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Antioxid Redox Signal. 2010 Oct 1;13(7):975-86. doi: 10.1089/ars.2010.3091.

NMDA receptor-mediated activation of NADPH oxidase and glomerulosclerosis in hyperhomocysteinemic rats.

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Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia 23298, USA.


This study investigated the role of NMDA receptor in hyperhomocyteinemia (hHcys)-induced NADPH oxidase (Nox) activation and glomerulosclerosis. Sprague-Dawley rats were fed a folate-free (FF) diet to produce hHcys, and a NMDA receptor antagonist, MK-801, was administrated. Rats fed the FF diet exhibited significantly increased plasma homocysteine levels, upregulated NMDA receptor expression, enhanced Nox activity and Nox-dependent O(2)(.-) production in the glomeruli, which were accompanied by remarkable glomerulosclerosis. MK-801 treatment significantly inhibited Nox-dependent O(2)(.-) production induced by hHcys and reduced glomerular damage index as compared with vehicle-treated hHcys rats. Correspondingly, glomerular deposition of extracellular matrix components in hHcys rats was ameliorated by the administration of MK-801. Additionally, hHcys induced an increase in tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1) expression and a decrease in matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1 and MMP-9 activities, all of which were abolished by MK-801 treatment. In vitro studies showed that homocysteine increased Nox-dependent O(2)(.-) generation in rat mesangial cells, which was blocked by MK-801. Pretreatment with MK-801 also reversed homocysteine-induced decrease in MMP-1 activity and increase in TIMP-1 expression. These results support the view that the NMDA receptor may mediate Nox activation in the kidney during hHcys and thereby play a critical role in the development of hHcys-induced glomerulosclerosis.

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