INTERNATIONAL UROLOGY AND NEPHROLOGY, vol.37, no.3, pp.587-594, 2005 (SCI-Expanded)
Background: One of the major adverse effects of long term cyclosporine A ( CyA) administration is chronic nephrotoxicity. Several studies have suggested that alterations of the L-arginine (L-Arg) nitric oxide ( NO) pathway may be involved in the pathogenesis of CyA-induced kidney damage. Aim: We postulated that in vivo activation of L-Arg-NO pathway might have a beneficial effect on CyA-induced renal damage. Conditions of chronic NO enhancement was established with L-Arg supplementation and chronic NO blockade with N-nitro-L-Arg methyl ester ( L- NAME). We tested the hypothesis that, if CyA administration alters intrarenal NO synthesis, then exogenous L-Arg supplementation could limit renal injury, on the contrary, L- NAME, a potent competitive inhibitor of NO synthesis, could enhance CyA nephrotoxicity. Harmful effect of NO blockade indirectly supports the beneficial effect of NO in a model of CyA nephrotoxicity. Methods: Rats were administered vehicle (VH), CyA (7.5 mg/kg/day), CyA + L-Arg (2g/kg/day), CyA + L- NAME (5 mg/100ml/day), CyA + L-Arg + L- NAME, VH + L-Arg, VH + L-NAME and were sacrificed at the end of the experiment. Body weight, serum creatinine, blood urea nitrogen ( BUN) and NO levels were determined. Tubular injury and interstitial fibrosis were evaluated semiquantitatively using scoring systems on paraffin sections stained with hematoxylin/eosin (H/E), Masson's trichromic and periodic acid-Schiff (PAS). Results: The CyA group developed marked renal injury, characterized by a significant increase in serum creatinine and BUN, and histopathological alterations including tubular dilatation, vacuolization, necrosis, interstitial cell infiltration and tubulointerstitial fibrosis. CyA reduced serum NO level. L-Arg treatment significantly enhanced NO biosynthesis and protected animals from CyA-induced kidney damage. In contrast L- NAME strikingly reduced serum NO level, and worsened biochemical and histopathological alterations. Conclusion: Chronic CyA nephrotoxicity can be aggravated by NO blockade and ameliorated by NO enhancement suggesting that L-Arg supplementation may be protective in CyA nephrotoxicity.