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Objective: To observe the expressions of complement 3 (C3) and endothelial cell injury-associated proteins before and after cathepsin L (CTSL) blockade in renal injury of trichloroethylene (TCE) -sensitized mice. Methods: In June 2018, 41 SPF female BALB/c mice were divided respectively into blank control group (n=5) , vehicle control group (n=5) , TCE group (n=15) and TCE+CTSLi group (n=16) to establish trichloroethylene-sensitized mice model by pretreating the mice with intraperitoneal injection of CTSL inhibitor (CTSLi) and using TCE for the first and last challenge. According to the skin sensitization score, the mice were divided into positive group and negative group. 72 hours after the last challenge, the renal function indexes of the mice were detected, the pathological changes of mice kidneys were observed, and the glomerular C3 and endothelial cell damage-related proteins [vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1) , tight junction protein 5 (Claudin-5) and Syndecan-1] expression levels were detected. Results: The sensitization rates of mice in TCE group and TCE+CTSLi group were 53.3% (8/15) and 50.0% (8/16) , respectively, and there was no significant difference between the two groups (P>0.05) . Compared with vehicle control group and the corresponding TCE negative group, the serum creatinine (CRE) and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) levels of mice in the TCE positive group was increased, while the TCE positive group were higher than the TCE+CTSLi positive group (P<0.05) . Pathological examination showed obvious vacuolar degeneration and cellular edema in the mice kidney of the TCE positive group. In the TCE+CTSLi positive group, the above pathological damage was significantly improved. Immunohistochemical results showed that the expression of glomerular C3 fragment and VCAM-1 in TCE positive group were significantly higher than that of the vehicle control and TCE negative group (P<0.05) , while TCE+CTSLi positive group was significantly lower than that of TCE positive group (P<0.05) . Western blot test results showed that the relative expression levels of Claudin-5 and Syndecan-1 protein in the mice glomeruli of TCE positive group were significantly lower than those in the vehicle control group and TCE negative group (P<0.05) . Compared with the TCE positive group, the Claudin-5 protein was increased in the kidney of the TCE+CTSLi positive group, but the difference was not statistically significant (P>0.05) , while the Syndecan-1 protein was significantly increased in the TCE+CTSLi positive group (P<0.05) . Conclusion: CTSL may mediate the glomerular structural damage by cutting complement C3, activating the complement system, damaging endothelial cell structural protein Syndecan-1 and overexpressing adhesion molecule VCAM-1 in TCE-sensitized mice. Inhibiting the expression of CTSL may be an effective way to protect the glomerular integrity of structure and function in pharmacology.


M Huang, S P Chen, Y Y Dai, Y Yang, W Jiang, F Wang, J X Zhang, Q X Zhu. Cathepsin L mediates glomerular endothelial cell injury by cleavaging complement C3 in trichloroethylene-sensitized mice]. Zhonghua lao dong wei sheng zhi ye bing za zhi = Zhonghua laodong weisheng zhiyebing zazhi = Chinese journal of industrial hygiene and occupational diseases. 2021 Jan 20;39(1):5-11

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PMID: 33535331

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