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Autophagy in Chronic Kidney Diseases

Department of General Surgery, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan City 333, Taiwan
Department of Cardiology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Taoyuan City 333, Taiwan
Institute of Cellular and System Medicine, National Health Research Institutes, Zhunan 350, Taiwan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Cells 2019, 8(1), 61;
Received: 8 December 2018 / Revised: 8 January 2019 / Accepted: 9 January 2019 / Published: 16 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Autophagy in Tissue Injury and Homeostasis)
PDF [2410 KB, uploaded 18 January 2019]


Autophagy is a cellular recycling process involving self-degradation and reconstruction of damaged organelles and proteins. Current evidence suggests that autophagy is critical in kidney physiology and homeostasis. In clinical studies, autophagy activations and inhibitions are linked to acute kidney injuries, chronic kidney diseases, diabetic nephropathies, and polycystic kidney diseases. Oxidative stress, inflammation, and mitochondrial dysfunction, which are implicated as important mechanisms underlying many kidney diseases, modulate the autophagy activation and inhibition and lead to cellular recycling dysfunction. Abnormal autophagy function can induce loss of podocytes, damage proximal tubular cells, and glomerulosclerosis. After acute kidney injuries, activated autophagy protects tubular cells from apoptosis and enhances cellular regeneration. Patients with chronic kidney diseases have impaired autophagy that cannot be reversed by hemodialysis. Multiple nephrotoxic medications also alter the autophagy signaling, by which the mechanistic insights of the drugs are revealed, thus providing the unique opportunity to manage the nephrotoxicity of these drugs. In this review, we summarize the current concepts of autophagy and its molecular aspects in different kidney cells pathophysiology. We also discuss the current evidence of autophagy in acute kidney injury, chronic kidney disease, toxic effects of drugs, and aging kidneys. In addition, we examine therapeutic possibilities targeting the autophagy system in kidney diseases. View Full-Text
Keywords: autophagy; kidney diseases; oxidative stress; inflammation; mitochondria autophagy; kidney diseases; oxidative stress; inflammation; mitochondria

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Lin, T.-A.; Wu, V. .-C.; Wang, C.-Y. Autophagy in Chronic Kidney Diseases. Cells 2019, 8, 61.

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