Klotho is a recently discovered antiaging gene.
The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that Klotho gene delivery attenuates the progression of spontaneous hypertension and renal damage in spontaneous hypertensive rats (SHRs).
An adeno-associated virus (AAV) carrying mouse Klotho full-length cDNA (AAV.mKL) was constructed for in vivo expression of Klotho.
Four groups of male SHRs and 1 group of sex- and age-matched Wistar-Kyoto rats (5 rats per group) were used.
Blood pressure was measured twice in all of the animals before gene delivery.
Four groups of SHRs received an IV injection of AAV.mKL, AAV.LacZ, AAV.GFP, and PBS, respectively.
The Wistar-Kyoto group received PBS and served as a control.
AAV.mKL stopped the further increase in blood pressure in SHRs, whereas blood pressures continued to increase in other SHR groups.
One single dose of AAV.mKL prevented the progression of spontaneous hypertension for at least 12 weeks (length of the study).
Klotho expression and production were suppressed in SHRs, which were reverted by AAV.mKL.
AAV.mKL increased plasma interleukin 10 levels but decreased Nox2 expression, NADPH oxidase activity, and superoxide production in kidneys and aortas in SHRs.
AAV.mKL abolished renal tubular atrophy and dilation, tubular deposition of proteinaceous material, glomerular collapse, and collagen deposition seen in SHRs, indicating that Klotho gene delivery attenuated renal damage.
Therefore, the suppressed Klotho expression may play a role in the progression of spontaneous hypertension and renal damage in SHRs.
AAV delivery of Klotho may offer a new approach for the long-term control of hypertension and for renoprotection.