The glomerulosclerosis of aging in females: contribution of the proinflammatory mesangial cell phenotype to macrophage infiltration.
ABSTRACT: Age-associated renal changes may be an important cause of renal failure. We recently found that aged female B6 mice developed progressive glomerular lesions. This was associated with macrophage infiltration, a frequent finding in glomerulosclerosis. We used these mice as a model for studying the mechanisms of glomerular aging. We compared the gene expression profile of intact glomeruli from late postmenopausal (28-month-old) mice to that of intact glomeruli from premenopausal (5-month-old) mice. We found that inflammation-related genes, especially those expressed by activated macrophages, were up-regulated in the glomeruli of 28-month-old mice, a result correlating with the histological observation of glomerular macrophage infiltration. The mechanism for macrophage recruitment could have been stable phenotypic changes in mesangial cells because we found that mesangial cells isolated from 28-month-old mice expressed higher levels of RANTES and VCAM-1 than cells from 5-month-old mice. The elevated serum tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha levels present in aged mice may contribute to increased RANTES and VCAM-1 expression in mesangial cells. Furthermore, cells from 28-month-old mice were more sensitive to TNF-alpha-induced RANTES and VCAM-1 up-regulation. The effect of TNF-alpha on RANTES expression was mediated by TNF receptor 1. Interestingly, mesangial cells isolated from 28-month-old mice had increased nuclear factor-kappaB transcriptional activity. Inhibition of nuclear factor-kappaB activity decreased baseline as well as TNF-alpha-induced RANTES and VCAM-1 expression in mesangial cells isolated from 28-month-old mice. Thus, phenotypic changes in mesangial cells may predispose them to inflammatory stimuli, such as TNF-alpha, which would contribute to glomerular macrophage infiltration and inflammatory lesions in aging.
Project description:TNF is an important mediator of glomerulonephritis. The two TNF-receptors TNFR1 and TNFR2 contribute differently to glomerular inflammation in vivo, but specific mechanisms of TNFR-mediated inflammatory responses in glomeruli are unknown. We investigated their expression and function in murine kidneys, isolated glomeruli ex vivo, and glomerular cells in vitro. In normal kidney TNFR1 and TNFR2 were preferentially expressed in glomeruli. Expression of both TNFRs and TNF-induced upregulation of TNFR2 mRNA was confirmed in murine glomerular endothelial and mesangial cell lines. In vivo, TNF exposure rapidly induced glomerular accumulation of leukocytes. To examine TNFR-specific inflammatory responses in intrinsic glomerular cells but not infiltrating leukocytes we performed microarray gene expression profiling on intact glomeruli isolated from wildtype and Tnfr-deficient mice following exposure to soluble TNF ex vivo. Most TNF-induced effects were exclusively mediated by TNFR1, including induced glomerular expression of adhesion molecules, chemokines, complement factors and pro-apoptotic molecules. However, TNFR2 contributed to TNFR1-dependent mRNA expression of inflammatory mediators in glomeruli when exposed to low TNF concentrations. Chemokine secretion was absent in TNF-stimulated Tnfr1-deficient glomeruli, but also significantly decreased in glomeruli lacking TNFR2. In vivo, TNF-induced glomerular leukocyte infiltration was abrogated in Tnfr1-deficient mice, whereas Tnfr2-deficiency decreased mononuclear phagocytes infiltrates, but not neutrophils. These data demonstrate that activation of intrinsic glomerular cells by soluble TNF requires TNFR1, whereas TNFR2 is not essential, but augments TNFR1-dependent effects. Previously described TNFR2-dependent glomerular inflammation may therefore require TNFR2 activation by membrane-bound, but not soluble TNF.
Project description:Previously it was shown that the TNF superfamily member TWEAK (TNFSF12) acts through its receptor, Fn14, to promote proinflammatory responses in kidney cells, including the production of MCP-1, RANTES, IP-10 and KC. In addition, the TWEAK/Fn14 pathway promotes mesangial cell proliferation, vascular cell activation, and renal cell death. To study the relevance of the TWEAK/Fn14 pathway in the pathogenesis of antibody-induced nephritis using the mouse model of nephrotoxic serum nephritis (NTN), we induced NTN by passive transfer of rabbit anti-glomerular antibodies into Fn14 knockout (KO) and wild type (WT) mice. Severe proteinuria as well as renal histopathology were induced in WT but not in Fn14 KO mice. Similarly, a pharmacologic approach of anti-TWEAK mAb administration into WT mice in the NTN model significantly ameliorated proteinuria and improved kidney histology. Anti-TWEAK treatment did not affect the generation of mouse anti-rabbit antibodies; however, within the kidney there was a significant decrease in glomerular immunoglobulin deposition, as well as macrophage infiltrates and tubulointerstitial fibrosis. The mechanism of action is most likely due to reductions in downstream targets of TWEAK/Fn14 signaling, including reduced renal expression of MCP-1, VCAM-1, IP-10, RANTES as well as Fn14 itself, and other molecular pathways associated with fibrosis in anti-TWEAK treated mice. Thus, TWEAK/Fn14 interactions are instrumental in the pathogenesis of nephritis in the NTN model, apparently mediating a cascade of pathologic events locally in the kidney rather than by impacting the systemic immune response. Disrupting TWEAK/Fn14 interactions may be an innovative kidney-protective approach for the treatment of lupus nephritis and other antibody-induced renal diseases.
Project description:Autophagy is a lysosomal degradation system by which cytosolic materials and damaged organelles are broken down into basic components. To explore the physiological role of autophagy in glomerular endothelial cells (GEnCs), we compared the autophagic flux among cells in the kidney under starvation. Inhibition of autophagy by chloroquine administration significantly increased the number of autophagosomes or autolysosomes in GEnCs and proximal tubular cells, but not in podocytes, suggesting that the GEnCs exhibit substantial autophagic activity. Next, we analyzed endothelial and hematopoietic cell-specific atg5-deficient mice (atg5-conditional KO [cKO] mice). Glomeruli of 4-wk-old atg5-cKO mice exhibited slightly distended capillary loops accompanied by an accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Glomeruli of 8-wk-old atg5-cKO mice showed a lobular pattern with thickening of the capillary loops and mesangial matrix expansion; however, the vasculature of other organs was preserved. The atg5-cKO mice died by 12 wk of age, presumably due to pancytopenia resulting from the defect in their hematopoietic lineages. Therefore, we subjected 4-wk atg5-cKO mice to irradiation followed by bone marrow transplantation from normal littermates. Transplanted mice recapitulated the glomerular phenotypes of the atg5-cKO mice with no obvious histological changes in other organs. Twelve-mo-old transplanted mice developed mesangiolysis and glomerulosclerosis with significant deterioration of kidney function. Administration of N-acetyl-l-cysteine, a ROS scavenger, to atg5-cKO mice rescued the glomerular phenotypes. These data suggest that endothelial autophagy protects glomeruli from oxidative stress and maintains the integrity of glomerular capillaries. Enhancing endothelial autophagy may provide a novel therapeutic approach to minimizing glomerular diseases.
Project description:Human glomerular diseases can be caused by several different diseases, many of which include mesangial expansion and/or proliferation followed by glomerulosclerosis. However, molecular mechanisms underlying the pathologic mesangial changes remain poorly understood. Here, we investigated the role of the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1)-S6 kinase pathway in mesangial expansion and/or proliferation by ablating an upstream negative regulator, tuberous sclerosis complex 1 (TSC1), using tamoxifen-induced Foxd1-Cre mice [Foxd1ER(+) TSC1 mice]. Foxd1ER(+) TSC1 mice showed mesangial expansion with increased production of collagen IV, collagen I, and ?-smooth muscle actin in glomeruli, but did not exhibit significant mesangial proliferation or albuminuria. Furthermore, rapamycin treatment of Foxd1ER(+) TSC1 mice suppressed mesangial expansion. Among biopsy specimens from patients with glomerular diseases, analysis of phosphorylated ribosomal protein S6 revealed mesangial cell mTORC1 activation in IgA nephropathy and in lupus mesangial proliferative nephritis but not in the early phase of diabetic nephropathy. In summary, mesangial cell mTORC1 activation can cause mesangial expansion and has clinical relevance for human glomerular diseases. This report also confirms that the tamoxifen-induced mesangium-specific Cre-loxP system is useful for studies designed to clarify the role of the mesangium in glomerular diseases in adults.
Project description:BACKGROUND:We recently showed the transcription factor Early B cell factor 1 (EBF1) is essential for the last stages of metanephric development, and that mice globally deficient in EBF1 display impaired maturation of peripheral glomeruli. EBF1 is present within multiple glomerular cell types, including the glomerular mesangium and podocytes. METHODS:To identify which cell type is driving the glomerular developmental defects in the global EBF1 knockout mice, we deleted EBF1 from the mesangium/pericytes (Foxd1-cre) or podocytes (Podocin-cre) in mice. RESULTS:Deletion of EBF1 from Foxd1 lineage cells resulted in hypoplastic kidneys, poorly differentiated peripheral glomeruli, and decreased proximal tubular mass in the outer cortex. Renal insufficiency was apparent at P21 when proteinuria presents, fibrosis of both the glomeruli and interstitium rapidly progresses, microthrombi appear, and hematuria develops. Approximately half of the Foxd1+, Ebf1 fl/fl mice die before they are 3 months old. Mice with podocyte-targeted deletion of EBF1 exhibited no developmental abnormalities. Mice with Ebf1 deficiency in Foxd1 lineage cells shared characteristics with Ptgs2/COX-2-insufficient models, and mechanistic investigation revealed impaired calcineurin/NFATc1 activation and decreased COX-2 expression. Deletion of COX-2 from the interstitial/mesangial lineage displayed a less severe phenotype than EBF1 deficiency in mice. Overexpressing COX-2 in the EBF1-deficient mice, however, partially restored glomerular development. CONCLUSIONS:The results suggest that EBF1 regulates metanephric development at the last stages of glomerular maturation through its actions in the stromal progenitor (Foxd1+) lineage where it mediates proper regulation of calcineurin/NFAT signaling and COX-2 expression.
Project description:Together with mesangial cells, glomerular endothelial cells and the basement membrane, podocytes constitute the glomerular filtration barrier (GFB) of the kidney. Podocytes play a pivotal role in the progression of various kidney-related diseases such as glomerular sclerosis and glomerulonephritis that finally lead to chronic end-stage renal disease. During podocytopathies, the slit-diaphragm connecting the adjacent podocytes are detached leading to severe loss of proteins in the urine. The pathophysiology of podocytopathies makes podocytes a potential and challenging target for nanomedicine development, though there is a lack of known molecular targets for cell selective drug delivery. To identify VCAM-1 as a cell-surface receptor that is suitable for binding and internalization of nanomedicine carrier systems by podocytes, we investigated its expression in the immortalized podocyte cell lines AB8/13 and MPC-5, and in primary podocytes. Gene and protein expression analyses revealed that VCAM-1 expression is increased by podocytes upon TNF?-activation for up to 24 h. This was paralleled by anti-VCAM-1 antibody binding to the TNF?-activated cells, which can be employed as a ligand to facilitate the uptake of nanocarriers under inflammatory conditions. Hence, we next explored the possibilities of using VCAM-1 as a cell-surface receptor to deliver the potent immunosuppressant rapamycin to TNF?-activated podocytes using the lipid-based nanocarrier system Saint-O-Somes. Anti-VCAM-1-rapamycin-SAINT-O-Somes more effectively inhibited the cell migration of AB8/13 cells than free rapamycin and non-targeted rapamycin-SAINT-O-Somes indicating the potential of VCAM-1 targeted drug delivery to podocytes.
Project description:Background: Recent single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) analyses have offered much insight into cell-specific gene expression profiles in normal kidneys. However, in diseased kidneys, understanding of changes in specific cells, particularly glomerular cells, remains limited. Methods: To elucidate the glomerular cell–specific gene expression changes in diabetic kidney disease, we performed scRNA-seq analysis of isolated glomerular cells from streptozotocin-induced diabetic endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS)–deficient (eNOS-/-) mice and control eNOS-/- mice. Results: We identified five distinct cell populations, including glomerular endothelial cells, mesangial cells, podocytes, immune cells, and tubular cells. Using scRNA-seq analysis, we confirmed the expression of glomerular cell–specific markers and also identified several new potential markers of glomerular cells. The number of immune cells was significantly higher in diabetic glomeruli compared with control glomeruli, and further cluster analysis showed that these immune cells were predominantly macrophages. Analysis of differential gene expression in endothelial and mesangial cells of diabetic and control mice showed dynamic changes in the pattern of expressed genes, many of which are known to be involved in diabetic kidney disease. Moreover, gene expression analysis showed variable responses of individual cells to diabetic injury. Conclusion: Our findings demonstrate the ability of scRNA-seq analysis in isolated glomerular cells from diabetic and control mice to reveal dynamic changes in gene expression in diabetic kidneys, with variable responses of individual cells. Such changes, which might not be apparent in bulk transcriptomic analysis of glomerular cells, may help identify important pathophysiologic factors contributing to the progression of diabetic kidney disease. Overall design: Single-cell suspensions for single-cell RNAs-seq were prepared from whole glomeruli from 10-week old mice with diabetes or age- and sex-matched littermates. Glomeruli from 3 mice were pooled per condition and experiment, and two experiments were performed. The mice were eNOS deficient(eNOS-/-) on a C57BL/6 background. Diabetes was induced in 8-week old mice with streptozotocin injection over 5 consecutive days (50 μg/g body weight per day intraperitoneally. Age- and sex-matched littermates (controls) were injected with citrate vehicle. Single-cell RNA-seq was done on the Fluidigm C1 800-cell HT platform (v2), and sequenced paired-end on the Illumina NextSeq 500 platform.
Project description:The specific contribution of the two TNF-receptors Tnfr1 and Tnfr2 to TNF-induced inflammation in the glomerulus is unknown. In mice, TNF exposure induces glomerular expression of inflammatory mediators like adhesion molecules and chemokines in vivo, and glomerular accumulation of leukocytes. To examine Tnfr-specific inflammatory responses in intrinsic glomerular cells but not infiltrating leukocytes we performed microarray gene expression profiling on intact glomeruli isolated from wild-type and Tnfr-deficient mice following TNF exposure in vitro. Glomeruli were isolated from male C57BL/6J wild-type and Tnfr-deficient mice applying a magnetic bead-based isolation technique. Isolated intact glomeruli were stimulated with TNF for 12 hours in vitro for subsequent RNA extraction and hybridization on Affymetrix microarrays.
Project description:Store-operated Ca(2+) entry (SOCE) is a common and ubiquitous mechanism regulating Ca(2+) influx into cells and participates in numerous biological processes including cell proliferation. Glomerular mesangial cells (GMCs) play a role in the regulation of the glomerular filtration rate. From a clinical point of view, many physiological functions alter with age. In the present study, we used angiotensin II, glucagon, and the sarco/endoplasmic reticulum membrane Ca(2+) pump inhibitor thapsigargin to deplete the internal Ca(2+) stores for the activation of SOCE. We found that SOCE was significantly attenuated in GMCs from aged (22-month-old) rats. The expression of SOCE-related components, stromal interaction molecule 1 (STIM 1) and Orai 1, in freshly isolated glomeruli notably decreased, and STIM 1 and Orai 1 puncta formation significantly reduced in primary-cultured GMCs in aged rats. Moreover, specific knockdown of STIM 1 and Orai 1 by small interfering RNA markedly suppressed SOCE and cell proliferation of GMCs isolated from young (3-month-old) rats. We conclude that the attenuation of GMCs proliferation can be attributed to the decreased SOCE partially caused by reduced expression of STIM 1 and Orai 1.
Project description:Podocytes are differentiated post-mitotic cells that cannot replace themselves after injury. Glomerular parietal epithelial cells are proposed to be podocyte progenitors. To test whether a subset of parietal epithelial cells transdifferentiate to a podocyte fate, dual reporter PEC-rtTA|LC1|tdTomato|Nphs1-FLPo|FRT-EGFP mice, named PEC-PODO, were generated. Doxycycline administration permanently labeled parietal epithelial cells with tdTomato reporter (red), and upon doxycycline removal, the parietal epithelial cells (PECs) cannot label further. Despite the presence or absence of doxycycline, podocytes cannot label with tdTomato, but are constitutively labeled with an enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) reporter (green). Only activation of the Nphs1-FLPo transgene by labeled parietal epithelial cells can generate a yellow color. At day 28 of experimental focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, podocyte density was 20% lower in 20% of glomeruli. At day 56 of experimental focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, podocyte density was 18% lower in 17% of glomeruli. TdTomato+ parietal epithelial cells were restricted to Bowman's capsule in healthy mice. However, by days 28 and 56 of experimental disease, two-thirds of tdTomato+ parietal epithelial cells within glomerular tufts were yellow in color. These cells co-expressed the podocyte markers podocin, nephrin, p57 and VEGF164, but not markers of endothelial (ERG) or mesangial (Perlecan) cells. Expansion microscopy showed primary, secondary and minor processes in tdTomato+EGFP+ cells in glomerular tufts. Thus, our studies provide strong evidence that parietal epithelial cells serve as a source of new podocytes in adult mice.