Niaoduqing granules inhibits TGF-β1-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition in human renal tubular epithelial HK-2 cells

Chu Ying Huo, Hua Yi Yang, Wei Min Ning, Lin Zhong Yu, Chun Lin Fan, Jing Yu Quan, Li Er Deng, Zhi Ling Yu*, Jun Shan Liu*, Hui Hui Cao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


Objective: Chronic renal failure (CRF) is a worldwide public health burden. Niaoduqing granules (NDQ) is widely used for CRF treatment in China. However, the underlying mechanism of NDQ is not fully studied. This study is aimed to investigate whether NDQ ameliorate CRF by inhibiting transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1)-induced EMT in human renal tubular epithelial HK-2 cells.

Methods: 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenylterazolium bromide assay and colony formation assay were used to investigate the cytotoxicity of NDQ in HK-2 cells. Morphological changes of HK-2 cells after TGF-β1 or/and NDQ treatment were observed under a microscope. Wound-healing, migration and invasion assays were performed to determine the cell movement, migratory and invasive abilities, respectively. Western blot analysis was carried out to examine the protein levels of TGF-β receptor I (TβRI) and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-associated factors. Fluorescence confocal microscopy was applied to observe the organization of filamentous actin.

Results: NDQ suppressed TβRI expression dose-dependently. NDQ inhibited TGF-β1-stimulated EMT in HK-2 cells, supported by the evidences that NDQ prevented morphology change, attenuated cell migration and invasion, downregulated EMT factors and reorganized filamentous actin distribution in TGF-β1-stimulated HK-2 cells.

Conclusions: NDQ attenuates chronic renal failure which may be associated with inhibition of TβRI expression and EMT process.
Original languageEnglish
Article number14
Number of pages9
JournalTMR Modern Herbal Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2022

User-Defined Keywords

  • Chronic renal failure
  • Niaoduqing granules
  • TGF-β1
  • Epithelial-mesenchymal transition
  • TGF-β type I receptor


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