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Curtailing side effects in chemotherapy: a tale of PKCÎ´ in cisplatin treatmentThe efficacy of chemotherapy is often limited by side effects in normal tissues. This is exemplified by cisplatin, a widely used anti-cancer drug that may induce serious toxicity in normal tissues and organs including the kidneys. Decades of research have delineated multiple signaling pathways that lead to kidney cell injury and death during cisplatin treatment. However, the same signaling pathways may also be activated in cancer cells and be responsible for the chemotherapeutic effects of cisplatin in tumors and, as a result, blockade of these pathways is expected to reduce the side effects as well as the anti-cancer efficacy. Thus, to effectively curtail the side effects, it is imperative to elucidate and target the cell killing mechanisms that are specific to normal (and not cancer) tissues. Our recent work identified protein kinase C δ (PKCδ) as a new and critical mediator of cisplatin-induced kidney cell injury and death. Importantly, inhibition of PKCδ enhanced the chemotherapeutic effects of cisplatin in several tumor models while alleviating the side effect in kidneys, opening a new avenue for normal tissue protection during chemotherapy.
Differential effects of taurine treatment and taurine deficiency on the outcome of renal ischemia reperfusion injuryTaurine possesses membrane stabilization, osmoregulatory and antioxidant properties, aspects of relevance to ischemic injury. We tested the hypothesis that body taurine status is a determinant of renal ischemic injury. Accordingly, renal function and structure were examined in control (C), taurine-treated (TT) and taurine deficient (TD) rats that were subjected to bilateral renal ischemia (60 min) followed by reperfusion (IR); sham operated rats served as controls. Baseline urine osmolality was greater in the TD group than in the control and the TT groups, an effect associated with increased renal aquaporin 2 level. The IR insult reduced urine osmolality (i.e., day-1 post insult); the TD/IR group displayed a more marked recovery in urine osmolality by day-6 post insult than the other two groups. Fluid and sodium excretions were lower in the TD/IR group, suggesting propensity to retention. Histopathological examination revealed the presence of tubular necrotic foci in the C/IR group than sham controls. While renal architecture of the TD/IR group showed features resembling sham controls, the TT/IR group showed dilated tubules, which lacked immunostaining for aquaporin 2, but not 1, suggestive of proximal tubule origin. Finally, assessment of cell proliferation and apoptosis revealed lower proliferation but higher apoptotic foci in the TT/IR group than other IR groups. Collectively, the results indicate that body taurine status is a major determinant of renal IR injury.