Huaiqihuang may protect from proteinuria by resisting MPC5 podocyte damage via targeting p-ERK/CHOP pathway
The purpose of this study was to investigate the potential effects of Huaiqihuang (HQH) granule, a Chinese herbal medicine, in treating proteinuria and to reveal its possible mechanism. MPC5 podocytes were cultured in vitro at 37°C and induced with tunicamycin (TM). The TM-induced cells were treated with HQH at different concentrations. The cell proliferation was detected using the MTT assay. The optimal effective dose of HQH for MPC5 cells was determined by the MTT assay and LDH assay respectively. The influences of HQH on the proteinuria-related protein expression and the signaling pathway associated protein expression were also detected using quantitative reverse transcription PCR and Western blotting analysis. The results showed that the MPC5 cell model was successfully constructed in vitro. The HQH application could improve the harmful effects induced by TM on the MPC5 cells, including promoted cell proliferation and suppressed cell apoptosis. Furthermore, the protein expression, including podocin, nephrin, and synaptopodin was down-regulated by the TM treatment in the MPC5 cells. On contrary, the expression of these proteins was up-regulated after the HQH application. Also, the effect of TM on integrin α3 and integrin β1 expressions was also reversed by the HQH treatment. Moreover, the HQH application decreased the expression of p-ERK and DNA-damage-inducible transcript 3 (DDIT3 or CHOP) in the MPC5 cells, which was opposite to the effect observed in the cells treated with TM. Taken together, our study suggest that HQH application may protect podocytes from TM damage by suppressing the p-ERK/CHOP signaling pathway.
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