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PPAR Research
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 720383, 11 pages
Research Article

Huaier Cream Protects against Adriamycin-Induced Nephropathy by Restoring Mitochondrial Function via PGC-1 Upregulation

1Department of Nephrology, Nanjing Children’s Hospital, Nanjing Medical University, 72 Guangzhou Road, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210029, China
2Institute of Pediatrics, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210008, China

Received 7 August 2014; Accepted 1 September 2014

Academic Editor: Yue Zhang

Copyright © 2015 Ruochen Che et al. 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.


The mechanism by which Huaier, a Chinese traditional medicine, protects podocytes remains unclear. We designed the present study to examine whether mitochondrial function restored by PGC-1 serves as the major target of Huaier cream in protecting ADR nephropathy. After ADR administration, the podocytes exhibited remarkable cell injury and mitochondrial dysfunction. Additionally, ADR also reduced PGC-1 both in vivo and in vitro. Following the Huaier treatment, the notable downregulation of PGC-1 and its downstream molecule mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM) were almost entirely blocked. Correspondingly, Huaier markedly ameliorated ADR-induced podocyte injury and mitochondrial dysfunction in both rat kidneys and incubated cells as it inhibited the decrease of nephrin and podocin expression, mtDNA copy number, MMP, and ATP content. Transmission electron microscopy result also showed that Huaier protected mitochondria against ADR-induced severe mitophagy and abnormal changes of ultrastructural morphology. In conclusion, Huaier can protect podocytes against ADR-induced cytotoxicity possibly by reversing the dysfunction of mitochondria via PGC-1 overexpression, which may be a novel therapeutic drug target in glomerular diseases.