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      Suppression of Renal Tubulointerstitial Fibrosis by Small Interfering RNA Targeting Heat Shock Protein 47

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          Abstract

          Background/Aim: Unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO) is a well-established model for tubulointerstitial fibrosis. During the progression of tubulointerstitial fibrosis, upregulation of collagen synthesis and subsequent accumulation of collagen were observed in the tubulointerstitial area. Heat shock protein 47 (HSP47) is a collagen-specific molecular chaperone and plays an essential role in regulating collagen synthesis. We designed small interfering RNA (siRNA) sequences for HSP47 mRNA to examine whether HSP47 is involved in the progression of renal tubulointerstitial fibrosis in a mouse UUO model. Methods: The HSP47 siRNA was injected once via the ureter at the time of UUO preparation. We also applied a new gene delivery system for siRNA using cationized gelatin microspheres. The kidneys were harvested 7 and 14 days after UUO. The HSP47 and type I, III, and IV collagen expression levels were analyzed by immunohistochemistry and Western blotting. Results: Seven days after UUO, the expression levels of HSP47 and type I, III, and IV collagens were markedly upregulated in obstructed kidneys or green fluorescent protein siRNA treated obstructed kidneys. HSP47 siRNA injection significantly reduced the protein expression levels and significantly diminished the accompanying interstitial fibrosis. Moreover, cationized gelatin microspheres as a delivery system enhanced and lengthened the antifibrotic effect of HSP47 siRNA. Conclusions: Our results indicate that HSP47 is a candidate target for the prevention of tubulointerstitial fibrosis and that selective blockade of the HSP47 expression by using siRNA could be a potentially useful therapeutic approach for patients with renal disease.

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          Most cited references 42

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          RNA interference targeting Fas protects mice from fulminant hepatitis.

          RNA interference (RNAi) is a powerful tool to silence gene expression post-transcriptionally. However, its potential to treat or prevent disease remains unproven. Fas-mediated apoptosis is implicated in a broad spectrum of liver diseases, where inhibiting hepatocyte death is life-saving. We investigated the in vivo silencing effect of small interfering RNA (siRNA) duplexes targeting the gene Fas (also known as Tnfrsf6), encoding the Fas receptor, to protect mice from liver failure and fibrosis in two models of autoimmune hepatitis. Intravenous injection of Fas siRNA specifically reduced Fas mRNA levels and expression of Fas protein in mouse hepatocytes, and the effects persisted without diminution for 10 days. Hepatocytes isolated from mice treated with Fas siRNA were resistant to apoptosis when exposed to Fas-specific antibody or co-cultured with concanavalin A (ConA)-stimulated hepatic mononuclear cells. Treatment with Fas siRNA 2 days before ConA challenge abrogated hepatocyte necrosis and inflammatory infiltration and markedly reduced serum concentrations of transaminases. Administering Fas siRNA beginning one week after initiating weekly ConA injections protected mice from liver fibrosis. In a more fulminant hepatitis induced by injecting agonistic Fas-specific antibody, 82% of mice treated with siRNA that effectively silenced Fas survived for 10 days of observation, whereas all control mice died within 3 days. Silencing Fas expression with RNAi holds therapeutic promise to prevent liver injury by protecting hepatocytes from cytotoxicity.
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            An improved 2,4,6-trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid method for the determination of amines.

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              Mechanisms of tubulointerstitial fibrosis.

              Tubulointerstitial fibrosis is the final common pathway to end-stage renal disease. Understanding the mechanisms of tubulointerstitial fibrosis is essential in establishing novel therapeutic strategies for the prevention or arrest of progressive kidney diseases. The present review focuses on a newly proposed mechanism of tubulointerstitial fibrosis, one that emphasizes the roles of epithelial-mesenchymal transition and cellular activation. Among the cells that accumulate in the renal interstitium, fibroblasts are the principal effectors mediating tubulointerstitial fibrosis. By contrast, the phagocytosis of extracellular matrix and apoptotic cells by macrophages may actually exert a beneficial effect. Interstitial fibroblasts are more heterogeneous than expected, and during renal fibrosis new fibroblasts are derived mainly through epithelial-mesenchymal transition. The intracellular signaling pathways leading to initiation of epithelial-mesenchymal transition remain largely unknown, though recent studies have identified beta-catenin and Smad3 activation of lymphoid enhancer factor, integrin-linked kinase, and small GTPases and mitogen-activated protein kinases as key components. Transforming growth factor-beta is believed to be a critical fibrogenic factor, but recent studies have also focused on transforming growth factor-beta independent pathways as mechanisms of tubulointerstitial fibrosis. As the mechanisms underlying tubulointerstitial fibrosis leading to epithelial-mesenchymal transition have been identified, so have cytokines that efficiently antagonize renal fibrosis, particularly bone morphogenic protein-7 and hepatocyte growth factor. In combination with traditional angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, newly identified cytokines may eventually form the basis for new therapeutic strategies aimed at inhibiting the progression of renal disease.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                AJN
                Am J Nephrol
                10.1159/issn.0250-8095
                American Journal of Nephrology
                S. Karger AG
                0250-8095
                1421-9670
                2008
                November 2007
                21 September 2007
                : 28
                : 1
                : 34-46
                Affiliations
                aSecond Department of Internal Medicine, bMiyazaki Hospital, and cDepartment of Histology and Cell Biology, Nagasaki University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Nagasaki, and dDepartment of Biomaterials, Institute for Frontier Medical Sciences, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan
                Article
                108759 Am J Nephrol 2008;28:34–46
                10.1159/000108759
                17890856
                © 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                Page count
                Figures: 12, References: 59, Pages: 13
                Categories
                Original Report: Laboratory Investigation

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