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Dual actions on gout flare and acute kidney injury along with enhanced renal transporter activities by Yokuininto, a Kampo medicine

Lee, Seung Hoon, Lee, Ho-Sung, Park, Gunhyuk, Oh, Sung-Man, Oh, Dal-Seok
BMC complementary and alternative medicine 2019 v.19 no.1 pp. 57
Xenopus, alternative medicine, biomarkers, blood serum, cell viability, cytotoxicity, enzyme inhibition, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, ephedrine, excretion, gout, human cell lines, humans, hyperuricemia, inflammation, interleukin-1alpha, kidney diseases, kidneys, lipopolysaccharides, macrophages, medicine, mice, neutrophils, nitric oxide, oocytes, osteoarthritis, pseudoephedrine, rheumatoid arthritis, secretion, uric acid, xanthine oxidase
BACKGROUND: Prolonged hyperuricemia is associated with kidney disease or gouty arthritis. Whether Yokuininto, a commercially available Kampo medicine that has been used for osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, can exhibit anti-hyperuricemic and inflammatory effects remains elusive. In the present study, Yokuininto exerts multiple homeostatic action on serum uric acid (sUA) levels by blocking pro-inflammatory cytokine activities and inducing uricosuric function with anti-renal injury functions. METHODS: The sUA was measured in potassium oxonate (PO)-administered mice. Renal transporter uptake assays were performed using HEK293 cells overexpressing OAT1, OCT2 or OAT3, MDCKII cells overexpressing BCRP, and Xenopus oocytes overexpressing OAT3 or URAT1. Immunoblot and ELISA assays were performed to detect the molecules (OAT3, GLUT9, XO, NGAL, KIM-1 and IL-1α) in various human kidney cell lines. Cell viability analysis was performed to evaluate the cytotoxicity of Yokuininto [Ephedrine + pseudoephedrine 21.94%; Paeoniflorin 35.40% and Liquiritin 16.21% relatively measured by the ratios (HR-MS2 intensity / HR-MS1 intensity)]. RESULTS: Yokuininto (300 mg/kg) significantly reduced sUA by approximately 44% compared to that of PO-induced mice. The OAT3 levels were decreased in PO-induced hyperuricemic condition, whereas the GLUT9 transporter levels were markedly increased. However, PO did not alter the levels of URAT1. Yokuininto significantly inhibited the lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced secretion of IL-1α by approximately 63.2% compared to the LPS-treated macrophages. In addition, Yokuininto inhibited nitric oxide synthesis by approximately 33.7 (500 µg/mL) and 64.6% (1000 µg/mL), compared to that of LPS-treated macrophages. Yokuininto markedly increased xanthine oxidase inhibition activity. Furthermore, interleukin-1α (IL-1α), a pro-inflammatory cytokine, elevated neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) and kidney injury molecule-1 (KIM-1) activities in LLC-PK1 cells. Expression of renal inflammatory biomarkers, NGAL and KIM-1, was reduced under the Yokuininto treatment by 36.9 and 72.1%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Those results suggest that Yokuininto may suppress inflammation and protect against kidney dysfunction in hyperuricemia. The present findings demonstrated that Yokuininto lowered sUA through both increased uric acid excretion and decreased uric acid production. Our results may provide a basis for the protection of prolonged hyperuricemia-associated kidney injury with uric acid-lowering agents such as Yokuininto.