Intravenous adipose mesenchymal stem cells (ADSCs) attenuate renal ischemia/reperfusion (IR) injury but with major drawbacks, including the lack of a specific homing effect after systemic infusion, cell trapping in the lung, and early cell death in the damaged microenvironment. We examined whether intrarenal arterial transplantation of dexmedetomidine (DEX) preconditioning ADSC-derived microvesicles (DEX-MVs) could promote further therapeutic potential to reduce renal IR injury. We evaluated the effect of DEX-MVs on NRK-52E cells migration, hypoxia/reoxygenation (H/R)-induced cell death, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) amount and renal IR model in rats. IR was established by bilateral 45 min ischemia followed by 4 h reperfusion. Intrarenal MVs or DEX-MVs were administered prior to ischemia. Renal oxidative stress, hemodynamics and function, western blot, immunohistochemistry, and tubular injury scores were determined. The miR-122-5p expression in kidneys was analyzed using microarrays and quantitative RT-PCR and its action target was predicted by TargetScan. DEX-MVs were more efficient than MVs to increase migration capability and to further decrease H/R-induced cell death and ROS level in NRK-52E cells. Consistently, DEX-MVs were better than MV in increasing CD44 expression, improving IR-depressed renal hemodynamics and renal erythropoietin expression, inhibiting IR-enhanced renal ROS level, tubular injury score, miR-122-5p expression, pNF-κB expression, Bax/caspase 3/poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP)-mediated apoptosis, blood urea nitrogen, and creatinine levels. The use of NRK-52E cells confirmed that miR-122-5p mimic via inhibiting erythropoietin expression exacerbated Bax-mediated apoptosis, whereas miR-122-5p inhibitor via upregulating erythropoietin and Bcl-2 expression reduced apoptosis. In summary, intrarenal arterial DEX-MV conferred further therapeutic potential to reduce renal IR injury through the miR-122-5p/erythropoietin/apoptosis axis.
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