Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2012 Jul 1;303(1):F83-91. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.00027.2012. Epub 2012 Apr 11.

Autophagy protects against necrotic renal epithelial cell-induced death of renal interstitial fibroblasts.

Author information

  • 1Department of Medicine, Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island, USA.


We recently reported that necrotic renal proximal tubular cells (RPTC) can induce the death of renal interstitial fibroblasts. Since autophagy plays either cytoprotective or cytodestructive roles depending on the experimental condition, the present study was carried out to investigate whether necrotic RPTC would induce autophagy of renal interstitial fibroblasts and, if so, whether autophagy would contribute to cell death or exert a protective effect. Exposure of necrotic RPTC supernatant (RPTC-Sup) induced autophagy in renal interstitial fibroblast cells (NRK-49F) in a time- and dose-dependent manner, and its induction was earlier than caspase-3 activation. Inhibition of autophagy with 3-methyladenine (3-MA) or knockdown of Beclin-1, a molecule involved in the initiation of autophagosome formation, with small interference RNA (siRNA) significantly enhanced necrotic RPTC-Sup-induced cell death. Necrotic RPTC-Sup induced phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK1/2), p38, c-Jun NH(2)-terminal kinases (JNKs), and AKT. Treatment with an ERK1/2 pathway inhibitor, but not with specific inhibitors for p38, JNKs, or AKT pathways, blocked NRK-49F autophagy and cell death upon exposure to necrotic RPTC-Sup. Furthermore, knockdown of MEK1 with siRNA also reduced autophagy along with cell death in NRK-49F exposed to necrotic RPTC-Sup. In contrast, overexpression of MEK1/2 increased RPTC-Sup-induced fibroblast cell death without enhancing autophagy. Collectively, this study demonstrates that necrotic RPTC induce both autophagy and cell death and that autophagy plays a cytoprotective or prosurvival role in renal fibroblasts. Furthermore, necrotic RPTC-induced autophagy and cell death in renal fibroblasts is mediated by the activation of the MEK1-ERK1/2 signaling pathway.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (8)Free text

Fig. 1.
Fig. 2.
Fig. 3.
Fig. 4.
Fig. 5.
Fig. 6.
Fig. 7.
Fig. 8.
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk