High autophagic activity in podocytes, terminally differentiated cells which serve as main components of the kidney filtration barrier, is essential for podocyte survival under various challenges. How podocytes maintain such a high level of autophagy, however, remains unclear. Here we report that signal regulatory protein α (SIRPα) plays a key role in promoting podocyte autophagy. Unlike other glomerular cells, podocytes strongly express SIRPα, which is, however, downregulated in patients with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis and mice with experimental nephropathy. Podocyte SIRPα levels are inversely correlated with the severity of podocyte injury and proteinuria but positively with autophagy. Compared to wild-type littermates, Sirpa-deficient mice display greater age-related podocyte injury and proteinuria and develop more rapid and severe renal injury in various models of experimental nephropathy. Mechanistically, podocyte SIRPα strongly reduces Akt/GSK-3β/β-catenin signaling, leading to an increase in autophagic activity. Our findings thus demonstrate a critical protective role of SIRPα in podocyte survival via maintaining autophagic activity.
Limin Li, Ying Liu, Shan Li, Yong Yang, Caihong Zeng, Weiwei Rong, Hongwei Liang, Mingchao Zhang, Xiaodong Zhu, Koby Kidder, Yuan Liu, Zhihong Liu, Ke Zen
Because injured mitochondria can accelerate cell death through the elaboration of oxidative free radicals and other mediators, it is striking that proliferator gamma coactivator 1-alpha (PGC1α), a stimulator of increased mitochondrial abundance, protects stressed renal cells instead of potentiating injury. Here we report that PGC1α’s induction of lysosomes via transcription factor EB (TFEB) may be pivotal for kidney protection. CRISPR and stable gene transfer showed that PGC1α knockout tubular cells were sensitized to the genotoxic stressor cisplatin whereas transgenic cells were protected. The biosensor mtKeima unexpectedly revealed that cisplatin blunts mitophagy both in cells and mice. PGC1α not only counteracted this effect but also raised basal mitophagy, as did the downstream mediator nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+). PGC1α did not consistently affect known autophagy pathways modulated by cisplatin. Instead RNA sequencing identified coordinated regulation of lysosomal biogenesis via TFEB. This effector pathway was sufficiently important that inhibition of TFEB or lysosomes unveiled a striking harmful effect of excess PGC1α in cells and conditional mice. These results uncover an unexpected effect of cisplatin on mitophagy and PGC1α’s exquisite reliance on lysosomes for kidney protection. Finally, the data illuminate TFEB as a novel target for renal tubular stress resistance.
Matthew R. Lynch, Mei T. Tran, Kenneth M. Ralto, Zsuzsanna K. Zsengeller, Vinod Raman, Swati S. Bhasin, Nuo Sun, Xiuying Chen, Daniel Brown, Ilsa I. Rovira, Kensei Taguchi, Craig R. Brooks, Isaac E. Stillman, Manoj K. Bhasin, Toren Finkel, Samir M. Parikh
Acute cardiorenal syndrome (CRS-1) is a morbid complication of acute cardiovascular disease. Heart-to-kidney signals transmitted by “cardiorenal connectors” have been postulated, but investigation into CRS-1 has been limited by technical limitations and a paucity of models. To address these limitations, we developed a translational model of CRS-1, cardiac arrest and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CA/CPR), and now report findings from nanoscale mass spectrometry proteomic exploration of glomerular filtrate 2 hours after CA/CPR or sham procedure. Filtrate acquisition was confirmed by imaging, molecular weight and charge distribution, and exclusion of protein specific to surrounding cells. Filtration of proteins specific to the heart was detected following CA/CPR and confirmed with mass spectrometry performed using urine collections from mice with deficient tubular endocytosis. Cardiac LIM protein was a CA/CPR-specific filtrate component. Cardiac arrest induced plasma release of cardiac LIM protein in mice and critically ill human cardiac arrest survivors, and administration of recombinant cardiac LIM protein to mice altered renal function. These findings demonstrate that glomerular filtrate is accessible to nanoscale proteomics and elucidate the population of proteins filtered 2 hours after CA/CPR. The identification of cardiac-specific proteins in renal filtrate suggests a novel signaling mechanism in CRS-1. We expect these findings to advance understanding of CRS-1.
Rumie Wakasaki, Katsuyuki Matsushita, Kirsti Golgotiu, Sharon Anderson, Mahaba B. Eiwaz, Daniel J. Orton, Sang Jun Han, H. Thomas Lee, Richard D. Smith, Karin D. Rodland, Paul D. Piehowski, Michael P. Hutchens
Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a common clinical condition of growing incidence. Patients who suffer severe AKI have a higher risk of developing interstitial fibrosis, chronic kidney disease, and end-stage renal disease later in life. Cellular senescence is a persistent cell cycle arrest and altered gene expression pattern evoked by multiple stressors. The number of senescent cells increases with age and even in small numbers these cells can induce chronic inflammation and fibrosis; indeed, in multiple organs including kidneys, the accumulation of such cells is a hallmark of aging. We hypothesized that cellular senescence might be induced in the kidney after injury and that this might contribute to progressive organ fibrosis. Testing this hypothesis, we found that tubular epithelial cells (TECs) in mice senesce within a few days of kidney injury and that this response is mediated by epithelial Toll-like and interleukin 1 receptors (TLR/IL-1R) of the innate immune system. Epithelial cell–specific inhibition of innate immune signaling in mice by knockout of myeloid differentiation 88 (Myd88) reduced fibrosis as well as damage to kidney tubules, and also prevented the accumulation of senescent TECs. Importantly, although inactivation of Myd88 after injury ameliorated fibrosis, it did not reduce damage to the tubules. Selectively induced apoptosis of senescent cells by two different approaches only partially reduced kidney fibrosis, without ameliorating damage to the tubules. Our data reveal a cell-autonomous role for epithelial innate immunity in controlling TEC senescence after kidney injury, and additionally suggest that early therapeutic intervention is required for effective reduction of long-term sequelae of AKI.
Heng Jin, Yan Zhang, Qiong Ding, Shan Shan Wang, Prerna Rastogi, Dao-Fu Dai, Dongmei Lu, Madison Purvis, Chao Cao, Angela Wang, Dingxiao Liu, Chongyu Ren, Sarah Elhadi, Ming-Chang Hu, Yanfen Chai, Diana Zepeda-Orozco, Judith Campisi, Massimo Attanasio
Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a devastating clinical condition affecting at least two-thirds of critically ill patients, and, among these patients, it is associated with a greater than 60% risk of mortality. Kidney mononuclear phagocytes (MPs) are implicated in pathogenesis and healing in mouse models of AKI and, thus, have been the subject of investigation as potential targets for clinical intervention. We have determined that, after injury, F4/80hi-expressing kidney-resident macrophages (KRMs) are a distinct cellular subpopulation that does not differentiate from nonresident infiltrating MPs. However, if KRMs are depleted using polyinosinic/polycytidylic acid (poly I:C), they can be reconstituted from bone marrow–derived precursors. Further, KRMs lack major histocompatibility complex class II (MHCII) expression before P7 but upregulate it over the next 14 days. This MHCII– KRM phenotype reappears after injury. RNA sequencing shows that injury causes transcriptional reprogramming of KRMs such that they more closely resemble that found at P7. KRMs after injury are also enriched in Wingless-type MMTV integration site family (Wnt) signaling, indicating that a pathway vital for mouse and human kidney development is active. These data indicate that mechanisms involved in kidney development may be functioning after injury in KRMs.
Jeremie M. Lever, Travis D. Hull, Ravindra Boddu, Mark E. Pepin, Laurence M. Black, Oreoluwa O. Adedoyin, Zhengqin Yang, Amie M. Traylor, Yanlin Jiang, Zhang Li, Jacelyn E. Peabody, Hannah E. Eckenrode, David K. Crossman, Michael R. Crowley, Subhashini Bolisetty, Kurt A. Zimmerman, Adam R. Wende, Michal Mrug, Bradley K. Yoder, Anupam Agarwal, James F. George
Podocyte injury is central to many forms of kidney disease, but transcriptional signatures reflecting podocyte injury and compensation mechanisms are challenging to analyze in vivo. Human kidney organoids derived from pluripotent stem cells (PSCs), a potentially new model for disease and regeneration, present an opportunity to explore the transcriptional plasticity of podocytes. Here, transcriptional profiling of more than 12,000 single cells from human PSC–derived kidney organoid cultures was used to identify robust and reproducible cell lineage gene expression signatures shared with developing human kidneys based on trajectory analysis. Surprisingly, the gene expression signature characteristic of developing glomerular epithelial cells was also observed in glomerular tissue from a kidney disease cohort. This signature correlated with proteinuria and inverse eGFR, and it was confirmed in an independent podocytopathy cohort. Three genes in particular were further characterized as potentially novel components of the glomerular disease signature. We conclude that cells in human PSC–derived kidney organoids reliably recapitulate the developmental transcriptional program of podocytes and other cell lineages in the human kidney and that transcriptional profiles seen in developing podocytes are reactivated in glomerular disease. Our findings demonstrate an approach to identifying potentially novel molecular programs involved in the pathogenesis of glomerulopathies.
Jennifer L. Harder, Rajasree Menon, Edgar A. Otto, Jian Zhou, Sean Eddy, Noel L. Wys, Christopher O’Connor, Jinghui Luo, Viji Nair, Cristina Cebrian, Jason R. Spence, Markus Bitzer, Olga G. Troyanskaya, Jeffrey B. Hodgin, Roger C. Wiggins, Benjamin S. Freedman, Matthias Kretzler, European Renal cDNA Bank (ERCB), Nephrotic Syndrome Study Network (NEPTUNE)
Drug-induced kidney injury, largely caused by proximal tubular intoxicants, limits development and clinical use of new and approved drugs. Assessing preclinical nephrotoxicity relies on animal models that are frequently insensitive; thus, potentially novel techniques — including human microphysiological systems, or “organs on chips” — are proposed to accelerate drug development and predict safety. Polymyxins are potent antibiotics against multidrug-resistant microorganisms; however, clinical use remains restricted because of high risk of nephrotoxicity and limited understanding of toxicological mechanisms. To mitigate risks, structural analogs of polymyxins (NAB739 and NAB741) are currently in clinical development. Using a microphysiological system to model human kidney proximal tubule, we exposed cells to polymyxin B (PMB) and observed significant increases of injury signals, including kidney injury molecule-1 KIM-1and a panel of injury-associated miRNAs (each P < 0.001). Surprisingly, transcriptional profiling identified cholesterol biosynthesis as the primary cellular pathway induced by PMB (P = 1.22 ×10–16), and effluent cholesterol concentrations were significantly increased after exposure (P < 0.01). Additionally, we observed no upregulation of the nuclear factor (erythroid derived-2)–like 2 pathway, despite this being a common pathway upregulated in response to proximal tubule toxicants. In contrast with PMB exposure, minimal changes in gene expression, injury biomarkers, and cholesterol concentrations were observed in response to NAB739 and NAB741. Our findings demonstrate the preclinical safety of NAB739 and NAB741 and reveal cholesterol biosynthesis as a potentially novel pathway for PMB-induced injury. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of a human-on-chip platform used for simultaneous safety testing of new chemical entities and defining unique toxicological pathway responses of an FDA-approved molecule.
Elijah J. Weber, Kevin A. Lidberg, Lu Wang, Theo K. Bammler, James W. MacDonald, Mavis J. Li, Michelle Redhair, William M. Atkins, Cecilia Tran, Kelly M. Hines, Josi Herron, Libin Xu, Maria Beatriz Monteiro, Susanne Ramm, Vishal Vaidya, Martti Vaara, Timo Vaara, Jonathan Himmelfarb, Edward J. Kelly
BACKGROUND. The molecular understanding of the progression from acute to chronic organ injury is limited. Ischemia/reperfusion injury (IRI) triggered during kidney transplantation can contribute to progressive allograft dysfunction. METHODS. Protocol biopsies (n = 163) were obtained from 42 kidney allografts at 4 time points after transplantation. RNA sequencing–mediated (RNA-seq–mediated) transcriptional profiling and machine learning computational approaches were employed to analyze the molecular responses to IRI and to identify shared and divergent transcriptional trajectories associated with distinct clinical outcomes. The data were compared with the response to IRI in a mouse model of the acute to chronic kidney injury transition. RESULTS. In the first hours after reperfusion, all patients exhibited a similar transcriptional program under the control of immediate-early response genes. In the following months, we identified 2 main transcriptional trajectories leading to kidney recovery or to sustained injury with associated fibrosis and renal dysfunction. The molecular map generated by this computational approach highlighted early markers of kidney disease progression and delineated transcriptional programs associated with the transition to chronic injury. The characterization of a similar process in a mouse IRI model extended the relevance of our findings beyond transplantation. CONCLUSIONS. The integration of multiple transcriptomes from serial biopsies with advanced computational algorithms overcame the analytical hurdles related to variability between individuals and identified shared transcriptional elements of kidney disease progression in humans, which may prove as useful predictors of disease progression following kidney transplantation and kidney injury. This generally applicable approach opens the way for an unbiased analysis of human disease progression. FUNDING. The study was supported by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine and by the Swiss National Science Foundation.
Pietro E. Cippà, Bo Sun, Jing Liu, Liang Chen, Maarten Naesens, Andrew P. McMahon
Our previous work demonstrated a protective role of protein S in early diabetic kidney disease (DKD). Protein S exerts antiinflammatory and antiapoptotic effects through the activation of TYRO3, AXL, and MER (TAM) receptors. Among the 3 TAM receptors, we showed that the biological effects of protein S were mediated largely by TYRO3 in diabetic kidneys. Our data now show that TYRO3 mRNA expression is highly enriched in human glomeruli and that TYRO3 protein is expressed in podocytes. Interestingly, glomerular TYRO3 mRNA expression increased in mild DKD but was suppressed in progressive DKD, as well as in focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). Functionally, morpholino-mediated knockdown of tyro3 altered glomerular filtration barrier development in zebrafish larvae, and genetic ablation of Tyro3 in murine models of DKD and Adriamycin-induced nephropathy (ADRN) worsened albuminuria and glomerular injury. Conversely, the induction of TYRO3 overexpression specifically in podocytes significantly attenuated albuminuria and kidney injury in mice with DKD, ADRN, and HIV-associated nephropathy (HIVAN). Mechanistically, TYRO3 expression was suppressed by activation of TNF-α/NF-κB pathway, which may contribute to decreased TYRO3 expression in progressive DKD and FSGS, and TYRO3 signaling conferred antiapoptotic effects through the activation of AKT in podocytes. In conclusion, TYRO3 plays a critical role in maintaining normal podocyte function and may be a potential new drug target to treat glomerular diseases.
Fang Zhong, Zhaohong Chen, Liwen Zhang, Yifan Xie, Viji Nair, Wenjun Ju, Matthias Kretzler, Robert G. Nelson, Zhengzhe Li, Hongyu Chen, Yongjun Wang, Aihua Zhang, Kyung Lee, Zhihong Liu, John Cijiang He
TGF-β signals through a receptor complex composed of 2 type I and 2 type II (TGF-βRII) subunits. We investigated the role of macrophage TGF-β signaling in fibrosis after AKI in mice with selective monocyte/macrophage TGF-βRII deletion (macrophage TGF-βRII–/– mice). Four weeks after injury, renal TGF-β1 expression and fibrosis were higher in WT mice than macrophage TGF-βRII–/– mice, which had decreased renal macrophages. The in vitro chemotactic response to f-Met-Leu-Phe was comparable between bone marrow–derived monocytes (BMMs) from WT and macrophage TGF-βRII–/– mice, but TGF-βRII–/– BMMs did not respond to TGF-β. We then implanted Matrigel plugs suffused with either f-Met-Leu-Phe or TGF-β1 into WT or macrophage TGF-βRII–/– mice. After 6 days, f-Met-Leu-Phe induced similar macrophage infiltration into the Matrigel plugs of WT and macrophage TGF-βRII–/– mice, but TGF-β induced infiltration only in WT mice. We further determined the number of labeled WT or TGF-βRII–/– BMMs infiltrating into WT kidneys 20 days after ischemic injury. There were more labeled WT BMMs than TGF-βRII–/– BMMs. Therefore, macrophage TGF-βRII deletion protects against the development of tubulointerstitial fibrosis following severe ischemic renal injury. Chemoattraction of macrophages to the injured kidney through a TGF-β/TGF-βRII axis is a heretofore undescribed mechanism by which TGF-β can mediate renal fibrosis during progressive renal injury.
Sungjin Chung, Jessica M. Overstreet, Yan Li, Yinqiu Wang, Aolei Niu, Suwan Wang, Xiaofeng Fan, Kensuke Sasaki, Guan-Nan Jin, Stellor Nlandu Khodo, Leslie Gewin, Ming-Zhi Zhang, Raymond C. Harris
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