1. College of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Chinese PLA General Hospital, 17th Heishanhujia, Haidian District, Beijing 100091, China
2. Department of Critical Care Medicine, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Peking Union Medical College & Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing 100730, China
3. Medical Science Research Center, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Peking Union Medical College & Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing 100730, China
4. Department of Nephrology, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Chinese PLA Institute of Nephrology, State Key Laboratory of Kidney Diseases, National Clinical Research Center for Kidney Diseases, Beijing 100853, China
#Dr. Pan Pan, Xudong Liu, and Lingling Wu contributed equally to this work.
Triggering receptor expressed by myeloid cells (TREM-1) is an amplifier of inflammatory responses triggered by bacterial or fungal infection. Soluble TREM-1 (sTREM-1) expression was found to be upregulated in sepsis-associated acute kidney injury (SA-AKI) and predicted to be a potential biomarker. However, the mechanism remains unclear. The human kidney-2 (HK-2) cell line was treated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and used to examine the potential roles of TREM-1 in apoptosis and autophagy. A cell viability assay was employed to assess the number of viable cells and as a measure of the proliferative index. The concentrations of sTREM-1, interleukin (IL)-1β, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα) and IL-6 in cell-free culture supernatants were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Western blot analysis was performed to analyze apoptosis, autophagy and the relevant signaling pathways. The results suggested that TREM-1 overexpression after LPS treatment decreased proliferation and increased apoptosis. The concentrations of sTREM-1, IL-1β, TNFα and IL-6 in cell-free culture supernatants were increased in the TREM-1 overexpression group after LPS treatment. Expression of the antiapoptotic gene Bcl-2 was downregulated in the TREM-1 overexpression group, while that of the proapoptotic genes Bax, cleaved caspase-3 and cleaved caspase-9 was upregulated. Overexpression of TREM-1 downregulated expression of the autophagy genes Beclin-1, Atg-5 and LC3b and increased the gene expression of p62, which inhibits autophagy. Conversely, treatment with TREM-1-specific shRNA had the opposite effects. The nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) signaling pathway (P-p65/p65 and P-IκBα/IκBα) in LPS-induced HK-2 cells was regulated by TREM-1. In summary, TREM-1 promoted apoptosis and inhibited autophagy in HK-2 cells in the context of LPS exposure potentially through the NF-κB pathway.
Keywords: Sepsis, AKI, TREM-1, Apoptosis, Autophagy, NF-κB signaling pathway