For nearly five decades, cisplatin has played an important role as a standard chemotherapeutic agent and been prescribed to 10–20% of all cancer patients. Although nephrotoxicity associated with platinum-based agents is well recognized, treatment of cisplatin-induced acute kidney injury is mainly supportive and no specific mechanism-based prophylactic approach is available to date. Here, we postulated that systemically delivered rapamycin perfluorocarbon nanoparticles (PFC NP) could reach the injured kidneys at sufficient and sustained concentrations to mitigate cisplatin-induced acute kidney injury and preserve renal function. Using fluorescence microscopic imaging and fluorine magnetic resonance imaging/spectroscopy, we illustrated that rapamycin-loaded PFC NP permeated and were retained in injured kidneys. Histologic evaluation and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) confirmed that renal structure and function were preserved 48 h after cisplatin injury. Similarly, weight loss was slowed down. Using western blotting and immunofluorescence staining, mechanistic studies revealed that rapamycin PFC NP significantly enhanced autophagy in the kidney, reduced the expression of intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) and vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1), as well as decreased the expression of the apoptotic protein Bax, all of which contributed to the suppression of apoptosis that was confirmed with TUNEL staining. In summary, the delivery of an approved agent such as rapamycin in a PFC NP format enhances local delivery and offers a novel mechanism-based prophylactic therapy for cisplatin-induced acute kidney injury.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6086
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 2023


  • acute kidney injury
  • apoptosis
  • autophagy
  • cisplatin
  • fluorine magnetic resonance imaging
  • inflammation
  • magnetic resonance spectroscopy
  • perfluorocarbon nanoparticles
  • rapamycin


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