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Ren Fail. 2011;33(2):207-16. doi: 10.3109/0886022X.2011.553979.

Notch2/Hes-1 pathway plays an important role in renal ischemia and reperfusion injury-associated inflammation and apoptosis and the γ-secretase inhibitor DAPT has a nephroprotective effect.

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Department of Nephrology, Xiangya Hospital of Central South University, Changsha, PR China.


This study aims to investigate the role of Notch pathway in the renal ischemia/reperfusion injury (IRI)-associated inflammation and apoptosis.


Male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into three groups: normal saline (NS)-treated sham rats, NS-treated ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) rats, and N-[N-(3,5-difluorophenacetyl-l-alanyl)]-S-phenylglycine t-butyl ester (DAPT) (a γ-secretase inhibitor) treated I/R rats. I/R rat model underwent nephrectomy of the right kidney and was subjected to 60 min of left renal pedicle occlusion followed by 24 h, 48 h, and 72 h of reperfusion, respectively. The levels of creatinine, urea nitrogen (BUN), interleukin (IL)-6, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α in serum samples and urinary N-acety-β-d-glucosaminidase (NAG) were assayed. Histological examinations were performed. The protein expression of Notch2, hairy/enhancer of split 1 (hes-1), NF-κB2, monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1, B-cell lymphoma 2 (bcl-2), and bcl-2-associated X (bax) were detected and the degree of apoptosis of tubular cells was evaluated.


Renal IR induced severe tubular damage, caused significant increases in the Scr, BUN, IL-6, TNF-α, urinary NAG, Notch2, hes-1, NF-κB2, MCP-1, ratio of tubule cells apoptosis, and reduction in the ratio of bcl-2 to bax. However, DAPT treatment significantly reduced the level of Scr, BUN, IL-6, TNF-α, and NAG. Thus, I/R activates Notch2/hes-1 signaling and DAPT treatment can ameliorate the severity of tubular damage after renal IRI, lower the expression of NF-κB2, MCP-1, and bax protein, increase the expression of bcl-2 protein, and reduce the ratio of terminal 2-deoxyuridine 5-triphosphate nick end-labeling-positive cells.


Notch signaling plays an important role in the renal IRI-associated inflammation and apoptosis. DAPT can protect against IRI through partly suppressing inflammation and apoptosis, which could constitute a new target for AKI.

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