Proximal tubule-targeted heme oxygenase-1 in cisplatin-induced acute kidney injury

Academic Article


  • Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) is a cytoprotective enzyme that catalyzes the breakdown of heme to biliverdin, carbon monoxide, and iron. The beneficial effects of HO-1 expression are not merely due to degradation of the pro-oxidant heme but are also credited to the by-products that have potent, protective effects, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and prosurvival properties. This is well reflected in the preclinical animal models of injury in both renal and nonrenal settings. However, excessive accumulation of the by-products can be deleterious and lead to mitochondrial toxicity and oxidative stress. Therefore, use of the HO system in alleviating injury merits a targeted approach. Based on the higher susceptibility of the proximal tubule segment of the nephron to injury, we generated transgenic mice using cre-lox technology to enable manipulation of HO-1 (deletion or overexpression) in a cell-specific manner. We demonstrate the validity and feasibility of these mice by breeding them with proximal tubule-specific Cre transgenic mice. Similar to previous reports using chemical modulators and global transgenic mice, we demonstrate that whereas deletion of HO-1, specifically in the proximal tubules, aggravates structural and functional damage during cisplatin nephrotoxicity, selective overexpression of HO-1 in proximal tubules is protective. At the cellular level, cleaved caspase-3 expression, a marker of apoptosis, and p38 signaling were modulated by HO-1. Use of these transgenic mice will aid in the evaluation of the effects of cell-specific HO-1 expression in response to injury and assist in the generation of targeted approaches that will enhance recovery with reduced, unwarranted adverse effects.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Bolisetty S; Traylor A; Joseph R; Zarjou A; Agarwal A
  • Start Page

  • F385
  • End Page

  • F394
  • Volume

  • 310
  • Issue

  • 5