Oxidative stress damages cells. NaCl and urea are high in renal medullary interstitial fluid, which is necessary to concentrate urine, but which causes oxidative stress by elevating reactive oxygen species (ROS). Here, we measured the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutases (SODs, MnSOD, and Cu/ZnSOD) and catalase in mouse kidney that might mitigate the oxidative stress. MnSOD protein increases progressively from the cortex to the inner medulla, following the gradient of increasing NaCl and urea. MnSOD activity increases proportionately, but MnSOD mRNA does not. Water restriction, which elevates renal medullary NaCl and urea, increases MnSOD protein, accompanied by a proportionate increase in MnSOD enzymatic activity in the inner medulla, but not in the cortex or the outer medulla. In contrast, Cu/ZnSOD and TNF-α (an important regulator of MnSOD) do not vary between the regions of the kidney, and expression of catalase protein actually decreases from the cortex to the inner medulla. Water restriction increases activity of mitochondrial enzymes that catalyze production of ROS in the inner medulla, but reduces NADPH oxidase activity there. We also examined the effect of high NaCl and urea on MnSOD in Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells. High NaCl and high urea both increase MnSOD in MDCK cells. This increase in MnSOD protein apparently depends on the elevation of ROS since it is eliminated by the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine, and it occurs without raising osmolality when ROS are elevated by antimycin A or xanthine oxidase plus xanthine. We conclude that ROS, induced by high NaCl and urea, increase MnSODactivity in the renal inner medulla, which moderates oxidative stress.
- NADPH oxidase