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Protective Effects of PGC-1α on the Blood Brain Barrier After Acute Kidney Injury


Blood brain barrier (BBB) disruption plays an important role in brain injury after acute kidney injury (AKI). However, its underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. Recent evidence has revealed that proper mitochondrial function is essential for BBB permeability. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator-1α (PGC-1α) is a key factor in mitochondrial biogenesis and function. This study was designed to investigate the role of PGC-1α in BBB injury after AKI and its related mechanisms. Mice received recombinant adenovirus encoding murine PGC-1α (100 μl, 1.0 × 109PFU/ml) or vehicle 5 days before renal I/R or sham operation. Twenty-four hours after the operation, brain, kidney and serum samples were collected for assessments. We found that mice suffering from renal I/R injury showed decreased PGC-1α levels in both the kidney and BBB. PGC-1α transfection resulted in increased PGC-1α level and mitochondrial transcripts in BBB at 24 h after AKI. PGC-1α transfection improved renal function, systemic inflammation and BBB permeability via both the paracellular and transcellular pathways. Further study suggested that PGC-1α overexpression elevated fatty acid oxidation related gene expression. Our findings demonstrate the importance of PGC-1α in AKI-induced BBB injury and suggest that it could be a therapeutic target for BBB repair via the regulation of mitochondrial function.

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This work was supported by grants from National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81601720).

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Correspondence to Hao Pan.

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Pan, H., Li, J., Zhou, Q. et al. Protective Effects of PGC-1α on the Blood Brain Barrier After Acute Kidney Injury. Neurochem Res (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11064-020-02985-5

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  • PGC-1α
  • Acute kidney injury
  • Blood brain barrier