Ginsenoside protects against AKI via activation of HIF‑1α and VEGF‑A in the kidney‑brain axis.
Int J Mol Med. 2020 Jan 15. Epub 2020 Jan 15. PMID: 31985021
Acute kidney injury (AKI) is characterized by abrupt kidney dysfunction. It results in remote organ dysfunction, including the brain. The underlying mechanism of the kidney‑brain axis in AKI and effective protective approaches remain unknown. The present study aimed to investigate the potential protective effect of ginsenoside (GS) on AKI induced by glycerol in rats. Kidney function was initially assessed by blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine (Cre) tests, andwas identified to be severely impaired following glycerol treatment, based on significant increases in BUN and Cre levels observed. Severe extensive necrosis of the majority of the renal tubules was observed by hematoxylin and eosin staining, additionally confirming that glycerol induced AKI. GS wasidentified to ameliorate the impairment of kidney function in the context of AKI. Further investigation of the mechanism revealed that GS may induce protection against oxidative stress via a kidney‑brain axis. Furthermore, GS improved the activation of hypoxia‑inducible factor 1α (HIF‑1α) and vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF‑A) in the hypothalamus response to AKI, and in the kidney tissues. The protective effect of GS in AKI may be associated with the interaction between the kidney and the brain. Taken together, these results suggested that GS was involved in the protective effects against AKI by decreasing oxidative damage to the kidney and brain, and by upregulating HIF‑1α and VEGF‑A levels in the kidney‑brain axis.