Hydroxytyrosol decreases the oxidative and nitrosative stress levels and promotes angiogenesis through HIF-1 independent mechanisms in renal hypoxic cells
In the kidney, tissue oxygen tension is comparatively low and this renders this organ more prone to hypoxic injury. In fact, hypoxia has a central role in the development and progression of renal disease. The recovery from this situation is dependent on the degree to which sublethally damaged cells restore normal function. The master regulator of the hypoxic response is hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1). HIF-1 activity depends on the HIF-1α subunit level which is regulated by oxygen, nitric oxide (NO), reactive oxygen species and mTOR. Given the antioxidant and antinitrosative properties ascribed to hydroxytyrosol (HT), this study evaluates the impact of this olive oil polyphenol on the response to hypoxia in kidney cells. For this purpose, the human embryonic kidney HEK293T cell line was treated with HT and cultured under sublethal hypoxic conditions. Our results demonstrate that HT treatment decreases both, post-hypoxic reactive oxygen species and NO levels and, consequently, HIF-1α accumulation. However, HT does not affect mTOR activation or the factor inhibiting HIF level but promotes the expression of angiogenic proteins, suggesting that HT activates an adaptive response to hypoxia in a HIF-1α-independent pathway. In fact, this effect could be ascribed to the up-regulation of estrogen-related receptor α. In conclusion, our results suggest that in renal hypoxia, HT treatment might act as an effective preventive therapeutic approach to decrease stress and to improve the adaptive response to this pathological situation.