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Sci Rep. 2015 Nov 20;5:16849. doi: 10.1038/srep16849.

Dexmedetomidine Inhibits TLR4/NF-κB Activation and Reduces Acute Kidney Injury after Orthotopic Autologous Liver Transplantation in Rats.

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The Third Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, Department of Anesthesiology, Guangzhou, 510630, China.
The Third Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, Department of Pathology, Guangzhou, 510630, China.
The First Affiliated Hospital, University of South China, Department of Anesthesiology, Hengyang, 421001, China.
Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, University of Hong Kong, Department of Anesthesiology, 21 Sassoon Road, Hong Kong SAR, China.


Patients who undergo orthotopic liver transplantation often sustain acute kidney injury(AKI). The toll-like receptor 4(TLR4)/Nuclear factor-кB(NF-кB) pathway plays a role in AKI. Dexmedetomidine(Dex) has been shown to attenuate AKI. The current study aimed to determine whether liver transplantation-induced AKI is associated with inflammatory response, and to assess the effects of dexmedetomidine pretreatment on kidneys in rats following orthotopic autologous liver transplantation(OALT). Seventy-seven adult male rats were randomized into 11 groups. Kidney tissue histopathology and levels of blood urea nitrogen(BUN) and serum creatinine(SCr) were evaluated. Levels of TLR4, NF-κB, tumor necrosis factor-α, and interleukin-1β levels were measured in kidney tissues. OALT resulted in significant kidney functional impairment and tissue injury. Pre-treatment with dexmedetomidine decreased BUN and SCr levels and reduced kidney pathological injury, TLR4 expression, translocation of NF-κB, and cytokine production. The effects of dexmedetomidine were reversed by pre-treatment with atipamezole and BRL44408, but not ARC239. These results were confirmed by using α2A-adrenergic receptor siRNA which reversed the protective effect of dexmedetomidine on attenuating NRK-52E cells injury induced by hypoxia reoxygenation. In conclusion, Dexmedetomidine-pretreatment attenuates OALT-induced AKI in rats which may be contributable to its inhibition of TLR4/MyD88/NF-κB pathway activation. The renoprotective effects are related to α2A-adrenergic receptor subtypes.

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