Pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide (PACAP) is a neuropeptide, exerting diverse effects. One of its frequently examined functions is cell protection, which is achieved mainly via inhibiting apoptotic, inflammatory and oxidative processes. All its three receptors (PAC1, VPAC1, VPAC2) are expressed in the kidney and PACAP has been shown to have protective effects against different renal pathologies. Diabetic nephropathy is the leading cause of end stage renal disease. The aim of the present study was to investigate the possible ameliorative effect of PACAP in streptozotocin-induced diabetic nephropathy and to evaluate its anti-inflammatory effect in this model. Diabetes was induced by a single intravenous injection of streptozotocin (65 mg/kg) in male Wistar rats. PACAP-treated animals were administered ip. 20 μg PACAP every second day, while untreated animals were given vehicle. Kidneys were removed after 8-weeks survival. Besides the complex histological analysis (glomerular PAS positive area/glomerulus area, tubular damage, arteriolar hyalinosis), expression of several cytokines was evaluated by cytokine array and Luminex assay. Histological analysis revealed severe diabetic changes in kidneys of control diabetic animals (glomerular PAS-positive area expansion, tubular damage, Armanni-Ebstein phenomenon). PACAP treatment significantly diminished the damage. Diabetic kidneys showed significant cytokine activation compared to their healthy controls. PACAP was effective in downregulation of several cytokines including CINC-1, TIMP-1, LIX, MIG, s-ICAM. To conclude, PACAP is effective in ameliorating diabetic nephropathy at least partly through its well-known anti-inflammatory effect. These results raise the opportunity for the use of PACAP as a possible therapeutic or preventive method in treating the complications of diabetes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience