Local TNF causes NFATc1-dependent cholesterol-mediated podocyte injury.
ABSTRACT: High levels of circulating TNF and its receptors, TNFR1 and TNFR2, predict the progression of diabetic kidney disease (DKD), but their contribution to organ damage in DKD remains largely unknown. Here, we investigated the function of local and systemic TNF in podocyte injury. We cultured human podocytes with sera collected from DKD patients, who displayed elevated TNF levels, and focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) patients, whose TNF levels resembled those of healthy patients. Exogenous TNF administration or local TNF expression was equally sufficient to cause free cholesterol-dependent apoptosis in podocytes by acting through a dual mechanism that required a reduction in ATP-binding cassette transporter A1-mediated (ABCA1-mediated) cholesterol efflux and reduced cholesterol esterification by sterol-O-acyltransferase 1 (SOAT1). TNF-induced albuminuria was aggravated in mice with podocyte-specific ABCA1 deficiency and was partially prevented by cholesterol depletion with cyclodextrin. TNF-stimulated free cholesterol-dependent apoptosis in podocytes was mediated by nuclear factor of activated T cells 1 (NFATc1). ABCA1 overexpression or cholesterol depletion was sufficient to reduce albuminuria in mice with podocyte-specific NFATc1 activation. Our data implicate an NFATc1/ABCA1-dependent mechanism in which local TNF is sufficient to cause free cholesterol-dependent podocyte injury irrespective of TNF, TNFR1, or TNFR2 serum levels.
Project description:Diabetic kidney disease (DKD) remains the most common cause of end-stage kidney disease despite multifactorial intervention. We demonstrated that increased cholesterol in association with downregulation of ATP-binding cassette transporter ABCA1 occurs in normal human podocytes exposed to the sera of patients with type 1 diabetes and albuminuria (DKD(+)) when compared with diabetic patients with normoalbuminuria (DKD(-)) and similar duration of diabetes and lipid profile. Glomerular downregulation of ABCA1 was confirmed in biopsies from patients with early DKD (n = 70) when compared with normal living donors (n = 32). Induction of cholesterol efflux with cyclodextrin (CD) but not inhibition of cholesterol synthesis with simvastatin prevented podocyte injury observed in vitro after exposure to patient sera. Subcutaneous administration of CD to diabetic BTBR (black and tan, brachiuric) ob/ob mice was safe and reduced albuminuria, mesangial expansion, kidney weight, and cortical cholesterol content. This was followed by an improvement of fasting insulin, blood glucose, body weight, and glucose tolerance in vivo and improved glucose-stimulated insulin release in human islets in vitro. Our data suggest that impaired reverse cholesterol transport characterizes clinical and experimental DKD and negatively influences podocyte function. Treatment with CD is safe and effective in preserving podocyte function in vitro and in vivo and may improve the metabolic control of diabetes.
Project description:Fibroblasts from patients with Tangier disease carrying ATP-binding cassette A1 (ABCA1) loss-of-function mutations are characterized by cardiolipin accumulation, a mitochondrial-specific phospholipid. Suppression of ABCA1 expression occurs in glomeruli from patients with diabetic kidney disease (DKD) and in human podocytes exposed to DKD sera collected prior to the development of DKD. We demonstrated that siRNA ABCA1 knockdown in podocytes led to reduced oxygen consumption capabilities associated with alterations in the oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) complexes and with cardiolipin accumulation. Podocyte-specific deletion of Abca1 (Abca1fl/fl) rendered mice susceptible to DKD, and pharmacological induction of ABCA1 improved established DKD. This was not mediated by free cholesterol, as genetic deletion of sterol-o-acyltransferase-1 (SOAT1) in Abca1fl/fl mice was sufficient to cause free cholesterol accumulation but did not cause glomerular injury. Instead, cardiolipin mediates ABCA1-dependent susceptibility to podocyte injury, as inhibition of cardiolipin peroxidation with elamipretide improved DKD in vivo and prevented ABCA1-dependent podocyte injury in vitro and in vivo. Collectively, we describe a pathway definitively linking ABCA1 deficiency to cardiolipin-driven mitochondrial dysfunction. We demonstrated that this pathway is relevant to DKD and that ABCA1 inducers or inhibitors of cardiolipin peroxidation may each represent therapeutic strategies for the treatment of established DKD.
Project description:Diabetic kidney disease (DKD) is the single most common cause of albuminuria and end-stage kidney disease in the United States. We found increased expression of Wnt/?-catenin (Ctnnb1) pathway transcripts and proteins in glomeruli and podocytes of patients and mouse models of DKD. Mice with podocyte-specific expression of stabilized Ctnnb1 exhibited basement membrane abnormalities, albuminuria, and increased susceptibility to glomerular injury. Mice with podocyte-specific deletion of Ctnnb1 or podocyte-specific expression of the canonical Wnt inhibitor Dickkopf-related protein 1 (Dkk1) also showed increased susceptibility to DKD. Podocytes with stabilized Ctnnb1 were less motile and less adhesive to different matrices. Deletion of Ctnnb1 in cultured podocytes increased the expression of podocyte differentiation markers and enhanced cell motility; however, these cells were more susceptible to apoptosis. These results indicate that Wnt/Ctnnb1 signaling in podocytes plays a critical role in integrating cell adhesion, motility, cell death, and differentiation. Balanced Ctnnb1 expression is critical for glomerular filtration barrier maintenance.
Project description:Diabetic kidney disease (DKD) is a major cause of end-stage renal disease (ESRD), and therapeutic strategies for delaying its progression are limited. Loss of podocytes by apoptosis characterizes the early stages of DKD. To identify novel therapeutic options, we investigated the effects of Xuesaitong (XST), consisting of total saponins from Panax notoginseng, on podocyte apoptosis in streptozotocin- (STZ-) induced diabetic rats. XST (5?mg/kg·d) or Losartan (10?mg/kg·d) was given to diabetic rats for 12 weeks. Albuminuria, renal function markers, and renal histopathology morphological changes were examined. Podocyte apoptosis was determined by triple immunofluorescence labelling including a TUNEL assay, WT1, and DAPI. Renal expression of Nox4, miRNA-214, PTEN, PDK1, phosphorylated Akt, mTOR, and mTORC1 was detected. In diabetic rats, severe hyperglycaemia and albuminuria developed, and apoptotic podocytes were markedly increased in diabetic kidneys. However, XST attenuated albuminuria, mesangial expansion, podocyte apoptosis, and morphological changes of podocytes in diabetic rats. Decreased expression of PTEN, as well as increased expression of Nox4, miRNA-214, PDK1, phosphorylated Akt, mTOR, and mTORC1, was detected. These abnormalities were partially restored by XST treatment. Thus, XST ameliorated podocyte apoptosis partly through modulating the PTEN-PDK1-Akt-mTOR pathway. These novel findings might point the way to a natural therapeutic strategy for treating DKD.
Project description:The development of proliferative podocytopathies has been linked to ligation of tumor necrosis factor receptor 2 (TNFR2) expressed on the renal parenchyma; however, the TNFR2-positive cells within the kidney responsible for podocyte injury are unknown. We detected de novo expression of TNFR2 on podocytes before hyperplastic injury in crescentic glomerulonephritis of mice with nephrotoxic nephritis, and in collapsing glomerulopathy of Tg26(HIV/nl) mice, kd/kd mice, and human beings. We further found that serum levels of soluble TNF-? and TNFR2 correlated significantly with renal injury in Tg26(HIV/nl) mice. Thus, we asked whether ligand binding of TNFR2 on podocytes ex vivo precipitates the characteristic proliferative and pro-inflammatory diseased podocyte phenotypes. Soluble TNF-? activated NF-?B and dose-dependently induced podocyte proliferation, marked by the expression of the podocyte G(1) cyclin and NF-?B target gene, cyclin D1. Microarray gene and chemokine protein expression profiling showed a marked pro-inflammatory NF-?B signature, and activated podocytes secreting CCL2- and CCL5-induced macrophage migration in transwell assays. Neutralization of TNFR2 on podocytes with blocking antibodies abrogated NF-?B activation and the induction of cyclin D1 by TNF-?, and identified TNFR2 as the primary receptor that induced I?B? degradation, the initiating event in NF-?B activation. These results suggest that TNFR2 expressed on podocytes and its canonical NF-?B signaling may directly interpose the compound pathogenic responses by podocytes to TNF-?, in the absence of other TNFR2-positive renal cell types in proliferative podocytopathies.
Project description: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-?/NF-?B 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.
Project description:Notch pathway activation in podocytes has been shown to play an important role in diabetic kidney disease (DKD) development; however, the receptors and ligands involved in the process have not been identified. Here, we report that conditional deletion of Notch1 in podocytes using NPHS2(cre)Notch1(flox/flox) animals resulted in marked amelioration of DKD. On the contrary, podocyte-specific genetic deletion of Notch2 had no effect on albuminuria and mesangial expansion. Notch1-null podocytes were protected from apoptosis and dedifferentiation in vitro, likely explaining the protective phenotype in vivo. Deletion of Notch1 in podocytes also resulted in an increase in Notch2 expression, indicating an interaction between the receptors. At the same time, transgenic overexpression of Notch2 in podocytes did not induce phenotypic changes, while constitutive expression of Notch1 caused rapid development of albuminuria and glomerulosclerosis. In summary, our studies indicate that Notch1 plays a distinct (nonredundant) role in podocytes during DKD development.
Project description:Inherited and acquired mitochondrial defects have been associated with podocyte dysfunction and chronic kidney disease (CKD). Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor ? coactivator-1? (PGC1?) is one of the main transcriptional regulators of mitochondrial biogenesis and function. We hypothesized that increasing PGC1? expression in podocytes could protect from CKD. We found that PGC1? and mitochondrial transcript levels are lower in podocytes of patients and mouse models with diabetic kidney disease (DKD). To increase PGC1? expression, podocyte-specific inducible PGC1?-transgenic mice were generated by crossing nephrin-rtTA mice with tetO-Ppargc1a animals. Transgene induction resulted in albuminuria and glomerulosclerosis in a dose-dependent manner. Expression of PGC1? in podocytes increased mitochondrial biogenesis and maximal respiratory capacity. PGC1? also shifted podocytes towards fatty acid usage from their baseline glucose preference. RNA sequencing analysis indicated that PGC1? induced podocyte proliferation. Histological lesions of mice with podocyte-specific PGC1? expression resembled collapsing focal segmental glomerular sclerosis. In conclusion, decreased podocyte PGC1? expression and mitochondrial content is a consistent feature of DKD, but excessive PGC1? alters mitochondrial properties and induces podocyte proliferation and dedifferentiation, indicating that there is likely a narrow therapeutic window for PGC1? levels in podocytes.
Project description:Diabetic kidney disease (DKD) is a microvascular complication that leads to kidney dysfunction and ESRD, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Podocyte Wnt-pathway activation has been demonstrated to be a trigger mechanism for various proteinuric diseases. Notably, four-and-a-half LIM domains protein 2 (FHL2) is highly expressed in urogenital systems and has been implicated in Wnt/?-catenin signaling. Here, we used in vitro podocyte culture experiments and a streptozotocin-induced DKD model in FHL2 gene-knockout mice to determine the possible role of FHL2 in DKD and to clarify its association with the Wnt pathway. In human and mouse kidney tissues, FHL2 protein was abundantly expressed in podocytes but not in renal tubular cells. Treatment with high glucose or diabetes-related cytokines, including angiotensin II and TGF-?1, activated FHL2 protein and Wnt/?-catenin signaling in cultured podocytes. This activation also upregulated FHL2 expression and promoted FHL2 translocation from cytosol to nucleus. Genetic deletion of the FHL2 gene mitigated the podocyte dedifferentiation caused by activated Wnt/?-catenin signaling under Wnt-On, but not under Wnt-Off, conditions. Diabetic FHL2(+/+) mice developed markedly increased albuminuria and thickening of the glomerular basement membrane compared with nondiabetic FHL2(+/+) mice. However, FHL2 knockout significantly attenuated these DKD-induced changes. Furthermore, kidney samples from patients with diabetes had a higher degree of FHL2 podocyte nuclear translocation, which was positively associated with albuminuria and progressive renal function deterioration. Therefore, we conclude that FHL2 has both structural and functional protein-protein interactions with ?-catenin in the podocyte nucleus and that FHL2 protein inhibition can mitigate Wnt/?-catenin-induced podocytopathy.
Project description:Using the Nephrotic Syndrome Study Network Consortium data set and other publicly available transcriptomic data sets, we identified retinoic acid receptor responder protein 1 (RARRES1) as a gene whose expression positively correlated with renal function decline in human glomerular disease. The glomerular expression of RARRES1, which is largely restricted to podocytes, increased in focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) and diabetic kidney disease (DKD). TNF-? was a potent inducer of RARRES1 expression in cultured podocytes, and transcriptomic analysis showed the enrichment of cell death pathway genes with RARRES1 overexpression. The overexpression of RARRES1 indeed induced podocyte apoptosis in vitro. Notably, this effect was dependent on its cleavage in the extracellular domain, as the mutation of its cleavage site abolished the apoptotic effect. Mechanistically, the soluble RARRES1 was endocytosed and interacted with and inhibited RIO kinase 1 (RIOK1), resulting in p53 activation and podocyte apoptosis. In mice, podocyte-specific overexpression of RARRES1 resulted in marked glomerular injury and albuminuria, while the overexpression of RARRES1 cleavage mutant had no effect. Conversely, podocyte-specific knockdown of Rarres1 in mice ameliorated glomerular injury in the setting of adriamycin-induced nephropathy. Our study demonstrates an important role and the mechanism of RARRES1 in podocyte injury in glomerular disease.