Background. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor family members, such as Fas and TNF receptor 1 (TNFR1), are thought to induce apoptosis in a variety of cells and organs. Although a number of potential scenarios have been postulated for the involvement of these receptors in the pathogenesis of acute renal failure (ARF), direct evidence for their involvement in death of renal tubular cells (RTCs) and renal dysfunction is preliminary. Methods. This study examined the roles of these receptors in RTC death in two systems: (1) in vivo murine and rat models of cisplatin-induced ARF, and (2) murine proximal tubular cells (PTCs), which were isolated from C57BL/6 (B6) mice, Fas-mutant B6-lpr/lpr mice and TNFR1-deficient mice, and normal rat kidney (NRK52E) cells in vitro. Results. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction indicated cisplatin-induced up-regulation of Fas, Fas ligand and TNF-α mRNAs in the kidney in vivo and in RTCs in vitro, both in mice and rats. In contrast, the level of TNFR1 mRNA was substantial but did not change in response to cisplatin. TNF-α production in cell culture medium determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and Fas expression determined by fluorescence-activated cell sorter (FACS) analysis increased following incubation with cisplatin in B6 PTCs. In order to examine whether Fas and TNFR1 are directly involved in RTC death and renal dysfunction, we compared cell resistance to cisplatin using a cell viability assay and FACS analysis with fluorescein isothiocyanate-conjugated annexin V and propidium iodide staining. The ratios of cell viability loss and cell death, both from apoptosis and necrosis, were higher in B6 PTCs than in other cells, while the ratios were comparable between Fas-mutant PTCs and TNFR1-deficient PTCs. Caspase-8 activity was increased in B6 PTCs, but not in Fas-mutant PTCs and TNFR1-deficient PTCs. Furthermore, the renal dysfunction and RTC death, both apoptosis and necrosis, induced by cisplatin were more severe in B6 mice in vivo. Conclusion. Based on these data, we conclude that the Fas-and TNFR1-mediated apoptotic pathways are directly involved in the pathogenesis of cisplatin-induced RTC death process.
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