Mechanism of circadian regulation of the NRF2/ARE pathway in renal ischemia‑reperfusion
- Qian Sun
- Cheng Zeng
- Li Du
- Chong Dong
Affiliations: Department of Anesthesiology, Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, Hubei 430060, P.R. China, Organ Transplantation Center, Tianjin First Central Hospital, Tianjin 300192, P.R. China
- Published online on: January 7, 2021 https://doi.org/10.3892/etm.2021.9622
Copyright: © Sun
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The nuclear erythroid 2‑related factor 2 (NRF2)/antioxidant response element (ARE) pathway has been shown to provide strong protection against oxidative stress injury induced by renal ischemia‑reperfusion (IR). However, the endogenous regulatory mechanism of the NRF2/ARE pathway in renal IR injury is incompletely understood. A rat model of renal IR was established by occlusion of the bilateral renal pedicle for 45 min, followed by reperfusion for 24 h. Renal injury was assessed by light microscopy and levels of serum creatinine, blood urea nitrogen and neutrophil gelatinase‑associated lipocalin was measured using enzyme‑linked immunosorbent assay. Renal oxidative stress was also evaluated by measuring superoxide dismutase and malondialdehyde in renal tissues. Protein expression levels of brain and muscle ARNT‑like 1 (BMAL1), nuclear factor erythroid 2‑related factor 2 (NRF2), NAD(P)H dehydrogenase [quinone] 1 (NQO1), glutamate‑cysteine ligase modifier (GCLM) and heme oxygenase 1 (HO1) in the kidney were determined by western blotting and immunohistochemistry. Reverse transcription‑quantitative PCR was used to evaluate rhythmic transcription of the core clock genes (CLOCK and BMAL1) and the NRF2 gene. The nature of the binding of BMAL1 to the promoter regions in the NRF2 gene was assessed by chromatin immunoprecipitation assays in rat kidneys. BMAL1 was found to bind to the promoter of the NRF2 gene through an E‑BOX element associated with strongly rhythmic activation of NRF2 in both the normal kidney and those exposed to IR. The ARE‑regulated anti‑oxidative stress protein was affected by the circadian rhythm of the NRF2 gene. As the NRF2 level was at a circadian nadir, the expression of the proteins NQO1, GCLM and HO1 was weakened, resulting in more serious renal oxidative stress injury and pathological and functional impairment induced by IR. It can be concluded that the circadian rhythm of the NRF2/ARE pathway controlled by the circadian clock is essential for regulating antioxidant stress in renal IR injury, which might prompt new therapeutic strategies associated with the diurnal variability of human kidney disease, including renal transplantation.