The activation of the nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) pathway plays a central role in the initiation and progression of inflammation, which contributes to the pathogenesis and progression of various human diseases including kidney, brain, and other diseases. Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), a serine protease regulating homeostasis of blood coagulation, fibrinolysis, and matrix degradation, has been shown to act as a cytokine to trigger profound receptor-mediated intracellular events, modulate the NF-κB pathway, and mediate organ dysfunction and injury. In this review, we focus on the current understanding of NF-κB and tPA signaling in the development and progression of kidney disease. Their roles in the nervous and cardiovascular system are also briefly discussed.
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