Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
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Pioglitazone Ameliorates Methotrexate-Induced Renal Endothelial Dysfunction via Amending Detrimental Changes in Antioxidant Profile, Systemic Cytokines and Fas Production

Authors: Sahar M. El-Gowilly, Mai M. Helmy, Hanan M. El-Gowelli


Methotrexate (MTX) is widely used in treatment of cancers and autoimmune diseases. However, nephrotoxicity is one of its most important side effects. The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma agonist, pioglitazone, is known to exert antiinflammatory and reno-protective effects in various kidney injuries. The purpose of this study was to investigate the potential involvement of endothelial damage in MTX-induced renal injury and to elaborate the possible protective effect of pioglitazone against MTX-induced endothelial impairment. Compared with saline-treated rats, treatment with MTX (7 mg/kg for 3 day) caused significant elevations in serum levels of urea and creatinine, increased renal nitrate/nitrite level and impaired renovascular responsiveness of isolated perfused kidney to endothelium-dependent vasodilations induced by acetylcholine (0.01-2.43 nmol) and isoprenaline (1┬Ámol). These effects were abolished by concurrent treatment with pioglitazone (2.5 mg/kg, for 5 days starting two days before MTX). Alternatively, MTX treatment did not affect endothelium-independent renovascular relaxation induced by sodium nitroprusside (0.001-10 ╬╝mole). The possibility that alterations in renal antioxidants, circulating cytokine and apoptotic factor (Fas) levels contributed to MTX-pioglitazone interaction was assessed. Pioglitazone treatment abrogated renal oxidative stress (decreased reduced glutathione and catalase activity and increased malondialdehyde), elevated serum cytokine (interleukin-6, interleukin-10, tumor necrosis factor-alpha and transforming growth factor-beta1) and Fas induced by MTX. Histologically, MTX caused defused tubular cells swelling and vacuolization associated with endothelial damage in renal arterioles. These effects disappeared upon co-treated with pioglitazone. Collectively, pioglitazone abolished MTX-induced endothelium dysfunction and nephrotoxicity via ameliorating oxidative stress and rectifying cytokines and Fas abnormalities caused by MTX.

Keywords: Kidney, methotrexate, pioglitazone, endothelium

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