Liraglutide Reduces Both Atherosclerosis and Kidney Inflammation in Moderately Uremic LDLr-/- Mice.
ABSTRACT: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) leads to uremia. CKD is characterized by a gradual increase in kidney fibrosis and loss of kidney function, which is associated with a progressive increase in risk of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular death. To prevent progression of both kidney fibrosis and atherosclerosis in uremic settings, insight into new treatment options with effects on both parameters is warranted. The GLP-1 analogue liraglutide improves glucose homeostasis, and is approved for treatment of type 2 diabetes. Animal studies suggest that GLP-1 also dampens inflammation and atherosclerosis. Our aim was to examine effects of liraglutide on kidney fibrosis and atherosclerosis in a mouse model of moderate uremia (5/6 nephrectomy (NX)). Uremic (n = 29) and sham-operated (n = 14) atherosclerosis-prone low density lipoprotein receptor knockout mice were treated with liraglutide (1000 ?g/kg, s.c. once daily) or vehicle for 13 weeks. As expected, uremia increased aortic atherosclerosis. In the remnant kidneys from NX mice, flow cytometry revealed an increase in the number of monocyte-like cells (CD68+F4/80-), CD4+, and CD8+ T-cells, suggesting that moderate uremia induced kidney inflammation. Furthermore, markers of fibrosis (i.e. Col1a1 and Col3a1) were upregulated, and histological examinations showed increased glomerular diameter in NX mice. Importantly, liraglutide treatment attenuated atherosclerosis (~40%, p < 0.05) and reduced kidney inflammation in NX mice. There was no effect of liraglutide on expression of fibrosis markers and/or kidney histology. This study suggests that liraglutide has beneficial effects in a mouse model of moderate uremia by reducing atherosclerosis and attenuating kidney inflammation.
Project description:Uremic patients have increased plasma lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] levels and elevated risk of cardiovascular disease. Lp(a) is a subfraction of LDL, where apolipoprotein(a) [apo(a)] is disulfide bound to apolipoprotein B-100 (apoB). Lp(a) binds oxidized phospholipids (OxPL), and uremia increases lipoprotein-associated OxPL. Thus, Lp(a) may be particularly atherogenic in a uremic setting. We therefore investigated whether transgenic (Tg) expression of human Lp(a) increases atherosclerosis in uremic mice. Moderate uremia was induced by 5/6 nephrectomy (NX) in Tg mice with expression of human apo(a) (n = 19), human apoB-100 (n = 20), or human apo(a) + human apoB [Lp(a)] (n = 15), and in wild-type (WT) controls (n = 21). The uremic mice received a high-fat diet, and aortic atherosclerosis was examined 35 weeks later. LDL-cholesterol was increased in apoB-Tg and Lp(a)-Tg mice, but it was normal in apo(a)-Tg and WT mice. Uremia did not result in increased plasma apo(a) or Lp(a). Mean atherosclerotic plaque area in the aortic root was increased 1.8-fold in apo(a)-Tg (P = 0.025) and 3.3-fold (P = 0.0001) in Lp(a)-Tg mice compared with WT mice. Plasma OxPL, as detected with the E06 antibody, was associated with both apo(a) and Lp(a). In conclusion, expression of apo(a) or Lp(a) increased uremia-induced atherosclerosis. Binding of OxPL on apo(a) and Lp(a) may contribute to the atherogenicity of Lp(a) in uremia.
Project description:Chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients have an accelerated atherosclerosis, increased risk of thrombotic-ischemic complications, and excessive mortality rates when compared with the general population. There is also evidence of an endothelial damage in which the proinflammatory state, the enhanced oxidative stress, or the accumulation of toxins due to their reduced renal clearance in uremia play a role. Further, there is evidence that uremic endothelial cells are both involved in and victims of the activation of the innate immunity. Uremic endothelial cells produce danger associated molecular patterns (DAMPS), which by binding to specific pattern recognition receptors expressed in multiple cells, including endothelial cells, induce the expression of adhesion molecules, the production of proinflammatory cytokines and an enhanced production of reactive oxygen species in endothelial cells, which constitute a link between immunity and inflammation. The connection between endothelial damage, inflammation and defective immunity in uremia will be reviewed here.
Project description:Cardiac remodeling occurs frequently in chronic kidney disease patients and affects quality of life and survival. Current treatment options are highly inadequate. As kidney function declines, numerous metabolic pathways are disturbed. Kidney and heart functions are highly connected by organ crosstalk. Among others, altered volume and pressure status, ischemia, accelerated atherosclerosis and arteriosclerosis, disturbed mineral metabolism, renal anemia, activation of the renin-angiotensin system, uremic toxins, oxidative stress and upregulation of cytokines stress the sensitive interplay between different cardiac cell types. The fatal consequences are left-ventricular hypertrophy, fibrosis and capillary rarefaction, which lead to systolic and/or diastolic left-ventricular failure. Furthermore, fibrosis triggers electric instability and sudden cardiac death. This review focuses on established and potential pathophysiological cardiorenal crosstalk mechanisms that drive uremia-induced senescence and disease progression, including potential known targets and animal models that might help us to better understand the disease and to identify novel therapeutics.
Project description:Hyperphosphatemia and vascular calcification are frequent complications of chronic renal failure and bone morphogenetic protein 7 (BMP7) has been shown to protect against development of vascular calcification in uremia. The present investigation examined the potential reversibility of established uremic vascular calcification by treatment of uremic rats with BMP7. A control model of isogenic transplantation of a calcified aorta from uremic rats into healthy littermates examined whether normalization of the uremic environment reversed vascular calcification. Uremia and vascular calcification were induced in rats by 5/6 nephrectomy, high phosphate diet and alfacalcidol treatment. After 14 weeks severe vascular calcification was present and rats were allocated to BMP7, vehicle or aorta transplantation. BMP7 treatment caused a significant decrease of plasma phosphate to 1.56 ± 0.17 mmol/L vs 2.06 ± 0.34 mmol/L in the vehicle group even in the setting of uremia and high phosphate diet. Uremia and alfacalcidol resulted in an increase in aortic expression of genes related to fibrosis, osteogenic transformation and extracellular matrix calcification, and the BMP7 treatment resulted in a decrease in the expression of profibrotic genes. The total Ca-content of the aorta was however unchanged both in the abdominal aorta: 1.9 ± 0.6 ?g/mg tissue in the vehicle group vs 2.2 ± 0.6 ?g/mg tissue in the BMP7 group and in the thoracic aorta: 71 ± 27 ?g/mg tissue in the vehicle group vs 54 ± 18 ?g/mg tissue in the BMP7 group. Likewise, normalization of the uremic environment by aorta transplantation had no effect on the Ca-content of the calcified aorta: 16.3 ± 0.6 ?g/mg tissue pre-transplantation vs 15.9 ± 2.3 ?g/mg tissue post-transplantation. Aortic expression of genes directly linked to extracellular matrix calcification was not affected by BMP7 treatment, which hypothetically might explain persistent high Ca-content in established vascular calcification. The present results highlight the importance of preventing the development of vascular calcification in chronic kidney disease. Once established, vascular calcification persists even in the setting when hyperphosphatemia or the uremic milieu is abolished.
Project description:The expression of the renoprotective antiaging gene Klotho is decreased in uremia. Recent studies suggest that Klotho may be a tumor suppressor, and its expression may be repressed by DNA hypermethylation in cancer cells. Here we investigated the effects and possible mechanisms by which Klotho expression is regulated during uremia in uninephrectomized B-6 mice given the uremic toxins indoxyl sulfate or p-cresyl sulfate. Cultured human renal tubular HK2 cells treated with these toxins were used as an in vitro model. Injections of indoxyl sulfate or p-cresyl sulfate increased their serum concentrations, kidney fibrosis, CpG hypermethylation of the Klotho gene, and decreased Klotho expression in renal tubules of these mice. The expression of DNA methyltransferases 1, 3a, and 3b isoforms in HK2 cells treated with indoxyl sulfate or p-cresyl sulfate was significantly increased. Specific inhibition of DNA methyltransferase isoform 1 by 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine caused demethylation of the Klotho gene and increased Klotho expression in vitro. Thus, inhibition of Klotho gene expression by uremic toxins correlates with gene hypermethylation, suggesting that epigenetic modification of specific genes by uremic toxins may be an important pathological mechanism of disease.
Project description:Background and Aim:Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) initially presents as steatosis, which can progress to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), and often presents clinically alongside metabolic syndromes. Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs) are regularly utilized to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus. The GLP-1 RA-liraglutide-ameliorates liver enzymes, histological features, and liver fat content of patients with NASH. However, few studies have examined whether the effect of GLP-1 RAs depends on changes in the patient's body mass index (BMI). Therefore, this retrospective study aimed to investigate whether the efficacy of liraglutide depended on the baseline BMI or a reduction in BMI. Methods:Fifty-five Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and NAFLD who received liraglutide treatment for 24?weeks were assessed. The association between BMI and liver function or fibrosis was evaluated based on the aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, and fibrosis-4 indices. Results:We found that 24?weeks of liraglutide treatment improved liver function and fibrosis in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and NAFLD, regardless of BMI changes or obesity status. Conclusions:Our findings provide important insight into the impact of BMI on liver function and fibrosis in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and NAFLD who are treated with liraglutide.
Project description:Carbamylated LDL (cLDL) is a potential atherogenic factor in chronic kidney disease (CKD). However, whether elevated plasma cLDL associates with atherosclerosis in vivo is unknown. Here, we induced CKD surgically in apolipoprotein E-deficient (ApoE(-/-)) mice fed a high-fat diet to promote the development of atherosclerosis. These mice had two- to threefold higher plasma levels of both oxidized LDL (oxLDL) and cLDL compared with control mice. Oral administration of urea increased cLDL approximately eightfold in ApoE(-/-) mice subjected to unilateral nephrectomy and a high-fat diet, but oxLDL did not rise. Regardless of the model, the uremic mice with high plasma cLDL had more severe atherosclerosis as measured by intravital ultrasound echography and en face aortic staining of lipid deposits. Furthermore, cLDL accumulated in the aortic wall and colocalized with ICAM-1 and macrophage infiltration. In summary, these data demonstrate that elevated plasma cLDL may represent an independent risk factor for uremia-induced atherosclerosis.
Project description:Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a chronic, progressive, and fatal lung disease. This disease is characterized by an excessive accumulation of extracellular matrix deposition that modify normal lung physiology. Up to date, there are not efficient therapeutic tools to fight IPF. Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1R) activation plays an essential role in lung functions in normal and in pathological conditions. The aim of the present study was to study the possible beneficial effects of the administration of the GLP-1R agonist, liraglutide, in the pathogenesis of the fibrotic process in an animal model of pulmonary fibrosis induced by bleomycin. We observed that liraglutide decreased mRNA expression of collagen, hydroxyproline and key enzymes for the synthesis of collagen. In addition, GLP-1R activation restored the ACE2 mRNA levels modulating the activities of the RAS components, increased the production of surfactant proteins (SFTPa1, SFTPb, SFTPc) and promoted an improvement in pulmonary and cardiac functionality, including a partial restoration of lung alveolar structure. Liraglutide effects are shown at both the pro-inflammatory and fibrosis phases of the experimental disease. For these reasons, GLP-1 might be regarded as a promising drug for treating pulmonary fibrosis.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Peritoneal fibrosis (PF) represents a long-term complication of peritoneal dialysis (PD), affecting peritoneal membrane (PM) integrity and function. Understanding the mechanisms underlying PF development in an uremic environment aiming alternative therapeutic strategies for treating this process is of great interest. The aim of this study was to analyze the effects of tamoxifen (TAM) and recombinant BMP7 (rBMP7) in an experimental model of PF developed in uremic rats. METHODS:To mimic the clinical situation of patients on long-term PD, a combo model, characterized by the combination of PF and CKD with severe uremia, was developed in Wistar rats. PF was induced by intraperitoneal (IP) injections of chlorhexidine gluconate (CG), and CKD was induced by an adenine-rich diet. Uremia was confirmed by severe hypertension, increased blood urea nitrogen (BUN> 120 mg/dL) and serum creatinine levels (> 2 mg/dL). Uremic rats with PF were treated with TAM (10 mg/Kg by gavage) or BMP7 (30 μg/Kg, IP). Animals were followed up for 30 days. RESULTS:CG administration in uremic rats induced a striking increase in PM thickness, neoangiogenesis, demonstrated by increased capillary density, and failure of ultrafiltration capacity. These morphological and functional changes were blocked by TAM or rBMP7 treatment. In parallel, TAM and rBMP7 significantly ameliorated the PM fibrotic response by reducing α-SMA, extracellular matrix proteins and TGF-ß expression. TAM or rBMP7 administration significantly inhibited peritoneal Smad3 expression in uremic rats with PF, prevented Smad3 phosphorylation, and induced a remarkable up-regulation of Smad7, an intracellular inhibitor of TGFβ/Smad signaling, contributing to a negative modulation of profibrotic genes. Both treatments were also effective in reducing local inflammation, possibly by upregulating IκB-α expression in the PM of uremic rats with PF. In vitro experiments using primary peritoneal fibroblasts activated by TGF-ß confirmed the capacity of TAM or rBMP7 in blocking inflammatory mediators, such as IL-1ß expression. CONCLUSIONS:In conclusion, these findings indicate important roles of TGF-ß/Smad signaling in PF aggravated by uremia, providing data regarding potential therapeutic approaches with TAM or rBMP7 to block this process.
Project description:Although gastrointestinal complications are a common feature of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), the impact of uremia on bowel motility remains poorly understood. The present study was, therefore, designed to investigate the impact of uremia on gut motility. Kidney failure was induced in mice by chemical nephrectomy using an adenine diet (0.25% w/w). Gastrointestinal transit time and colon motility were explored in vivo and ex vivo. Colons from control mice were incubated with uremic plasma or uremic toxins (urea, indoxyl-sulfate or p-cresyl-sulfate) at concentrations encountered in patients with end-stage renal disease. Mice fed an adenine diet for 3 weeks exhibited a 3-fold increase in plasma urea (p < 0.001) evidencing kidney failure. The median gastrointestinal transit time was doubled (1.8-fold, p < 0.001) while a reduction in colonic propulsive motility was observed in CKD mice (3-fold, p < 0.001). Colon from CKD mice exhibited an abnormal pattern of contraction associated with a blunted maximal force of contraction. Control colons incubated with plasma from hemodialysis patients exhibited a blunted level of maximal contraction (p < 0.01). Incubation with urea did not elicit any difference but incubation with indoxyl-sulfate or p-cresyl-sulfate decreased the maximal force of contraction (-66% and -55%, respectively. p < 0.01). Taken together, these data suggest that uremia impairs colon motility probably through the retention of uremic toxins. Colon dysmotility might contribute to the gastrointestinal symptoms often reported in patients with CKD.