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(1/918) NF-kappaB regulates Fas-mediated apoptosis in HIV-associated nephropathy.

Renal parenchymal injury in HIV-associated nephropathy (HIVAN) is characterized by epithelial proliferation, dedifferentiation, and apoptosis along the entire length of the nephron. Although apoptotic cell death in HIVAN has been well documented, the mechanism for HIV-induced apoptosis is poorly understood. Whether the epithelial apoptosis in HIVAN is mediated by NF-kappaB-activated Fas ligand expression was investigated here. In human HIVAN and HIV-1 transgenic mouse kidney specimens, the expression of Fas receptor and ligand proteins were markedly upregulated on epithelium in diseased glomerular and tubulointerstitial compartments when compared with normal. Podocyte cell lines that were derived from HIV-1 transgenic mice showed a similar upregulation of Fas receptor expression and de novo expression of Fas ligand by semiquantitative reverse transcription-PCR and Western blotting. In cultured podocytes, cross-linking of the Fas receptor to mimic ligand binding induced caspase 8 activity and apoptosis in both normal and HIVAN podocytes. Because constitutive NF-kappaB activity has been demonstrated in HIVAN epithelia, evidence for transcriptional control of the Fas ligand expression by NF-kappaB was sought. With the use of cultured podocytes, expression of a Fas ligand promoter reporter plasmid was higher in HIVAN podocytes, indicating increased transcriptional activity. In addition, chromatin immunoprecipitation assays were performed to demonstrate that p65-containing (RelA) complexes bound the Fas ligand promoter and that suppression of activated NF-kappaB with a peptide inhibitor could reduce the expression of Fas ligand mRNA in HIVAN podocytes. These results suggest that NF-kappaB may regulate Fas-mediated apoptosis in HIVAN by controlling the expression of Fas ligand in renal epithelium.  (+info)

(2/918) Dexamethasone prevents podocyte apoptosis induced by puromycin aminonucleoside: role of p53 and Bcl-2-related family proteins.

Nephrotic-range proteinuria is due to glomerular diseases characterized by podocyte injury. Glucocorticoids are the standard of care for most forms of nephrotic syndrome. However, the precise mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of glucocorticoids on podocytes, beyond its general immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory effects, are still unknown. This study tested the hypothesis that the synthetic glucocorticoid dexamethasone directly reduces podocyte apoptosis. Growth-restricted immortalized mouse podocytes in culture were exposed to puromycin aminonucleoside (PA) to induce apoptosis. Our results showed that dexamethasone significantly reduced PA-induced apoptosis by 2.81-fold. Dexamethasone also rescued podocyte viability when exposed to PA. PA-induced apoptosis was associated with increased p53 expression, which was completely blocked by dexamethasone. Furthermore, the inhibition of p53 by the p53 inhibitor pifithrin-alpha protected against PA-induced apoptosis. Dexamethasone also lowered the increase in the proapoptotic Bax, which was increased by PA, and increased expression of the antiapoptotic Bcl-xL protein. Moreover, the decrease in p53 by dexamethasone was associated with increased Bcl-xL levels. Podocyte apoptosis induced by PA was caspase-3 independent but was associated with the translocation of apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) from the cytoplasm to nuclei. AIF translocation was inhibited by dexamethasone. These results show that PA-induced podocyte apoptosis is p53 dependent and associated with changes in Bcl-2-related proteins and AIF translocation. The protective effects of dexamethasone on PA-induced apoptosis were associated with decreasing p53, increasing Bcl-xL, and inhibition of AIF translocation. These novel findings provide new insights into the beneficial effects of corticosteroids on podocytes directly, independent of its immunosuppressive effects.  (+info)

(3/918) Permanent genetic tagging of podocytes: fate of injured podocytes in a mouse model of glomerular sclerosis.

Injured podocytes lose differentiation markers. Therefore, the true identity of severely injured podocytes remains unverified. A transgenic mouse model equipped with a podocyte-selective injury induction system was established. After induction of podocyte injury, mice rapidly developed glomerulosclerosis, with downregulation of podocyte marker proteins. Proliferating epithelial cells accumulated within Bowman's space, as seen in collapsing glomerulosclerosis. In this study, the fate of injured podocytes was pursued. Utilizing Cre-loxP recombination, the podocyte lineage was genetically labeled with lacZ in an irreversible manner. After podocyte injury, the number of lacZ-labeled cells, which were often negative for synaptopodin, progressively declined, correlating with glomerular damage. Parietal epithelial cells, but not lacZ-labeled podocytes, avidly proliferated. The cells proliferating within Bowman's capsule and, occasionally, on the outer surface of the glomerular basement membrane were lacZ-negative. Thus, when podocytes are severely injured, proliferating parietal epithelial cells migrate onto the visceral site, thereby mimicking proliferating podocytes.  (+info)

(4/918) Role of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase activation in podocyte injury and proteinuria in experimental nephrotic syndrome.

Podocytes play an important role in maintaining normal glomerular function and structure, and podocyte injury leads to proteinuria and glomerulosclerosis. The family of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK; extracellular signal-regulated kinase [ERK], c-Jun N-terminal kinase, and p38) may be implicated in the progression of various glomerulopathies, but the role of MAPK in podocyte injury remains elusive. This study examined phosphorylation of p38 MAPK in clinical glomerulopathies with podocyte injury, as well as in rat puromycin aminonucleoside (PAN) nephropathy and mouse adriamycin (ADR) nephropathy. The effect of treatment with FR167653, an inhibitor of p38 MAPK, was also investigated in rodent models. In human podocyte injury diseases, the increased phosphorylation of p38 MAPK was observed at podocytes. In PAN and ADR nephropathy, the phosphorylation of p38 MAPK and ERK was marked but transient, preceding overt proteinuria. Pretreatment with FR167653 (day -2 to day 14, subcutaneously) to PAN or ADR nephropathy completely inhibited p38 MAPK activation and attenuated ERK phosphorylation, with complete suppression of proteinuria. Electron microscopy and immunohistochemistry for nephrin and connexin43 revealed that podocyte injury was markedly ameliorated by FR167653. Furthermore, early treatment with FR167653 effectively prevented glomerulosclerosis and renal dysfunction in the chronic phase of ADR nephropathy. In cultured podocytes, PAN or oxidative stress induced the phosphorylation of p38 MAPK along with actin reorganization, and FR167653 inhibited such changes. These findings indicate that the activation of MAPK is necessary for podocyte injury, suggesting that p38 MAPK and, possibly, ERK should become a potential target for therapeutic intervention in proteinuric glomerulopathies.  (+info)

(5/918) Actin cytoskeleton regulates extracellular matrix-dependent survival signals in glomerular epithelial cells.

Adhesion of rat glomerular epithelial cells (GEC) to collagen activates focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and the Ras-extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) pathway and supports survival (prevents apoptosis). The present study addresses the relationship between actin organization and the survival phenotype. Parental GEC (adherent to collagen) and GEC stably transfected with constitutively active mutants of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (R4F-MEK) or FAK (CD2-FAK) (on plastic) showed ERK activation, low levels of apoptosis, and a cortical distribution of F-actin. Parental GEC adherent to plastic showed increased apoptosis, disorganization of cortical F-actin, and formation of prominent stress fibers. Assembly of cortical F-actin was, at least in part, mediated via ERK. However, disruption of the actin cytoskeleton with cytochalasin D or latrunculin B in parental GEC (on collagen) and in GEC that express R4F-MEK or CD2-FAK (on plastic) decreased ERK activation and increased apoptosis. Expression of a constitutively active RhoA (L(63)RhoA) induced assembly of cortical F-actin, promoted ERK activation, and supplanted the requirement of collagen for survival. Adhesion of GEC to collagen increased phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate (PIP(2)). Downregulation or sequestration of PIP(2) by transfection with an inositol 5'-phosphatase or the plextrin-homology domain of phospholipase C-delta1 decreased F-actin content and survival. Moreover, overexpression of wild-type or K256E mutant alpha-actinin-4 with increased affinity for F-actin increased apoptosis. These results demonstrate a reciprocal relationship between collagen-induced cortical F-actin assembly and collagen-dependent survival signaling, including ERK activation. Appropriate remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton may be necessary for facilitating survival, as both disassembly and excessive crosslinking affect survival adversely.  (+info)

(6/918) Organization of the pronephric filtration apparatus in zebrafish requires Nephrin, Podocin and the FERM domain protein Mosaic eyes.

Podocytes are specialized cells of the kidney that form the blood filtration barrier in the kidney glomerulus. The barrier function of podocytes depends upon the development of specialized cell-cell adhesion complexes called slit-diaphragms that form between podocyte foot processes surrounding glomerular blood vessels. Failure of the slit-diaphragm to form results in leakage of high molecular weight proteins into the blood filtrate and urine, a condition called proteinuria. In this work, we test whether the zebrafish pronephros can be used as an assay system for the development of glomerular function with the goal of identifying novel components of the slit-diaphragm. We first characterized the function of the zebrafish homolog of Nephrin, the disease gene associated with the congenital nephritic syndrome of the Finnish type, and Podocin, the gene mutated in autosomal recessive steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome. Zebrafish nephrin and podocin were specifically expressed in pronephric podocytes and required for the development of pronephric podocyte cell structure. Ultrastructurally, disruption of nephrin or podocin expression resulted in a loss of slit-diaphragms at 72 and 96 h post-fertilization and failure to form normal podocyte foot processes. We also find that expression of the band 4.1/FERM domain gene mosaic eyes in podocytes is required for proper formation of slit-diaphragm cell-cell junctions. A functional assay of glomerular filtration barrier revealed that absence of normal nephrin, podocin or mosaic eyes expression results in loss of glomerular filtration discrimination and aberrant passage of high molecular weight substances into the glomerular filtrate.  (+info)

(7/918) Podocyte depletion causes glomerulosclerosis: diphtheria toxin-induced podocyte depletion in rats expressing human diphtheria toxin receptor transgene.

Glomerular injury and proteinuria in diabetes (types 1 and 2) and IgA nephropathy is related to the degree of podocyte depletion in humans. For determining the causal relationship between podocyte depletion and glomerulosclerosis, a transgenic rat strain in which the human diphtheria toxin receptor is specifically expressed in podocytes was developed. The rodent homologue does not act as a diphtheria toxin (DT) receptor, thereby making rodents resistant to DT. Injection of DT into transgenic rats but not wild-type rats resulted in dose-dependent podocyte depletion from glomeruli. Three stages of glomerular injury caused by podocyte depletion were identified: Stage 1, 0 to 20% depletion showed mesangial expansion, transient proteinuria and normal renal function; stage 2, 21 to 40% depletion showed mesangial expansion, capsular adhesions (synechiae), focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, mild persistent proteinuria, and normal renal function; and stage 3, >40% podocyte depletion showed segmental to global glomerulosclerosis with sustained high-grade proteinuria and reduced renal function. These pathophysiologic consequences of podocyte depletion parallel similar degrees of podocyte depletion, glomerulosclerosis, and proteinuria seen in diabetic glomerulosclerosis. This model system provides strong support for the concept that podocyte depletion could be a major mechanism driving glomerulosclerosis and progressive loss of renal function in human glomerular diseases.  (+info)

(8/918) Altered expression of junctional adhesion molecule 4 in injured podocytes.

Recent investigations have revealed the importance of glomerular podocytes with its diaphragm as the major filtration barrier. Junctional adhesion molecule 4 (JAM4) has been identified as a protein that interacts with membrane-associated guanyl kinase inverted (MAGI)-1 and is reported to be expressed on podocytes. To elucidate the role of JAM4 on podocytes, we examined the expression of JAM4 and MAGI-1 in normal and two different proteinuric rat models: puromycin aminonucleoside (PAN) nephropathy and anti-nephrin antibody-induced (ANA) nephropathy, one model with and one without effacement of podocyte foot processes. JAM4 was detected by immunomicroscopy at the apical membrane of normal podocytes. JAM4 immunostaining was focally increased in the podocytes in PAN nephropathy but not in ANA nephropathy. In proteinuric podocytes, the expression of JAM4 was distinct from that of MAGI-1 or other slit diaphragm molecules such as nephrin and ZO-1. Close colocalization of JAM4 and ezrin was maintained in PAN nephropathy. By immunoelectron microscopy, the signals for JAM4 were detected at the free apical membrane of the podocytes with effaced foot processes. Studies with selective detergent extract revealed that the subcellular localization of JAM4 was altered in PAN nephropathy. Thus the altered expression of JAM4 appears to be associated with morphological changes in podocytes and can be a useful marker of injured podocytes. JAM4 may have a different role at the apical membrane besides the role as a junctional molecule and is likely associated with the unique structure of this epithelium.  (+info)