Ischemic preconditioning attenuates ischemia/reperfusion-induced kidney injury by activating autophagy via the SGK1 signaling pathway.Cell Death Dis. 2018 03 01; 9(3):338.CD
Ischemic preconditioning (IPC) has a strong renoprotective effect during renal ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury that is thought to relate to autophagy. However, the role of autophagy during IPC-afforded renoprotection and the precise mechanisms involved are unknown. In this study, an in vitro hypoxia/reoxygenation (H/R) model was established in which oxygen and glucose deprivation (OGD) was applied to renal cells for 15 h followed by reoxygenation under normal conditions for 30 min, 2 h or 6 h; transient OGD and subsequent reoxygenation were implemented before prolonged H/R injury to achieve hypoxic preconditioning (HPC). 3-Methyladenine (3-MA) was used to inhibit autophagy. In a renal I/R injury model, rats were subjected to 40 min of renal ischemia followed by 6 h, 12 h or 24 h of reperfusion. IPC was produced by four cycles of ischemia (8 min each) followed by 5 min of reperfusion prior to sustained ischemia. We found that IPC increased LC3II and Beclin-1 levels and decreased SQSTM/p62 and cleaved caspase-3 levels in a time-dependent manner during renal I/R injury, as well as increased the number of intracellular double-membrane vesicles in injured renal cells. IPC-induced renal protection was efficiently attenuated by pretreatment with 5 mM 3-MA. Pretreatment with IPC also dynamically affected the expression of SGK1/FOXO3a/HIF-1α signaling components. Moreover, knocking down SGK1 expression significantly downregulated phosphorylated-FOXO3a (p-FOXO3a)/FOXO3 and HIF-1α, suppressed LC3II and Beclin-1 levels, increased SQSTM/p62 and cleaved caspase-3 levels, and abolished the protective effect of IPC against I/R-induced renal damage. SGK1 overexpression efficiently increased p-FOXO3a/FOXO3 and HIF-1α levels, promoted the autophagy flux and enhanced the protective effect mediated by HPC. Furthermore, FOXO3a overexpression decreased HIF-1α protein levels, inhibited HIF-1α transcriptional activity and reduced the protective effect of IPC. Our study indicates that IPC can ameliorate renal I/R injury by promoting autophagy through the SGK1 pathway.