Department of Urology, First affiliated hospital, Medical School of Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, China.
Purpose: Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) is well documented to exert destructive effect to renal cells and its mechanism is not clear. Autophagy is one of cell basic response for stressful conditions and it is important to determine cell's fate. The aim of this study is to elucidate the role of autophagy in the process of shock wave-induced renal cells injury.
Methods: NRK-52E cell, a rat renal tubular epithelial cell, was exposed to shock wave at the voltage of 14KV. GFP-LC3 puncta was used to monitor Autophagy flux in the process of shock wave injury. Autophagic relative proteins, such as light chain 3 (LC3), beclin-1 and p62, were also examined. Cell variability and apoptosis were detected when inhibition autophagy with 3-methyladenine (3MA) or stimulating its activity with rapamycin during the process of shock wave injury. The role of Akt/ GSK-3β and its connection with autophagy in the process of shock wave injury were also investigated.
Results: Shock wave was confirmed to activate autophagy in renal cells, which was manifested in LC3-II turnover, beclin-1 induction and degradation of p62. Inhibition autophagy enhanced cell damage or apoptosis, whereas its stimulating was able to exert protection from shock wave injury. Akt/ GSK-3β, a cell-survival signaling pathway, can also be activated during the process. And its activation could be suppressed by blockade autophagy.
Conclusion: Autophagy is a self-protective response for renal cells from shock wave injury. The cyto-protection of autophagy may be connected with modulation Akt/ GSK-3β pathway.
Keywords: shock wave, autophagy, renal tubular epithelial cell, apoptosis, Akt/ GSK-3β.