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Open AccessArticle

Effects of Periostracum Cicadae on Cytokines and Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins in an IgA Nephropathy Rat Model

Xinjiang Academy of Forestry, Urumqi 830000, China
Economic Forest Product Quality Inspection and Testing Center of the State Forestry Administration (Urumqi), Urumqi 830052, China
Xinjiang Medical University, Urumqi 830000, China
Harbin Medical University, Harbin 150081, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(6), 1599;
Received: 26 March 2018 / Revised: 4 May 2018 / Accepted: 22 May 2018 / Published: 29 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry)
Periostracum cicadae, the cast-off shell of the cicada Cryptotympana pustulata Fabricius, is used in traditional Chinese medicine for its diaphoretic, anticonvulsive, sedative, antipyretic, and antiallergic effects. However, the exact pathogenesis of immunoglobulin A nephropathy (IgAN) remains unclear, thereby hindering investigations to identify novel therapeutic agents. A rat IgAN model was established by administration of bovine serum albumin, lipopolysaccharide, and carbon tetrachloride, which simultaneously established blood stasis and a heat syndrome model. The animals were sacrificed to detect changes in protein levels in urine and blood. Immunofluorescence was performed to assess IgA deposition in the glomeruli. Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), and interleukin 6 (IL-6) levels were measured in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Hematology and eosin, periodic acid-Schiff, TUNEL (TdT-mediated dUTP Nick-End Labeling), and immunohistochemical staining were performed to evaluate histopathological changes in kidney tissues. Additionally, target-related proteins were measured by Western blotting. Periostracum cicadae resulted in a reduction in blood and urine protein levels. Serum TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6 levels significantly decreased in the periostracum cicadae-treated groups compared to the IgAN group. Furthermore, a reduction in MCP-1 (Monocyte Chemotactic Protein-1), TLR4 ((Toll-Like Receptor 4)), and IgA expression levels and a dose-dependent increase in caspase 3 expression were observed in response to periostracum cicadae treatment. TGF-β1(Transforming Growth Factor-β) levels decreased, whereas that of Fas increased in the kidney tissues of the periostracum cicadae-treated groups. The findings of the present study indicate that periostracum cicadae induces apoptosis and improves kidney inflammation and fibrosis in IgA nephropathy rat models. View Full-Text
Keywords: periostracum cicadae; IgA nephropathy; inflammation; fibrosis; apoptosis periostracum cicadae; IgA nephropathy; inflammation; fibrosis; apoptosis
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Yang, L.; Wang, Y.; Nuerbiye, A.; Cheng, P.; Wang, J.-H.; Kasimu, R.; Li, H. Effects of Periostracum Cicadae on Cytokines and Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins in an IgA Nephropathy Rat Model. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19, 1599.

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