Outer retinal and renal glomerular functions rely on specialized vasculature maintained by VEGF that is produced by neighboring epithelial cells, the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and podocytes, respectively. Dysregulation of RPE- and podocyte-derived VEGF is associated with neovascularization in wet age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), choriocapillaris degeneration, and glomerular thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA). Since complement activation and genetic variants in inhibitory complement factor H (CFH) are also features of both ARMD and TMA, we hypothesized that VEGF and CFH interact. Here, we demonstrated that VEGF inhibition decreases local CFH and other complement regulators in the eye and kidney through reduced VEGFR2/PKC-α/CREB signaling. Patient podocytes and RPE cells carrying disease-associated CFH genetic variants had more alternative complement pathway deposits than controls. These deposits were increased by VEGF antagonism, a common wet ARMD treatment, suggesting that VEGF inhibition could reduce cellular complement regulatory capacity. VEGF antagonism also increased markers of endothelial cell activation, which was partially reduced by genetic complement inhibition. Together, these results suggest that VEGF protects the retinal and glomerular microvasculature, not only through VEGFR2-mediated vasculotrophism, but also through modulation of local complement proteins that could protect against complement-mediated damage. Though further study is warranted, these findings could be relevant for patients receiving VEGF antagonists.
Lindsay S. Keir, Rachel Firth, Lyndsey Aponik, Daniel Feitelberg, Susumu Sakimoto, Edith Aguilar, Gavin I. Welsh, Anna Richards, Yoshihiko Usui, Simon C. Satchell, Valeryia Kuzmuk, Richard J. Coward, Jonathan Goult, Katherine R. Bull, Ruchi Sharma, Kapil Bharti, Peter D. Westenskow, Iacovos P. Michael, Moin A. Saleem, Martin Friedlander
Fibrotic disease is associated with matrix deposition that results in the loss of organ function. Pericytes, the precursors of myofibroblasts, are a source of pathological matrix collagens and may be promising targets for treating fibrogenesis. Here, we have shown that pericytes activate a TLR2/4- and MyD88-dependent proinflammatory program in response to tissue injury. Similarly to classic immune cells, pericytes activate the NLRP3 inflammasome, leading to IL-1β and IL-18 secretion. Released IL-1β signals through pericyte MyD88 to amplify this response. Unexpectedly, we found that MyD88 and its downstream effector kinase IRAK4 intrinsically control pericyte migration and conversion to myofibroblasts. Specific ablation of MyD88 in pericytes or pharmacological inhibition of MyD88 signaling by an IRAK4 inhibitor in vivo protected against kidney injury by profoundly attenuating tissue injury, activation, and differentiation of myofibroblasts. Our data show that in pericytes, MyD88 and IRAK4 are key regulators of 2 major injury responses: inflammatory and fibrogenic. Moreover, these findings suggest that disruption of this MyD88-dependent pathway in pericytes might be a potential therapeutic approach to inhibit fibrogenesis and promote regeneration.
Irina A. Leaf, Shunsaku Nakagawa, Bryce G. Johnson, Jin Joo Cha, Kristen Mittelsteadt, Kevin M. Guckian, Ivan G. Gomez, William A. Altemeier, Jeremy S. Duffield
The regulatory roles of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) in transcriptional coactivators are still largely unknown. Here, we have shown that the peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor γ (PPARγ) coactivator α (PGC-1α, encoded by
Jianyin Long, Shawn S. Badal, Zengchun Ye, Yin Wang, Bernard A. Ayanga, Daniel L. Galvan, Nathanael H. Green, Benny H. Chang, Paul A. Overbeek, Farhad R. Danesh
Disorders of glucose homeostasis are common in chronic kidney disease (CKD) and are associated with increased mortality, but the mechanisms of impaired insulin secretion in this disease remain unclear. Here, we tested the hypothesis that defective insulin secretion in CKD is caused by a direct effect of urea on pancreatic β cells. In a murine model in which CKD is induced by 5/6 nephrectomy (CKD mice), we observed defects in glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in vivo and in isolated islets. Similarly, insulin secretion was impaired in normal mouse and human islets that were cultured with disease-relevant concentrations of urea and in islets from normal mice treated orally with urea for 3 weeks. In CKD mouse islets as well as urea-exposed normal islets, we observed an increase in oxidative stress and protein
Laetitia Koppe, Elsa Nyam, Kevin Vivot, Jocelyn E. Manning Fox, Xiao-Qing Dai, Bich N. Nguyen, Dominique Trudel, Camille Attané, Valentine S. Moullé, Patrick E. MacDonald, Julien Ghislain, Vincent Poitout
Renal preglomerular arterioles regulate vascular tone to ensure a large pressure gradient over short distances, a function that is extremely important for maintaining renal microcirculation. Regulation of renal microvascular tone is impaired in salt-sensitive (SS) hypertension–induced nephropathy, but the molecular mechanisms contributing to this impairment remain elusive. Here, we assessed the contribution of the SH2 adaptor protein p66Shc (encoded by
Bradley Miller, Oleg Palygin, Victoriya A. Rufanova, Andrew Chong, Jozef Lazar, Howard J. Jacob, David Mattson, Richard J. Roman, Jan M. Williams, Allen W. Cowley Jr., Aron M. Geurts, Alexander Staruschenko, John D. Imig, Andrey Sorokin
Membranous nephropathy (MN) is the most common cause of nephrotic syndrome in adults, and one-third of patients develop end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Circulating autoantibodies against the podocyte surface antigens phospholipase A2 receptor 1 (PLA2R1) and the recently identified thrombospondin type 1 domain–containing 7A (THSD7A) are assumed to cause the disease in the majority of patients. The pathogenicity of these antibodies, however, has not been directly proven. Here, we have reported the analysis and characterization of a male patient with THSD7A-associated MN who progressed to ESRD and subsequently underwent renal transplantation. MN rapidly recurred after transplantation. Enhanced staining for THSD7A was observed in the kidney allograft, and detectable anti-THSD7A antibodies were present in the serum before and after transplantation, suggesting that these antibodies induced a recurrence of MN in the renal transplant. In contrast to PLA2R1, THSD7A was expressed on both human and murine podocytes, enabling the evaluation of whether anti-THSD7A antibodies cause MN in mice. We demonstrated that human anti-THSD7A antibodies specifically bind to murine THSD7A on podocyte foot processes, induce proteinuria, and initiate a histopathological pattern that is typical of MN. Furthermore, anti-THSD7A antibodies induced marked cytoskeletal rearrangement in primary murine glomerular epithelial cells as well as in human embryonic kidney 293 cells. Our findings support a causative role of anti-THSD7A antibodies in the development of MN.
Nicola M. Tomas, Elion Hoxha, Anna T. Reinicke, Lars Fester, Udo Helmchen, Jens Gerth, Friederike Bachmann, Klemens Budde, Friedrich Koch-Nolte, Gunther Zahner, Gabriele Rune, Gerard Lambeau, Catherine Meyer-Schwesinger, Rolf A.K. Stahl
Efficient oxygen utilization in the kidney may be supported by paracellular epithelial transport, a form of passive diffusion that is driven by preexisting transepithelial electrochemical gradients. Claudins are tight-junction transmembrane proteins that act as paracellular ion channels in epithelial cells. In the proximal tubule (PT) of the kidney, claudin-2 mediates paracellular sodium reabsorption. Here, we used murine models to investigate the role of claudin-2 in maintaining energy efficiency in the kidney. We found that claudin-2–null mice conserve sodium to the same extent as WT mice, even during profound dietary sodium depletion, as a result of the upregulation of transcellular Na-K-2Cl transport activity in the thick ascending limb of Henle. We hypothesized that shifting sodium transport to transcellular pathways would lead to increased whole-kidney oxygen consumption. Indeed, compared with control animals, oxygen consumption in the kidneys of claudin-2–null mice was markedly increased, resulting in medullary hypoxia. Furthermore, tubular injury in kidneys subjected to bilateral renal ischemia-reperfusion injury was more severe in the absence of claudin-2. Our results indicate that paracellular transport in the PT is required for efficient utilization of oxygen in the service of sodium transport. We speculate that paracellular permeability may have evolved as a general strategy in epithelial tissues to maximize energy efficiency.
Lei Pei, Glenn Solis, Mien T.X. Nguyen, Nikhil Kamat, Lynn Magenheimer, Min Zhuo, Jiahua Li, Joshua Curry, Alicia A. McDonough, Timothy A. Fields, William J. Welch, Alan S.L. Yu
Physiochemical stress induces tissue injury as a result of the detection of abnormal molecular patterns by sensory molecules of the innate immune system. Here, we have described how the recently discovered C-type lectin collectin-11 (CL-11, also known as CL-K1 and encoded by
Conrad A. Farrar, David Tran, Ke Li, Weiju Wu, Qi Peng, Wilhelm Schwaeble, Wuding Zhou, Steven H. Sacks
Experimentally, females show an improved ability to recover from ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI) compared with males; however, this sex-dependent response is less established in humans. Here, we developed a series of murine renal ischemia and transplant models to investigate sex-specific effects on recovery after IRI. We found that IRI tolerance is profoundly increased in female mice compared with that observed in male mice and discovered an intermediate phenotype after neutering of either sex. Transplantation of adult kidneys from either sex into a recipient of the opposite sex followed by ischemia at a remote time resulted in ischemia recovery that reflected the sex of the recipient, not the donor, revealing that the host sex determines recovery. Likewise, renal IRI was exacerbated in female estrogen receptor α–KO mice, while female mice receiving supplemental estrogen before ischemia were protected. We examined data from the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) to determine whether there is an association between sex and delayed graft function (DGF) in patients who received deceased donor renal transplants. A multivariable logistic regression analysis determined that there was a greater association with DGF in male recipients than in female recipients. Together, our results demonstrate that sex affects renal IRI tolerance in mice and humans and indicate that estrogen administration has potential as a therapeutic intervention to clinically improve ischemia tolerance.
David D. Aufhauser Jr., Zhonglin Wang, Douglas R. Murken, Tricia R. Bhatti, Yanfeng Wang, Guanghui Ge, Robert R. Redfield III, Peter L. Abt, Liqing Wang, Nikolaos Svoronos, Arwin Thomasson, Peter P. Reese, Wayne W. Hancock, Matthew H. Levine
Renal peritubular interstitial fibroblast-like cells are critical for adult erythropoiesis, as they are the main source of erythropoietin (EPO). Hypoxia-inducible factor 2 (HIF-2) controls EPO synthesis in the kidney and liver and is regulated by prolyl-4-hydroxylase domain (PHD) dioxygenases PHD1, PHD2, and PHD3, which function as cellular oxygen sensors. Renal interstitial cells with EPO-producing capacity are poorly characterized, and the role of the PHD/HIF-2 axis in renal EPO-producing cell (REPC) plasticity is unclear. Here we targeted the PHD/HIF-2/EPO axis in FOXD1 stroma-derived renal interstitial cells and examined the role of individual PHDs in REPC pool size regulation and renal EPO output. Renal interstitial cells with EPO-producing capacity were entirely derived from FOXD1-expressing stroma, and
Hanako Kobayashi, Qingdu Liu, Thomas C. Binns, Andres A. Urrutia, Olena Davidoff, Pinelopi P. Kapitsinou, Andrew S. Pfaff, Hannes Olauson, Annika Wernerson, Agnes B. Fogo, Guo-Hua Fong, Kenneth W. Gross, Volker H. Haase