Research Article

Zhi-Long-Huo-Xue-Tong-Yu modulates mitochondrial fission through the ROCK1 pathway in mitochondrial dysfunction caused by streptozotocin-induced diabetic kidney injury

Published: May 04, 2015
Genet. Mol. Res. 14 (2) : 4593-4606 DOI: 10.4238/2015.May.4.18

Abstract

Zhi-Long-Huo-Xue-Tong-Yu (ZLHXTY) is a defined mixture of 5 herbs developed by Professor S.J. Yang according to the Buyang Huanwu decoction method, which has been recorded in the Yilingaicuo. This study investigated the renoprotective effects of ZLHXTY on mitochondrial dysfunction induced by diabetic kidney injury in a diabetic rat model. Diabetes was induced by a single intravenous injection of streptozotocin. Rats were daily fed either ZLHXTY or vehicle beginning in the 1st week after injection. Levels of mitofusin 2 (mfn2), dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1), caspase-9, and rho-associated, coiled-coil-containing protein kinase 1 (ROCK1) were detected using Western blotting. Levels of intracellular calcium and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) were examined using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. An electron microscopic examination of kidney tissue was performed. The levels of mfn2 and ATP in the diabetes and ZLHXTY groups decreased from the 4th week after modeling. The expression levels of Drp1, ROCK1, and caspase-9 increased in the diabetes group but decreased in the ZLHXTY group from the 4th week after modeling. Compared with the diabetes group, ZLHXTY treatment decreased the mesangial expansion index and proteinuria levels, and improved the pathological changes typical of diabetic kidney injury. Furthermore, ZLHXTY treatment inhibited the activation of ROCK1 and expression of Drp1 and caspase-9, but did not affect the expression of mfn2. This study indicates that ZLHXTY treatment could protect kidney tissue from diabetic injury through the ROCK1 pathway response to mitochondrial dysfunction induced by diabetes.

Zhi-Long-Huo-Xue-Tong-Yu (ZLHXTY) is a defined mixture of 5 herbs developed by Professor S.J. Yang according to the Buyang Huanwu decoction method, which has been recorded in the Yilingaicuo. This study investigated the renoprotective effects of ZLHXTY on mitochondrial dysfunction induced by diabetic kidney injury in a diabetic rat model. Diabetes was induced by a single intravenous injection of streptozotocin. Rats were daily fed either ZLHXTY or vehicle beginning in the 1st week after injection. Levels of mitofusin 2 (mfn2), dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1), caspase-9, and rho-associated, coiled-coil-containing protein kinase 1 (ROCK1) were detected using Western blotting. Levels of intracellular calcium and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) were examined using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. An electron microscopic examination of kidney tissue was performed. The levels of mfn2 and ATP in the diabetes and ZLHXTY groups decreased from the 4th week after modeling. The expression levels of Drp1, ROCK1, and caspase-9 increased in the diabetes group but decreased in the ZLHXTY group from the 4th week after modeling. Compared with the diabetes group, ZLHXTY treatment decreased the mesangial expansion index and proteinuria levels, and improved the pathological changes typical of diabetic kidney injury. Furthermore, ZLHXTY treatment inhibited the activation of ROCK1 and expression of Drp1 and caspase-9, but did not affect the expression of mfn2. This study indicates that ZLHXTY treatment could protect kidney tissue from diabetic injury through the ROCK1 pathway response to mitochondrial dysfunction induced by diabetes.