This study had two objectives: 1) to determine whether preconditioning cultured proximal tubular cells (PTCs) with pharmacological activators of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) protects these cells from apoptosis induced by metabolic stress in vitro and 2) to assess the effects of preconditioning mice with these agents on the severity of ischemic acute renal kidney injury (AKI) in vivo. We demonstrate that preconditioning PTCs with 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide-1-β-d-ribofuranoside (AICAR) or A-769662 reduces apoptosis of PTCs induced by subsequent stress. We also show that the reduction in cell death during metabolic stress associated with pretreatment by AMPK activators is associated with an increase in the cytosolic level of ATP, which is mediated by an increase in the rate of glycolysis. In addition, we provide evidence that the effect of AMPK activators on glycolysis is mediated, at least in part, by an increased uptake of glucose, and by the induction of hexokinase II (HK II) expression. Our data also show that the increased in HK II expression associated with preconditioning with AMPK activators is mediated by the activation (phosphorylation) of the cAMP-response element binding protein (CREB). We also provide entirely novel evidence that that A-79662 is substantially more effective than AICAR in mediating these alterations in PTCs in vitro. Finally, we demonstrate that preconditioning mice with AICAR or A-769662 substantially reduces the severity of renal dysfunction and tubular injury in a model of ischemic AKI in vivo and that the efficacy of AICAR and A-768662 in ameliorating ischemic AKI in vivo is comparable.
- AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK)
- ischemic AKI
- glycolysis, hexokinases
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