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The effects of a selective inhibitor of c-Fos/activator protein-1 on endotoxin-induced acute kidney injury in mice

Hiroyuki Miyazaki1*, Jun Morishita1, Masaaki Ueki1, Kahoru Nishina1, Shunichi Shiozawa2 and Nobuhiro Maekawa1

Author affiliations

1 Division of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo, 650-0017, Japan

2 Department of Medicine, Kyushu University Beppu Hospital, 4546 Tsurumihara, Beppu, Oita, 874-0838, Japan

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Citation and License

BMC Nephrology 2012, 13:153  doi:10.1186/1471-2369-13-153

Published: 23 November 2012



Sepsis has been identified as the most common cause of acute kidney injury (AKI) in intensive care units. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induces the production of several proinflammatory cytokines including tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, a major pathogenetic factor in septic AKI. c-Fos/activator protein (AP)-1 controls the expression of these cytokines by binding directly to AP-1 motifs in the cytokine promoter regions. T-5224 is a new drug developed by computer-aided drug design that selectively inhibits c-Fos/AP-1 binding to DNA. In this study, we tested whether T-5224 has a potential inhibitory effect against LPS-induced AKI, by suppressing the TNF-alpha inflammatory response and other downstream effectors.


To test this hypothesis, male C57BL/6 mice at 7 weeks old were divided into three groups (control, LPS and T-5224 groups). Mice in the control group received saline intraperitoneally and polyvinylpyrrolidone solution orally. Mice in the LPS group were injected intraperitoneally with a 6 mg/kg dose of LPS and were given polyvinylpyrrolidone solution immediately after LPS injection. In the T-5224 group, mice were administered T-5224 orally at a dose of 300 mg/kg immediately after LPS injection. Serum concentrations of TNF-alpha, interleukin (IL)-1beta, IL-6 and IL-10 were measured by ELISA. Moreover, the expression of intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1 mRNA in kidney was examined by quantitative real-time RT-PCR. Finally, we evaluated renal histological changes.


LPS injection induced high serum levels of TNF-alpha, IL-1beta and IL-6. However, the administration of T-5224 inhibited the LPS-induced increase in these cytokine levels. The serum levels of IL-10 in the LPS group and T-5224 group were markedly elevated compared with the control group. T-5224 also inhibited LPS-induced ICAM-1 mRNA expression. Furthermore histological studies supported an anti-inflammatory role of T-5224.


In endotoxin-induced AKI, T-5224 inhibited the production of TNF-alpha and other downstream effectors. In contrast, T-5224 did not inhibit IL-10, an anti-inflammatory cytokine. These data support that the use of T-5224 is a promising new treatment for septic kidney injury.

Sepsis; Acute kidney injury; TNF-α; Lipopolysaccharide; Activator protein-1