Expression of Hsp70 in kidney cells exposed to ochratoxin A
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Ochratoxin A (OTA) is a possible etiological agent of endemic nephropathy, a chronic renal disease with high prevalence in limited geographic areas. Ochratoxicosis has many characteristics of different pathological states in which heat shock proteins (Hsps) are usually induced. The most inducible heat shock proteins belong to the Hsp70 family. We determined the level of expression of Hsp70 by the Western blot analysis in kidneys of rats treated with low doses of OTA and in LLC-PK1 and MDCK cells exposed to OTA. Estimation of cell viability and release of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) confirmed the toxic effects of OTA on cultured cells. OTA affects the relative distribution of two Hsp70 isoforms (68-kDa and 74-kDa isoforms), but does not change total amount of Hsp70 in rat kidney. No changes in the Hsp70 level were detected in LLC-PK1 and MDCK cells treated with OTA, although the cells were seriously injured, as was seen from the reduced cell viability and increased release of LDH. Both cell lines were capable of having Hsp70 induced following a heat shock. However, exposure of the cells to OTA before the heat shock challenge prevented Hsp70 induction. Results of the study show that OTA does not induce Hsp70 in rat kidney or in cultured kidney cells. The absence of Hsp70 protective effects in the cells and tissues might be a possible explanation for the cumulative destructive effects of OTA and a silent onset of endemic nephropathy in humans and of OTA-induced experimental nephrotoxicity in animals.
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