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Valsartan Protects Against Contrast-Induced Acute Kidney Injury in Rats by Inhibiting Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress-Induced Apoptosis

[ Vol. 15 , Issue. 2 ]


Yan Sun, Ping-An Peng, Yue Ma, Xiao-Li Liu, Yi Yu, Shuo Jia, Xiao-Han Xu, Si-Jing Wu and Yu-Jie Zhou   Pages 174 - 183 ( 10 )


Background and objective: Contrast-induced acute kidney injury (CI-AKI) is a serious complication of the administration of iodinated contrast media (CM) for diagnostic and interventional cardiovascular procedures and is associated with substantial morbidity and mortality. While the preventative measures can mitigate the risk of CI-AKI, there remains a need for novel and effective therapeutic approaches. The pathogenesis of CI-AKI is complex and not completely understood. CM-induced renal tubular cell apoptosis caused by the activation of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is involved in CIAKI. We previously demonstrated that valsartan alleviated CM-induced human renal tubular cell apoptosis by inhibiting ER stress in vitro. However, the nephroprotective effect of valsartan on CI-AKI in vivo has not been investigated. Therefore, the aim of this study was to explore the protective effect of valsartan in a rat model of CI-AKI by measuring the amelioration of renal damage and the changes in ER stressrelated biomarkers.

Method and Results: Our results showed that the radiocontrast agent meglumine diatrizoate caused significant renal insufficiency, renin-angiotensin system (RAS) activation, and renal tubular apoptosis by triggering ER stress through activation of glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP78), activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4), caspase 12, CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein-homologous protein (CHOP) and c-Jun N-terminal protein kinase (JNK) (P<0.05; n=6 in each group). Pre-treatment with valsartan significantly alleviated renal dysfunction, pathological injury, and apoptosis along with the inhibition of ER stressrelated biomarkers (P<0.05; n=8 in each group).

Conclusion: Valsartan could protect against meglumine diatrizoate-induced kidney injury in rats by inhibiting the ER stress-induced apoptosis, making it a promising strategy for preventing CI-AKI.


Contrast-induced acute kidney injury, endoplasmic reticulum stress, apoptosis, valsartan.


Department of Cardiology, Beijing Anzhen Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing Institute of Heart Lung and Blood Vessel Disease, No. 2 Anzhen Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100029

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