Small interfering RNA targeting Fas protects mice against renal ischemia-reperfusion injury

Peter Hamar, Erwei Song, Gabor Kökeny, Allen Chen, Nengtai Ouyang, Judy Lieberman

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215 Citations (Scopus)


Fas-mediated apoptosis has been suggested to contribute to tubular cell death after renal ischemia-reperfusion injury. Here we investigate whether small interfering RNA (siRNA) duplexes targeting Fas protect mice from acute renal failure after clamping of the renal artery. Renal ischemia-reperfusion injury was induced by clamping the renal vein and artery for 15 or 35 min. Mice were treated before or after ischemia with siRNA targeting Fas or a control gene, administered by hydrodynamic injection, low-volume renal vein injection, or both. Treated mice were evaluated for renal Fas protein and mRNA expression, tissue histopathology, and apoptosis by terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase- mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) staining. Blood urea nitrogen and survival were monitored in mice in which the contralateral kidney had been removed. A single hydrodynamic injection of Fas siRNA reduced Fas mRNA and protein expression in the kidney 4-fold. Kidneys from mice that received Fas siRNA two days earlier had substantially less renal tubular apoptosis by TUNEL staining and less tubular atrophy and hyaline damage. Whereas 90% of mice pretreated with saline or GFP siRNA died, only 20% of Fas-siRNA-pretreated animals died. The same survival advantage was provided by a single low-volume Fas siRNA injection into the renal vein. Moreover, postischemic injection through the renal vein protected 38% of mice from death. This study confirms the importance of Fas-mediated apoptosis in renal ischemia-reperfusion injury. Silencing Fas by systemic or local catheterization holds therapeutic promise to limit ischemia-reperfusion injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14883-14888
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number41
Publication statusPublished - Oct 12 2004

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