Background Renal fibrosis is characterized by excessive production and deposition of extracellular matrix (ECM), which leads to progressive renal failure. Adenosine-monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a highly conserved kinase that plays a key role in Smad-3 signaling. Here, we examined the effect of a novel AMPK activator, HL156A, on the inhibition of renal fibrosis in in vivo and in vitro models. Methods Unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO) was induced in male Wistar rats. Rats with UUO were administered HL156A (20mg/kg/day), and then the kidneys were harvested 10 days after ligation for further analysis. Results In the rat UUO model, HL156A attenuated ECM protein deposition. After HL156A treatment, expressions of TGF-β1, p-Smad3, α-SMA, fibronectin, and type IV collagen were suppressed, and E-cadherin expression was up-regulated. In the in vitro experiment, NRK52E cells were treated with HL156A before TGF-β1 stimulation. The inhibitory effects of HL156A upon the signaling pathways and markers of the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) were analyzed. In TGF-β1-treated NRK-52E cells, HL156A co-treatment inhibited the TGF-β1-induced Smad3 signaling pathway and EMT markers. Conclusion Taken together, the above findings suggest that HL156A, a novel AMPK activator, ameliorates renal fibrosis in vivo and in vitro.
Tsogbadrakh, B., Ju, K. D., Lee, J., Han, M., Koh, J., Yu, Y., … Oh, K. H. (2018). HL156A, a novel pharmacological agent with potent adenosine-monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activator activity ameliorates renal fibrosis in a rat unilateral ureteral obstruction model. PLoS ONE, 13(8). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0201692