Hypoxia-Inducible Factor Activation Protects the Kidney from Gentamicin-Induced Acute Injury

Jeong myung Ahn, Sun Jin You, Yun Mi Lee, Se Won Oh, Shin young Ahn, Sejoong Kim, Ho Jun Chin, Dong Wan Chae, Ki Young Na

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50 Citations (Scopus)


Gentamicin nephrotoxicity is one of the most common causes of acute kidney injury (AKI). Hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) is effective in protecting the kidney from ischemic and toxic injury. Increased expression of HIF-1α mRNA has been reported in rats with gentamicin-induced renal injury. We hypothesizd that we could study the role of HIF in gentamicin-induced AKI by modulating HIF activity. In this study, we investigated whether HIF activation had protective effects on gentamicin-induced renal tubule cell injury. Gentamicin-induced AKI was established in male Sprague-Dawley rats. Cobalt was continuously infused into the rats to activate HIF. HK-2 cells were pre-treated with cobalt or dimethyloxalylglycine (DMOG) to activate HIF and were then exposed to gentamicin. Cobalt or DMOG significantly increased HIF-1α expression in rat kidneys and HK-2 cells. In HK-2 cells, HIF inhibited gentamicin-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation. HIF also protected these cells from apoptosis by reducing caspase-3 activity and the amount of cleaved caspase-3, and -9 proteins. Increased expression of HIF-1α reduced the number of gentamicin-induced apoptotic cells in rat kidneys and HK-2 cells. HIF activation improved the creatinine clearance and proteinuria in gentamicin-induced AKI. HIF activation also ameliorated the extent of histologic injury and reduced macrophage infiltration into the tubulointerstitium. In gentamicin-induced AKI, the activation of HIF by cobalt or DMOG attenuated renal dysfunction, proteinuria, and structural damage through a reduction of oxidative stress, inflammation, and apoptosis in renal tubular epithelial cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere48952
JournalPloS one
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Nov 8
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


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