Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-7 protects sepsis-induced acute kidney injury (AKI). Dexmedetomidine (DEX), an α2-adrenoceptor (α2-AR) agonist, has anti-inflammatory effects. We investigated the protective effects of DEX on sepsis-induced AKI and the expression of BMP-7 and histone deacetylases (HDACs). In vitro, the effects of DEX or trichostatin A (TSA, an HDAC inhibitor) on TNF-α, monocyte chemotactic protein (MCP-1), BMP-7, and HDAC mRNA expression in LPS-stimulated rat renal tubular epithelial NRK52E cells, was determined using real-time PCR. In vivo, mice were intraperitoneally injected with DEX (25 μg/kg) or saline immediately and 12 h after cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) surgery. Twenty-four hours after CLP, we examined kidney injury and renal TNF-α, MCP-1, BMP-7, and HDAC expression. Survival was monitored for 120 h. LPS increased HDAC2, HDAC5, TNF-α, and MCP-1 expression, but decreased BMP-7 expression in NRK52E cells. DEX treatment decreased the HDAC2, HDAC5, TNF-α, and MCP-1 expression, but increased BMP-7 and acetyl histone H3 expression, whose effects were blocked by yohimbine, an α2-AR antagonist. With DEX treatment, the LPS-induced TNF-α expression and cell death were attenuated in scRNAi-NRK52E but not BMP-7 RNAi-NRK52E cells. In CLP mice, DEX treatment increased survival and attenuated AKI. The expression of HDAC2, HDAC5, TNF-α, and MCP-1 mRNA in the kidneys of CLP mice was increased, but BMP-7 was decreased. However, DEX treatment reduced those changes. DEX reduces sepsis-induced AKI by decreasing TNF-α and MCP-1 and increasing BMP-7, which is associated with decreasing HDAC2 and HDAC5, as well as increasing acetyl histone H3.
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