Backgrounds/Aims: The present study explores the potential of chronic treatment with the Foresaid X receptor (FXR) agonist obeticholic acid (OCA), which inhibits oxidative stress-related pathogenesis, in ascitic cirrhotic rats with hepatorenal syndrome (HRS) developed 6 weeks after bile duct ligation (BDL). Methods: Systemic, splanchnic, and renal hemodynamics and pathogenic cascades were measured in ascitic BDL and sham rats receiving 2-weeks of either vehicle or OCA treatments (sham-OCA and BDL-OCA groups), and NRK-52E cells, rat kidney tubular epithelial cells. Results: Chronic OCA treatment significantly normalized portal hypertension, glomerular filtration rate, urine output, renal blood flow; decreased ascites, renal vascular resistance, serum creatinine, and the release of renal tubular damage markers, including urinary neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (uNGAL) and kidney injury moleculae-1 (uKim-1) in BDL-OCA rats. In the BDL group, inhibition of the renal oxidative stress (8-iso-PGF2α)-activated cyclooxygenase-thromboxane A2 [COX-TXA2] pathway, apoptosis, and tubular injury accompanied by a decrease in hyper-responsiveness to the vasoconstrictor 8-iso-PGF2α in perfused kidneys. In vitro experiments revealed that 8-iso-PGF2α induced oxidative stress, release of reactive oxygen species, and cell apoptosis, which were reversed by concomitant incubation with the FXR agonist. Conclusions: Through the inhibition of renal 8-iso-PGF2α production and the down-regulation of the COX-TXA2 pathway, our study suggests that chronic OCA treatment can ameliorate the HRS in ascitic cirrhotic rats. Thus, OCA is an agent with antioxidative stress, antivasoconstrictive, antiapoptotic properties which benefit ascitic, cirrhotic rats with systemic, hepatic, and renal abnormalities.

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