It is well established that Smad3 is a key downstream effector of transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) signaling in tissue fibrogenesis. We reported here that targetting Smad3 specifically with a Smad3 inhibitor SIS3 is able to prevent or halt the progression of renal fibrosis in a mouse model of unilateral ureteral obstructive nephropathy (UUO). We found that preventive treatment with SIS3 at the time of disease induction largely suppressed progressive renal fibrosis by inhibiting α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) + myofibroblast accumulation and extracellular matrix (collagen I (Col.I) and fibronectin (FN)) production. Importantly, we also found that treatment with SIS3 on established mouse model of UUO from day 4 after UUO nephropathy halted the progression of renal fibrosis. Mechanistically, the preventive and therapeutic effects of SIS3 on renal fibrosis were associated with the inactivation of Smad3 signaling and inhibition of TGF-β1 expression in the UUO kidney. In conclusion, results from the present study suggest that targetting Smad3 may be a specific and effective therapy for renal fibrosis.

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