Novel therapeutic interventions for preventing or attenuating kidney injury following ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI) remain a focus of significant interest. Currently, there are no definitive therapeutic or preventive approaches available for ischemic acute kidney injury (AKI). Our objective is to determine 1) whether renal arginase activity or expression is increased in renal IRI, and 2) whether arginase plays a role in development of renal IRI. The impact of arginase activity and expression on renal damage was evaluated in male C57BL/6J (wild type) and arginase-2 (ARG2)-deficient (Arg2-/-) mice subjected to bilateral renal ischemia for 28 min, followed by reperfusion for 24 h. ARG2 expression and arginase activity significantly increased following renal IRI, paralleling the increase in kidney injury. Pharmacological blockade or genetic deficiency of Arg2 conferred kidney protection in renal IRI. Arg2-/- mice had significantly attenuated kidney injury and lower plasma creatinine and blood urea nitrogen levels after renal IRI. Blocking arginases using S-(2-boronoethyl)-L-cysteine (BEC) 18 h before ischemia mimicked arginase deficiency by reducing kidney injury, histopathological changes and kidney injury mar-ker-1 expression, renal apoptosis, kidney inflammatory cell recruitment and inflammatory cytokines, and kidney oxidative stress; increasing kidney nitric oxide (NO) production and endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) phosphorylation, kidney peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator-1α expression, and mitochondrial ATP; and preserving kidney mitochondrial ultrastructure compared with vehicle-treated IRI mice. Importantly, BEC-treated eNOS-knockout mice failed to reduce blood urea nitrogen and creatinine following renal IRI. These findings indicate that ARG2 plays a major role in renal IRI, via an eNOS-dependent mechanism, and that blocking ARG2 activity or expression could be a novel therapeutic approach for prevention of AKI.
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