Thermal therapy has become a non-pharmacological therapy in clinical settings especially for cardiovascular diseases. However, the practical role of thermal therapy on chronic kidney disease remains elusive. We performed this study to investigate whether 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 weeks, following subtotal nephrectomy (Nx) or sham operation (Sh). We revealed that MTS alleviated renal impairment indicated by serum creatinine and albuminuria in Nx groups. Besides, Nx+MTS group showed attenuated tubular histological changes and reduced urinary neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin excretion approximately by half compared to Nx+RT group. Increased apoptotic signaling, such as TUNEL-positive cell count and cleavage of caspase 3, and enhanced oxidative stress were significantly reduced in Nx+MTS group compared to Nx+RT group. These changes were accompanied with the restoration of kidney manganese superoxide dismutase levels by MTS. Heat shock protein 27 (Hsp27), a key molecular chaperone, was phosphorylated by MTS only in Nx kidney rather than Sh kidney. MTS also tended to increase the phosphorylation of p38 MAPK and Akt in Nx kidney, possibly associated with the activation of Hsp27. Taken together, these results suggest that modified mild thermal therapy can protect against renal injury in a rodent model of chronic kidney disease.
- mild thermal stimulation
- tubular injury
- oxidative stress
- Copyright © 2015, American Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology