American journal of physiology. Renal physiology

Activation of ERK1/2 by NADPH oxidase-originated reactive oxygen species mediates uric acid-induced mesangial cell proliferation.

PMID 24573389


Hyperuricemia is associated with kidney complications including glomerulosclerosis and mesangial cell (MC) proliferation by poorly understood mechanisms. The present study investigated the underlying mechanisms that mediate uric acid (UA)-induced MC proliferation. A rat MC line, HBZY-1, was treated with various concentrations of UA in the presence or absence of a specific extracellular-regulated protein kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) inhibitor (U0126), apocynin. UA dose dependently stimulated MC proliferation as shown by increased DNA synthesis and number of cells in the S and G2 phases in parallel with the upregulation of cyclin A2 and cyclin D1. In addition, UA time dependently promoted MC proliferation and significantly increased phosphorylation of ERK1/2 but not c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase and p38 MAPK in MCs as assessed by immunoblotting. Inhibition of ERK1/2 signaling via U0126 markedly blocked UA-induced MC proliferation. More importantly, UA induced intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) production of MCs dose dependently, which was completely blocked by apocynin, a specific NADPH oxidase inhibitor. Toll-like receptor (TLR)2 and TLR4 signaling had no effect on NADPH-derived ROS and UA-induced MC proliferation. Interestingly, pretreatment with apocynin inhibited ERK1/2 activation, the upregulation of cyclin A2 and cyclin D1, and MC proliferation. In conclusion, UA-induced MC proliferation was mediated by NADPH/ROS/ERK1/2 signaling pathway. This novel finding not only reveals the mechanism of UA-induced MC cell proliferation but also provides some potential targets for future treatment of UA-related glomerular injury.