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
Using the global Hipk2-null mice in various models of kidney disease, we previously demonstrated the central role of homeodomain interacting protein kinase 2 (HIPK2) in the development of renal fibrosis. However, whether the renal tubular epithelial cell (RTEC)-specific HIPK2 function significantly contributed to renal fibrogenesis had not been established. Herein, using RTEC-specific HIPK2 null mice and transgenic mice with RTEC-specific overexpression of the wildtype (WT) or kinase-dead (KD) mutant of HIPK2, we now show that the modulation of tubular HIPK2 expression and activity can profoundly affect renal fibrosis development in vivo. The loss of HIPK2 expression in RTECs resulted in a marked diminution of renal fibrosis in mouse models of unilateral obstruction (UUO) and HIV-associated nephropathy (HIVAN) in Tg26 mice, which was associated with the reduction of Smad3 activation and downstream expression of profibrotic markers. Conversely, the overexpression of WT HIPK2 in RTECs accentuated the extent of renal fibrosis in the setting of UUO, HIVAN, and folic acid nephropathy (FAN) in mice. Importantly, the overexpression of HIPK2 KD mutant or administration of BT173, an allosteric inhibitor of HIPK2-Smad3 interaction, markedly attenuated the renal fibrosis in these mouse models of kidney disease, indicating that HIPK2 requires both the kinase activity and its interaction with Smad3 to promote TGF--mediated renal fibrosis. Together, these results establish an important RTEC-specific role of HIPK2 in kidney fibrosis and further substantiates the inhibition of HIPK2 as a therapeutic approach toward renal fibrosis.
Wenzhen Xiao, Jing E, Li Bao, Ying Fan, Yuanmeng Jin, Andrew Wang, David Bauman, Zhengzhe Li, Ya-Li Zheng, Ruijie Liu, Kyung Lee, John Cijiang He
TLR7 has been linked to the pathogenesis of glomerulonephritis, but its precise roles are not clear. In this study, we evaluated the roles of TLR7 in IgA nephropathy (IgAN). TLR7 proteins were abundant in CD19+ B cells infiltrated in the kidneys of patients with IgAN. The intensities of both intrarenal TLR7 and CD19 proteins were closely associated with kidney function (estimated glomerular filtration rate [eGFR] and serum creatinine concentration) and renal histopathology (tubular atrophy, leukocyte infiltration, tubulointerstitial fibrosis, and global glomerulosclerosis) in patients with IgAN. Meanwhile, TLR7 mRNA levels were significantly increased in peripheral blood B cells of patients with IgAN. TLR7+CD19+ B cells expressed inflammatory cytokines (IL-6 and IL-12) in kidneys and produced high levels of IgA1 and galactose deficient-IgA1 (Gd-IgA1) in peripheral blood of patients with IgAN. Mechanistically, TLR7 activated B cells to produce high levels of Gd-IgA1 via the TLR7-GALNT2 axis in IgAN. Protein levels of GALNT2 were increased by overexpression of TLR7, while they were reduced by TLR7 knockdown in B cells. GALNT2 overexpression augmented Gd-IgA1 production in B cells derived from patients with IgAN. Taken together, high TLR7 expression in B cells has dual roles in the development and progression of IgAN, by facilitating renal inflammation and Gd-IgA1 antibody synthesis.
Nuoyan Zheng, Kaifeng Xie, Hongjian Ye, Yu Dong, Bing Wang, Ning Luo, Jinjin Fan, Jiaqing Tan, Wei Chen, Xueqing Yu
Histone deacetylase (HDAC) enzymes regulate transcription through epigenetic modification of chromatin structure, but their specific functions in the kidney remain elusive. We discovered that the human kidney expresses class I HDACs. Kidney medullary-specific inhibition of class I HDACs in the rat during high salt feeding results in hypertension, polyuria, hypokalemia, and nitric oxide (NO) deficiency. Three new, inducible murine models were used to determine that HDAC1 and HDAC2 in the kidney epithelium are necessary for maintaining epithelial integrity and maintaining fluid-electrolyte balance during increased dietary sodium intake. Moreover, single nucleus RNA sequencing determined that epithelial HDAC1 and HDAC2 are necessary for expression of many sodium or water transporters and channels. In performing a systematic review and meta-analysis of serious adverse events associated with clinical HDAC inhibitor use, we found that HDAC inhibitors increased the odds ratio of experiencing fluid-electrolyte disorders such as hypokalemia. This study provides insight on the mechanisms of potential serious adverse events with HDAC inhibitors, which may be fatal to critically ill patients. In conclusion, kidney tubular HDACs provide a link between the environment, such as consumption of high salt diets, with regulation of homeostatic mechanisms to remain in fluid-electrolyte balance.
Kelly A. Hyndman, Joshua S. Speed, Luciano D. Mendoza, John Allan, Jackson Colson, Randee Sedaka, Chunhua Jin, Hyun Jun Jung, Samir El-Dahr, David Pollock, Jennifer Pollock.
Mutations in PKD1 (encoding for Polycystin-1, PC1) are found in 80-85% of patients with ADPKD. We tested the hypothesis that changes in actin dynamics result from PKD1 mutations through dysregulation of compartmentalised centrosomal RhoA signalling mediated by specific RhoGAP (ARHGAP) proteins resulting in the complex cellular cystic phenotype. Initial studies revealed that the actin cytoskeleton was highly disorganised in PKD1 patient-derived cells and was associated with an increase in total and centrosomal RhoA activation and ROCK signalling. Using cilia length as a phenotypic readout for centrosomal RhoA activity, we identified ARHGAP5, 29, 35 as essential regulators of ciliation in normal human renal tubular cells. Importantly, a specific decrease in centrosomal ARHGAP35 was observed in PKD1 null cells using a centrosome-targeted proximity ligation assay and by immunofluorescence labelling. Finally, we demonstrate that another ROCK inhibitor (hydroxyfasudil) reduced cyst expansion in both human PKD1 3D cyst assays and an inducible Pkd1 mouse model. In summary, we report a novel interaction between PC1 and ARHGAP35 in the regulation of centrosomal RhoA activation and ROCK signalling. Targeting the RhoA/ROCK pathway inhibited cyst formation in vitro and in vivo indicating its relevance to ADPKD pathogenesis and for developing new therapies to inhibit cyst initiation.
Andrew J. Streets, Philipp P. Prosseda, Albert C.M. Ong
The epithelial filtration slit is a crucial component of the glomerular capillary membrane, which is essential for maintaining glomerular filtration function. Though chronic kidney diseases are an immense clinical problem, the mechanisms through which structural alterations reduce glomerular water filtration have not yet been understood completely. To investigate the mechanisms underlying filtration function loss, we studied rats with spontaneously occurring progressive kidney disease, either treated with angiotensin II antagonist or untreated, combining high-resolution electron microscopy of the glomerular capillary wall with theoretical water filtration modeling. Under pathological conditions, epithelial filtration pores and the extension of the subpodocyte space were larger than in normal controls. Numerical analyses indicated that these ultrastructural changes increased hydraulic resistance of the glomerular capillary wall by extending coverage of the filtration barrier by the subpodocyte space, with the changes in hydrodynamic forces acting on podocytes likely being responsible for their detachment. Angiotensin II inhibition normalized the subpodocyte space’s hydraulic resistance, restored mechanical podocyte load, and preserved CD151–α3 integrin complex assembly, improving podocyte adherence and survival. Our results show that ultrastructural changes in podocytes are major determinants of the hydraulic resistance of the glomerular capillary wall and highlight the mechanism of podocyte loss in kidney disease progression, as well as the mechanisms underlying angiotensin II inhibition.
Andrea Remuzzi, Sara Conti, Bogdan Ene-Iordache, Susanna Tomasoni, Paola Rizzo, Ariela Benigni, Giuseppe Remuzzi
Background: A treatment option for ADPKD has highlighted the need to identify rapidly progressive patients. Kidney size/age and genotype have predictive power for renal outcomes, but their relative and additive value, plus associated trajectories of disease progression, are not well defined. Methods: The value of genotypic and/or kidney imaging data (Mayo Imaging Class) to predict the time to functional (end stage kidney disease; ESKD, or decline in estimated glomerular filtration rate; eGFR) or structural (increase in height adjusted total kidney volume; htTKV) outcomes were evaluated in a Mayo Clinic PKD1/PKD2 population; and eGFR and htTKV trajectories from 20-65 years of age modeled and independently validated in similarly defined CRISP and HALT PKD patients. Results: Both genotypic and imaging groups strongly predicted ESKD and eGFR endpoints, with genotype improving the imaging predictions, and vice versa; a multivariate model had strong discriminatory power (C statistic = 0.845). However, imaging but not genotypic groups predicted htTKV growth, although more severe genotypic and imaging groups had larger kidneys at a young age. The trajectory of eGFR decline was linear from baseline in the most severe genotypic and imaging groups, but curvilinear in milder groups. Imaging class trajectories differentiated htTKV growth rates; severe classes had rapid early growth and large kidneys but growth later slowed. Conclusions: The value of imaging, genotypic, and combined data to identify rapidly progressive patients was demonstrated, and reference values for clinical trials provided. Our data indicates that differences in kidney growth rates before adulthood significantly define patients with severe disease. Funding: NIDDK grants: Mayo DK058816, DK090728; CRISP DK056943, DK056956, DK056957, DK056961; HALT PKD DK062410, DK062408, DK062402, DK082230, DK062411, DK062401.
Sravanthi Lavu, Lisa E. Vaughan, Sarah R. Senum, Timothy L. Kline, Arlene B. Chapman, Ronald D. Perrone, Michal Mrug, William E. Braun, Theodore I. Steinman, Frederic F. Rahbari-Oskoui, Godela M. Brosnahan, Kyongtae T. Bae, Douglas Landsittel, Fouad T. Chebib, Alan S. L. Yu, Vicente E. Torres, Peter C. Harris
Kidney disease is one of the most devastating complications of diabetes, and tubular atrophy predicts diabetic kidney disease (DKD) progression to end stage renal disease. We have proposed that fatty acids bound to albumin contribute to tubular atrophy by inducing lipotoxicity, following filtration across damaged glomeruli, and subsequent proximal tubule reabsorption by a fatty acid transport protein-2 (FATP2)-dependent mechanism. To address this possibility, genetic (Leprdb/db eNOS-/-) and induced (high fat diet plus low dose streptozotocin) mouse models of obesity and DKD, were bred with global FATP2 gene (Slc27a2)-deleted mice, and then phenotyped. DKD-prone mice with the Slc27a2-/- genotype demonstrated normalization of glomerular filtration rate, reduced albuminuria, improved kidney histopathology, and longer lifespan compared to diabetic Slc27a2+/+ mice. Genetic and induced DKD-prone Slc27a2-/- mice also exhibited markedly reduced fasting plasma glucose, with mean values approaching euglycemia, despite increased obesity and decreased physical activity. Glucose lowering in DKD-prone Slc27a2-/- mice was accompanied by beta-cell hyperplasia and sustained insulin secretion. Together, our data indicate that FATP2 uniquely regulates DKD pathogenesis by a combined lipotoxicity and glucotoxicity (glucolipotoxicity) mechanism.
Shenaz Khan, Robert J. Gaivin, Caroline Abramovich, Michael Boylan, Jorge Calles, Jeffrey R. Schelling
Free light chains (FLCs) induce inflammatory pathways in proximal tubule cells (PTCs). The role of toll-like receptors (TLR) in these responses is unknown. Here we present findings on the role of TLRs in FLC-induced PTC injury. We exposed human kidney PTC cultures to κ and λ FLCs, and used cell supernatants and pellets for ELISA and gene expression studies. We also analyzed tissues from Stat1–/– and littermate control mice treated with daily intraperitoneal injections of a κ-FLC for 10 days. FLCs increased the expression of TLRs 2, 4, 6 via HMGB1, a damage-associated molecular pattern. Countering TLRs 2, 4, and 6 through GIT-27 or specific TLR-siRNAs reduced downstream cytokine responses. Blocking HMGB1 through siRNA or pharmacologic inhibition, or via STAT1 inhibition reduced FLC-induced TLRs 2, 4, and 6 expression. Blocking endocytosis of FLCs through silencing of megalin/cubilin, with bafilomycin-A1, or hypertonic sucrose attenuated FLC-induced cytokine responses in PTCs. Immunohistochemistry showed decreased TLR 4 and 6 expression in kidney sections from Stat1–/– mice compared to their littermate controls. PTCs exposed to FLCs released HMGB1, which induced TLRs 2, 4, 6 expression and downstream inflammation. Blocking FLCs’ endocytosis, Stat1 knock-down, HMGB1 inhibition, and TLR knock-down each rescued PTCs from FLC-induced injury.
Rohit Upadhyay, Wei-Zhong Ying, Zannatul Nasrin, Hana Safah, Edgar A. Jaimes, Wenguang Feng, Paul W. Sanders, Vecihi Batuman
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