The role of insulin receptor (IR) activated by hyperinsulinemia in obesity-induced kidney injury is not well understood. We hypothesized that activation of the kidney proximal tubule epithelial IR contributes to obesity-induced kidney injury. We administered normal fat diet (NFD) or high fat diet (HFD) to Control and kidney proximal tubule IR knock out (KPTIRKO) mice for 4 months. Renal cortical IR expression was decreased by 60% in male and female KPTIRKO mice. In KPTIRKO mice baseline serum glucose, serum creatinine, and urinary albumin to creatinine ratio (ACR) were similar to Controls. On HFD, weight gain and increase in serum cholesterol were similar in Control and KPTIRKO mice; blood glucose did not change. HFD increased the following parameters in the male Control mice: renal cortical contents of phosphorylated IR and Akt, matrix proteins, urinary ACR and kidney injury molecule-1 (KIM-1) to creatinine ratio, and systolic blood pressure. Renal cortical generation of hydrogen sulfide was reduced in HFD fed male Control mice. All of these parameters were ameliorated in male KPTIRKO mice. Interestingly, female mice were resistant to HFD-induced kidney injury in both genotypes. We conclude that HFD-induced kidney injury requires renal proximal tubule IR activation in male mice.
Hak Joo Lee, Meenalakshmi M. Mariappan, Luke Norton, Terry Bakewell, Denis Feliers, Sae Byeol Oh, Andrew Donati, Cherubina S. Rubannelsonkumar, Manjeri Venkatachalam, Stephen E. Harris, Isabelle Rubera, Michel Tauc, Goutam Ghosh Choudhury, C. Ronald Kahn, Kumar Sharma, Ralph A. DeFronzo, Balakuntalam S. Kasinath
Small noncoding RNAs, miRNAs (miRNAs), are emerging as important modulators in the pathogenesis of kidney disease, with potential as biomarkers of kidney disease onset, progression, or therapeutic efficacy. Bulk tissue small RNA-sequencing (sRNA-Seq) and microarrays are widely used to identify dysregulated miRNA expression but are limited by the lack of precision regarding the cellular origin of the miRNA. In this study, we performed cell-specific sRNA-Seq on tubular cells, endothelial cells, PDGFR-β+ cells, and macrophages isolated from injured and repairing kidneys in the murine reversible unilateral ureteric obstruction model. We devised an unbiased bioinformatics pipeline to define the miRNA enrichment within these cell populations, constructing a miRNA catalog of injury and repair. Our analysis revealed that a significant proportion of cell-specific miRNAs in healthy animals were no longer specific following injury. We then applied this knowledge of the relative cell specificity of miRNAs to deconvolute bulk miRNA expression profiles in the renal cortex in murine models and human kidney disease. Finally, we used our data-driven approach to rationally select macrophage-enriched miR-16-5p and miR-18a-5p and demonstrate that they are promising urinary biomarkers of acute kidney injury in renal transplant recipients.
Katie L. Connor, Oliver Teenan, Carolynn Cairns, Victoria Banwell, Rachel A.B. Thomas, Julie Rodor, Sarah Finnie, Riinu Pius, Gillian M. Tannahill, Vishal Sahni, Caroline O.S. Savage, Jeremy Hughes, Ewen M. Harrison, Robert B. Henderson, Lorna P. Marson, Bryan R. Conway, Stephen J. Wigmore, Laura Denby
Sepsis is the leading cause of acute kidney injury (AKI). However, the pathogenesis of septic AKI remains largely unclear. Here, we demonstrate a significant decrease of microRNA-376b (miR-376b) in renal tubular cells in mice with septic AKI. Urinary miR-376b in these mice was also dramatically decreased. Patients with sepsis with AKI also had significantly lower urinary miR-376b than patients with sepsis without AKI, supporting its diagnostic value for septic AKI. LPS treatment of renal tubular cells led to the activation of NF-κB, and inhibition of NF-κB prevented a decrease of miR-376b. ChIP assay further verified NF-κB binding to the miR-376b gene promoter upon LPS treatment. Functionally, miR-376b mimics exaggerated tubular cell death, kidney injury, and intrarenal production of inflammatory cytokines, while inhibiting miR-376b afforded protective effects in septic mice. Interestingly, miR-376b suppressed the expression of NF-κB inhibitor ζ (NFKBIZ) in both in vitro and in vivo models of septic AKI. Luciferase microRNA target reporter assay further verified NFKBIZ as a direct target of miR-376b. Collectively, these results illustrate the NF-κB/miR-376b/NFKBIZ negative feedback loop that regulates intrarenal inflammation and tubular damage in septic AKI. Moreover, urinary miR-376b is a potential biomarker for the diagnosis of AKI in patients with sepsis.
Zhiwen Liu, Chengyuan Tang, Liyu He, Danyi Yang, Juan Cai, Jiefu Zhu, Shaoqun Shu, Yuxue Liu, Lijun Yin, Guochun Chen, Yu Liu, Dongshan Zhang, Zheng Dong
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) results in a progressive skeletal myopathy involving atrophy, weakness, and fatigue. Mitochondria have been thought to contribute to skeletal myopathy, however, the molecular mechanisms underlying changes in muscle metabolism in CKD are unknown. This study employed a comprehensive mitochondrial phenotyping platform to elucidate the mechanisms of skeletal muscle mitochondrial impairment in mice with adenine-induced CKD. CKD mice displayed significant reductions in mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), which was strongly correlated with glomerular filtration rate, suggesting a link between kidney function and muscle mitochondrial health. Biochemical assays uncovered that OXPHOS dysfunction was driven principally by reduced activity of matrix dehydrogenases. Untargeted metabolomics analyses in skeletal muscle revealed a distinct metabolite profile in CKD muscle including accumulation of uremic toxins that strongly associated with the degree of mitochondrial impairment. Additional muscle phenotyping found that CKD mice experienced muscle atrophy and increased muscle protein degradation, but only male CKD mice had lower maximal contractile force. CKD mice also had morphological changes indicative of destabilization in the neuromuscular junction. This study provides the first comprehensive evaluation of mitochondrial health in murine CKD muscle and uncovers several unknown uremic metabolites that are strongly associated with the degree of mitochondrial impairment.
Trace Thome, Ravi A. Kumar, Sarah K. Burke, Ram B. Khattri, Zachary R. Salyers, Rachel C. Kelley, Madeline D. Coleman, Demetra D. Christou, Russell T. Hepple, Salvatore T. Scali, Leonardo F. Ferreira, Terence E. Ryan
Evidence for reduced expression of cyclin G associated kinase (GAK) in glomeruli of patients with chronic kidney disease was observed in the Nephroseq human database, and GAK was found to be associated with the decline in kidney function. To examine the role of GAK, a protein that functions to uncoat clathrin during endocytosis, we generated podocyte-specific Gak-knockout mice (Gak-KO), which developed progressive proteinuria and kidney failure with global glomerulosclerosis. We isolated glomeruli from the mice carrying the mutation to perform messenger RNA profiling and unearthed evidence for dysregulated podocyte calpain protease activity as an important contributor to progressive podocyte damage. Treatment with calpain inhibitor III specifically inhibited calpain-1/-2 activities, mitigated the degree of proteinuria and glomerulosclerosis, and led to a striking increase in survival in the Gak-KO mice. Podocyte-specific deletion of Capns1, essential for calpain-1 and calpain-2 activities, also improved proteinuria and glomerulosclerosis in Gak-KO mice. Increased podocyte calpain activity–mediated proteolysis of IκBα resulted in increased NF-κB p65–induced expression of growth arrest and DNA-damage-inducible 45 beta in the Gak-KO mice. Our results suggest that loss of podocyte-associated Gak induces glomerular injury secondary to calcium dysregulation and aberrant calpain activation, which when inhibited, can provide a protective role.
Xuefei Tian, Kazunori Inoue, Yan Zhang, Ying Wang, C. John Sperati, Christopher E. Pedigo, Tingting Zhao, Meihua Yan, Marwin Groener, Dennis G. Moledina, Karen Ebenezer, Wei Li, Zhenhai Zhang, Dan A. Liebermann, Lois Greene, Peter Greer, Chirag R. Parikh, Shuta Ishibe
Diabetic kidney disease (DKD) is the most common cause of severe renal disease worldwide and the single strongest predictor of mortality in diabetes patients. Kidney steatosis has emerged as a critical trigger in the pathogenesis of DKD; however, the molecular mechanism of renal lipotoxicity remains largely unknown. Our recent studies in genetic mouse models, human cell lines, and well-characterized patient cohorts have identified serine/threonine protein kinase (STK)25 as a critical regulator of ectopic lipid storage in several metabolic organs prone to diabetic damage. Here, we demonstrate that overexpression of STK25 aggravates renal lipid accumulation and exacerbates structural and functional kidney injury in a mouse model of DKD. Reciprocally, inhibiting STK25 signaling in mice ameliorates diet-induced renal steatosis and alleviates the development of DKD-associated pathologies. Further, we find that STK25 silencing in human kidney cells protects against lipid deposition as well as oxidative and endoplasmic reticulum stress. Together, our results suggest that STK25 regulates a critical node governing susceptibility to renal lipotoxicity and that STK25 antagonism could mitigate DKD progression.
Emmelie Cansby, Mara Caputo, Lei Gao, Nagaraj M. Kulkarni, Annika Nerstedt, Marcus Ståhlman, Jan Boren, Rando Porosk, Ursel Soomets, Matteo Pedrelli, Paolo Parini, Hanns-Ulrich Marschall, Jenny Nyström, Brian W. Howell, Margit Mahlapuu
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) induces the failure of arteriovenous fistulas (AVF) and promotes the differentiation of vascular adventitial GLI1+ mesenchymal stem cells (GMCs). However, the roles of GMCs in forming neointima in AVFs remains unknown. GMCs isolated from CKD mice showed increased potential capacity of differentiation into myofibroblast-like cells. Increased activation of expression of PDGFRA and hedgehog (HH) signaling were detected in adventitial cells of AVFs from ESRD patients and CKD mice. PDGFRA was translocated and accumulated in early endosome when hedgehog signaling stimulates was activated. In endosome, PDGFRA mediated activation of TGFB1/SMAD signaling promoting GMCs differentiation into myofibroblast, extracellular matrix deposition, and vascular fibrosis. These responses resulted in neointima formation and AVF failure. Knockout (KO) of Pdgfra or inhibition of HH signaling in GMCs suppressed the differentiation of GMCs into myofibroblasts. In vivo, specific KO of Pdgfra inhibited GMC activation and vascular fibrosis, resulting in suppression of neointima formation and improvement of AVF patency despite CKD. Our findings could yield strategies for maintaining AVF functions.
Ke Song, Ying Qing, Qunying Guo, Eric K. Peden, Changyi Chen, William E. Mitch, Luan Truong, Jizhong Cheng
Actin-associated nonmuscle myosin II (NM2) motor proteins play critical roles in a myriad of cellular functions including endocytosis and organelle transport pathways. Cell type-specific expression and unique subcellular localization of the NM2 proteins, encoded by the Myh9 and Myh10 genes, in the mouse kidney tubules led us to hypothesize that these proteins have specialized functional roles within the renal epithelium. Inducible, conditional knockout (cKO) of Myh9 and Myh10 in the renal tubules of adult mice resulted in progressive kidney disease. Prior to overt renal tubular injury, we observed intracellular accumulation of the GPI-anchored protein uromodulin and gradual loss of Na+ K+ 2Cl- cotransporter from the apical membrane of the thick ascending limb (TAL) epithelia. The UMOD accumulation coincided with expansion of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) tubules, activation of ER stress and unfolded protein response pathways in Myh9&10 cKO kidneys. We conclude that NM2 proteins are required for localization and transport of UMOD and loss of function results in accumulation of UMOD and ER stress mediated progressive renal tubulointerstitial disease. These observations establish cell type-specific role(s) for NM2 proteins in regulation of specialized renal epithelial transport pathways and reveal the possibility that human kidney disease associated with MYH9 mutations could be of renal epithelial origin..
Karla L. Otterpohl, Brook W. Busselman, Ishara Ratnayake, Ryan G. Hart, Kimberly Hart, Claire Evans, Carrie L. Phillips, Jordan R. Beach, Phil Ahrenkiel, Bruce Molitoris, Kameswaran Surendran, Indra Chandrasekar
Fibrosis is the final common pathway in the pathophysiology of most forms of chronic kidney disease (CKD). As treatment of renal fibrosis still remains largely supportive, a refined understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms of kidney fibrosis and the development of novel compounds are urgently needed. Whether arginases play a role in development of fibrosis in CKD is unclear. We hypothesize that endothelial-arginase-2 (Arg2) promotes the development of kidney fibrosis induced by unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO). Arg2 expression and arginase activity significantly increased following renal fibrosis. Pharmacological blockade or genetic deficiency of Arg2 conferred kidney protection following renal fibrosis as reflected by a reduction in kidney interstitial fibrosis and fibrotic markers. Selective deletion of Arg2 in endothelial cells (Tie2Cre/Arg2flox/flox) reduced the level of fibrosis after UUO. In contrast, selective deletion of Arg2 specifically in proximal tubular cells (Ggt1Cre/Arg2flox/flox) failed to reduce renal fibrosis after UUO. Furthermore, arginase inhibition restored kidney nitric oxide (NO) levels, oxidative stress, and mitochondrial function following UUO.These findings indicate that endothelial-Arg2 plays a major role in renal fibrosis via its action on NO and mitochondrial function. Blocking Arg2 activity or expression could be a novel therapeutic approach for prevention of CKD.
Michael Wetzel, Kristen Stanley, Wei Wei Wang, Soumya Maity, Muniswamy Madesh, W. Brian Reeves, Alaa S. Awad
Lupus Nephritis (LN) is a major organ complication and cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). There is an unmet medical need for developing more efficient and specific, mechanism-based therapies, which depends on improved understanding of the underlying LN pathogenesis. Here we present direct visual evidence from high-power intravital imaging of the local kidney tissue microenvironment in new mouse models showing that activated memory T cells originated in immune organs and the LN-specific robust accumulation of the glomerular endothelial glycocalyx play central roles in LN development. The glomerular homing of T cells was mediated via the direct binding of their CD44 to the hyaluronic acid (HA) component of the endothelial glycocalyx, and glycocalyx-degrading enzymes efficiently disrupted it. Short-course treatment with either hyaluronidase or heparinase III provided long-term organ protection as evidenced by vastly improved albuminuria and survival rate. This glycocalyx/HA/memory T cell interaction is present in multiple SLE-affected organs, and may be therapeutically targeted for SLE complications including LN.
Hiroyuki Kadoya, Ning Yu, Ina Maria Schiessl, Anne Riquier-Brison, Georgina Gyarmati, Dorinne Desposito, Kengo Kidokoro, Matthew J. Butler, Chaim O. Jacob, János Peti-Peterdi
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