Thermal therapy has become a nonpharmacological therapy in clinical settings, especially for cardiovascular diseases. However, the practical role of thermal therapy on chronic kidney disease remains elusive. We performed the present study to investigate whether a modified thermal protocol, repeated mild thermal stimulation (MTS), could affect renal damages in chronic kidney disease using a mouse renal ablation model. Mice were subjected to MTS or room temperature (RT) treatment once daily for 4 wk after subtotal nephrectomy (Nx) or sham operation (Sh). We revealed that MTS alleviated renal impairment as indicated by serum creatinine and albuminuria in Nx groups. In addition, the Nx + MTS group showed attenuated tubular histological changes and reduced urinary neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin excretion approximately by half compared with the Nx + RT group. Increased apoptotic signaling, such as TUNEL-positive cell count and cleavage of caspase 3, as well as enhanced oxidative stress were significantly reduced in the Nx + MTS group compared with the Nx + RT group. These changes were accompanied with the restoration of kidney Mn-SOD levels by MTS. Heat shock protein 27, a key molecular chaperone, was phosphorylated by MTS only in Nx kidneys rather than in Sh kidneys. MTS also tended to increase the phosphorylation of p38 MAPK and Akt in Nx kidneys, possibly associated with the activation of heat shock protein 27. Taken together, these results suggest that modified MTS can protect against renal injury in a rodent model of chronic kidney disease.
- mild thermal stimulation
- tubular injury
- oxidative stress
- Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society
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