Imperata cylindrica, a medicinal plant used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, has been used to treat chronic kidney disease. Extracts of I. cylindrica display anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, and anti-fibrotic properties. However, the active components of the extracts and their protective mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. In this study, we explored the ability of cylindrin, the main active compound extracted from I. cylindrica, to protect against renal fibrosis and to investigate the potential mechanisms involved. At high doses, cylindrin exerted protective effects against folic acid-induced kidney fibrosis in mice. Bioinformatic analysis predicted the LXR-α/PI3K/AKT pathway as a target of regulation by cylindrin. This was supported by our in vitro and in vivo results showing that cylindrin significantly downregulated the expression of LXR-α and phosphorylated PI3K/AKT in M2 macrophages and mouse renal tissues. Furthermore, high-dose cylindrin inhibited M2 polarization of IL-4-stimulated macrophages in vitro. Our results suggest that cylindrin alleviates renal fibrosis by attenuating M2 macrophage polarization through inhibition of the PI3K/AKT pathway via downregulation of LXR-α.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China ( 82000647 ), the GuangDong Basic and Applied Basic Research Foundation (No. 2020A1515111080 ) and the Discipline Construction Project of Guangdong Medical University ( 4SG21229G ).
- Chronic kidney disease
- Macrophage polarization
- Renal fibrosis
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article