A1 adenosine receptor activation ameliorates ischemic AKI through the induction of renal proximal tubular sphingosine kinase-1. However, systemic adverse effects may limit A1 adenosine receptor-based therapy for ischemic AKI, indicating a need to identify alternative therapeutic targetswithin this pathway. Here, we evaluated the function of renal proximal tubular IL-11, a clinically approved hematopoietic cytokine, in A1 adenosine receptor-mediated induction of sphingosine kinase-1 and renal protection. Treatment of human proximal tubule epithelial (HK-2) cells with a selective A1 adenosine receptor agonist, chloro-N(6)- cyclopentyladenosine (CCPA), induced the expression of IL-11 mRNA and protein in an extracellular signal-regulated kinase-dependent manner, and administration of CCPA in mice induced renal synthesis of IL-11. Pretreatment with CCPA protected against renal ischemia-reperfusion injury in wild-type mice, but not in IL-11 receptor-deficient mice. Administration of an IL-11-neutralizing antibody abolished the renal protection provided by CCPA. Similarly, CCPAdid not induce renal IL-11 expression or protect against renal ischemia-reperfusion injury in mice lacking the renal proximal tubular A1 adenosine receptor. Finally, treatment with CCPA induced sphingosine kinase-1 in HK-2 cells and wild-type mice, but not in IL-11 receptor-deficient or renal proximal tubule A1 adenosine receptor-deficient mice. Taken together, these results suggest that induction of renal proximal tubule IL-11 is a critical intermediary in A1 adenosine receptor-mediated renal protection that warrants investigation as a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of ischemic AKI.
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