Purpose : This study tested the hypothesis that peripheral blood-derived endothelial progenitor cell (PBDEPC) therapy can impede the deterioration of chronic kidney disease (CKD) induced by 5/6 nephrectomy in rats.
Materials and Methods : Adult-male rats (n = 30) were equally categorized into group 1 (sham control), group 2 (CKD only) and group 3 [CKD + PBDEPC (left intra-arterial (3.3 × 105) and penile vein (6.7 × 105) injections by day 14 after CKD induction].
Results: By day 60, kidney blood flow (KBF) was significantly lower in group 2 than that in groups 1 and 3, and significantly lower in group 3 than that in group 1, whereas the levels of serum creatinine, and kidney injury score and size showed an opposite pattern compared to that of KBF among all groups (all p < 0.001). Protein expressions of apoptotic (caspase 3, PARP), inflammatory (TNF-α, MMP-9), oxidative-stress (oxidized protein, NOX-1), fibrotic (Smad3, TGF-β), and hypoxic/ischemic cell-stress (HIF-1α, p-Akt) biomarkers showed an opposite pattern, whereas angiogenesis at protein (eNOS, CD31) and cellular (CD31+, CXCR4+) levels showed an identical pattern compared to that of blood flow in all groups (all p < 0.01). Other pro-angiogenic biomarkers (SDF-1α, CXCR4, VEGF) at protein and cellular levels and antioxidants (HO-1+, NQO 1, GR+) at cellular level showed progressive significant increase from groups 1 to 3 (all p < 0.001).
Conclusion: The results support that PBDEPC therapy effectively inhibits the propagation of CKD and the deterioration of renal function through enhancement of angiogenesis, blood flow, and anti-oxidative capacity as well as suppression of inflammation, oxidative stress, apoptosis, and fibrosis in a rodent model.