015
Hyperuricemia is an independent risk factor for CKD and contributes to kidney fibrosis. In this study, we investigated the effect of EGF receptor (EGFR) inhibition on the development of hyperuricemic nephropathy (HN) and the mechanisms involved. In a rat model of HN induced by feeding a mixture of adenine and potassium oxonate, increased EGFR phosphorylation and severe glomerular sclerosis and renal interstitial fibrosis were evident, accompanied by renal dysfunction and increased urine microalbumin excretion. Administration of gefitinib, a highly selective EGFR inhibitor, prevented renal dysfunction, reduced urine microalbumin, and inhibited activation of renal interstitial fibroblasts and expression of extracellular proteins. Gefitinib treatment also inhibited hyperuricemia-induced activation of the TGF- β1 and NF- κB signaling pathways and expression of multiple profibrogenic cytokines/chemokines in the kidney. Furthermore, gefitinib treatment suppressed xanthine oxidase activity, which mediates uric acid production, and preserved expression of organic anion transporters 1 and 3, which promotes uric acid excretion in the kidney of hyperuricemic rats. Thus, blocking EGFR can attenuate development of HN via suppression of TGF- β1 signaling and inflammation and promotion of the molecular processes that reduce uric acid accumulation in the body.