Sildenafil Prevents Podocyte Injury via PPAR-?-Mediated TRPC6 Inhibition.
ABSTRACT: Transient receptor potential channel C6 (TRPC6) gain-of-function mutations and increased TRPC6 expression in podocytes induce glomerular injury and proteinuria. Sildenafil reduces TRPC6 expression and activity in nonrenal cell types, although the mechanism is unknown. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor ? (PPAR-?) is a downstream target of sildenafil in the cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP)-activated protein kinase G (PKG) axis. PPAR-? agonists, like pioglitazone, appear antiproteinuric. We hypothesized that sildenafil inhibits TRPC6 expression in podocytes through PPAR-?-dependent mechanisms, thereby counteracting podocyte injury and proteinuria. Treatment with sildenafil, the cGMP derivative 8-bromoguanosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate sodium salt (8-Br-cGMP), or pioglitazone dose-dependently downregulated podocyte injury-induced TRPC6 expression in vitro Knockdown or application of antagonists of PKG or PPAR-? enhanced TRPC6 expression in podocytes and counteracted effects of sildenafil and 8-Br-cGMP. We observed similar effects on TRPC6 promoter activity and TRPC6-dependent calcium influx. Chromatin immunoprecipitation showed PPAR-? binding to the TRPC6 promoter. Sildenafil or pioglitazone treatment prevented proteinuria and the increased TRPC6 expression in rats with adriamycin-induced nephropathy and mice with hyperglycemia-induced renal injury. Rats receiving PPAR-? antagonists displayed proteinuria and increased podocyte TRPC6 expression, as did podocyte-specific PPAR-? knockout mice, which were more sensitive to adriamycin and not protected by sildenafil. Thus, sildenafil ameliorates podocyte injury and prevents proteinuria through cGMP- and PKG-dependent binding of PPAR-? to the TRPC6 promoter, which inhibits TRPC6 promoter activity, expression, and activity. Because sildenafil is approved for clinical use, our results suggest that additional clinical study of its antiproteinuric effect in glomerular disease is warranted.
Project description:Transient receptor potential canonical (TRPC) proteins play important roles in chronically hypoxic pulmonary hypertension (CHPH). Previous results indicated that sildenafil inhibited TRPC1 and TRPC6 expression in rat distal pulmonary arteries (PAs). However, the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. We undertook this study to investigate the downstream signaling of sildenafil's regulation on TRPC1 and TRPC6 expression in pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells (PASMCs). Hypoxia-exposed rats (10% O2 for 21 d) and rat distal PASMCs (4% O2 for 60 h) were taken as models to mimic CHPH. Real-time PCR, Western blotting, and Fura-2-based fluorescent microscopy were performed for mRNA, protein, and Ca(2+) measurements, respectively. The cellular cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) analogue 8-(4-chlorophenylthio)-guanosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate sodium salt (CPT-cGMP) (100 μM) inhibited TRPC1 and TRPC6 expression, store-operated Ca(2+) entry (SOCE), and the proliferation and migration of PASMCs exposed to prolonged hypoxia. The inhibition of CPT-cGMP on TRPC1 and TRPC6 expression in PASMCs was relieved by either the inhibition or knockdown of cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) expression. Under hypoxic conditions, CPT-cGMP increased PPARγ expression. This increase was abolished by the PKG antagonists Rp8 or KT5823. PPARγ agonist GW1929 significantly decreased TRPC1 and TRPC6 expression in PASMCs. Moreover, hypoxia exposure decreased, whereas sildenafil treatment increased, PKG and PPARγ expression in PASMCs ex vivo, and in rat distal PAs in vivo. The suppressive effects of sildenafil on TRPC1 and TRPC6 in rat distal PAs and on the hemodynamic parameters of CHPH were inhibited by treatment with the PPARγ antagonist T0070907. We conclude that sildenafil inhibits TRPC1 and TRPC6 expression in PASMCs via cGMP-PKG-PPARγ-dependent signaling during CHPH.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The hallmark of podocytopathies, such as FSGS, is podocyte injury resulting in proteinuria. Transient receptor potential channel C6 (TRPC6) is a calcium-conducting ion channel expressed at the slit diaphragm. TRPC6 gain-of-function mutations and glomerular TRPC6 overexpression are associated with proteinuria. However, the pathways linking TRPC6 to podocyte injury, which is characterized by loss of the slit diaphragm protein nephrin, activation of several intracellular pathways (including calcineurin-NFAT signaling), and cytoskeletal rearrangement, remain elusive.<h4>Methods</h4>We tested whether the calcium-dependent protease calpain-1 mediates TRPC6-dependent podocyte injury in human and experimental FSGS and cultured podocytes.<h4>Results</h4>Compared with kidneys of healthy controls, kidneys of patients with FSGS had increased TRPC6 expression, increased calpain and calcineurin activity, and reduced expression of the calpain target Talin-1, which links the actin cytoskeleton to integrins and is critical for podocyte cytoskeletal stability. In a rat model of human FSGS, increased glomerular and urinary calpain activity associated with reduced Talin-1 abundance, enhanced calcineurin activity, and increased proteinuria. Treatment with the calpain inhibitor calpeptin prevented these effects. In cultured podocytes, pharmacologic stimulation of TRPC6-dependent calcium influx increased calpain-1 and calcineurin activity and reduced Talin-1 expression, and knockdown of TRPC6 or calpain-1 prevented these effects.<h4>Conclusions</h4>We elucidated a novel mechanism that links TRPC6 activity to calpain-1 activation and through Talin-1 loss and possibly, calcineurin activation, the podocyte injury characterizing FSGS. Therefore, calpain-1 and/or TRPC6 inhibition could be future therapeutic options to treat patients with FSGS or other podocytopathies.
Project description:Tangshen Formula (TSF) is a Chinese Medicine formula that has been reported to alleviate proteinuria and protect renal function in humans and animals with diabetic kidney disease (DKD). However, little is known about its mechanism in improving proteinuria. The dysregulation of podocyte cell-matrix adhesion has been demonstrated to play an important role in the pathogenesis and progression of proteinuric kidney diseases including DKD. In the present study, the underlying protective mechanism of TSF on podocytes was investigated using the murine model of type 2 DKD db/db mice in vivo and advanced glycation end products (AGEs)-stimulated primary mice podocytes in vitro. Results revealed that TSF treatment could significantly mitigate reduction of podocyte numbers and foot process effacement, reduce proteinuria, and protect renal function in db/db mice. There was a significant increase in expression of transient receptor potential canonical channel 6 (TRPC6) and a decrease in expression of talin1 in podocytes of db/db mice. The results of AGEs-stimulated primary mice podocytes showed increased cell migration and actin-cytoskeleton rearrangement. Moreover, primary mice podocytes stimulated by AGEs displayed an increase in TRPC6-dependent Ca2+ influx, a loss of talin1, and translocation of nuclear factor of activated T cell (NFATC) 2. These dysregulations in mice primary podocytes stimulated by AGEs could be significantly attenuated after TSF treatment. 1-Oleoyl-2-acetyl-sn-glycerol (OAG), a TRPC6 agonist, blocked the protective role of TSF on podocyte cell-matrix adherence. In conclusion, TSF could protect podocytes from injury and reduce proteinuria in DKD, which may be mediated by the regulation of the TRPC6/Talin1 pathway in podocytes.
Project description:Familial forms of focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) have been linked to gain-of-function mutations in the gene encoding the transient receptor potential channel C6 (TRPC6). GPCRs coupled to Gq signaling activate TRPC6, suggesting that Gq-dependent TRPC6 activation underlies glomerular diseases. Here, we developed a murine model in which a constitutively active Gq ? subunit (Gq(Q209L), referred to herein as GqQ>L) is specifically expressed in podocytes and examined the effects of this mutation in response to puromycin aminonucleoside (PAN) nephrosis. We found that compared with control animals, animals expressing GqQ>L exhibited robust albuminuria, structural features of FSGS, and reduced numbers of glomerular podocytes. Gq activation stimulated calcineurin (CN) activity, resulting in CN-dependent upregulation of TRPC6 in murine kidneys. Deletion of TRPC6 in GqQ>L-expressing mice prevented FSGS development and inhibited both tubular damage and podocyte loss induced by PAN nephrosis. Similarly, administration of the CN inhibitor FK506 reduced proteinuria and tubular injury but had more modest effects on glomerular pathology and podocyte numbers in animals with constitutive Gq activation. Moreover, these Gq-dependent effects on podocyte injury were generalizable to diabetic kidney disease, as expression of GqQ>L promoted albuminuria, mesangial expansion, and increased glomerular basement membrane width in diabetic mice. Together, these results suggest that targeting Gq/TRPC6 signaling may have therapeutic benefits for the treatment of glomerular diseases.
Project description:Increased cyclic GMP from enhanced synthesis or suppressed catabolism (e.g. PDE5 inhibition by sildenafil, SIL) activates protein kinase G (PKG) and blunts cardiac pathological hypertrophy. Suppressed calcineurin (Cn)-NFAT (nuclear factor of activated T-cells) signaling appears to be involved, though it remains unclear how this is achieved. One potential mechanism involves activation of Cn/NFAT by calcium entering via transient receptor potential canonical (TRPC) channels (notably TRPC6). Here, we tested the hypothesis that PKG blocks Cn/NFAT activation by modifying and thus inhibiting TRPC6 current to break the positive feedback loop involving NFAT and NFAT-dependent TRPC6 upregulation. TRPC6 expression rose with pressure-overload in vivo, and angiotensin (ATII) or endothelin (ET1) stimulation in neonatal and adult cardiomyocytes in vitro. 8Br-cGMP and SIL reduced ET1-stimulated TRPC6 expression and NFAT dephosphorylation (activity). TRPC6 upregulation was absent if its promoter was mutated with non-functional NFAT binding sites, whereas constitutively active NFAT triggered TRPC6 expression that was not inhibited by SIL. PKG phosphorylated TRPC6, and both T70 and S322 were targeted. Both sites were functionally relevant, as 8Br-cGMP strongly suppressed current in wild-type TRPC6 channels, but not in those with phospho-silencing mutations (T70A, S322A or S322Q). NFAT activation and increased protein synthesis stimulated by ATII or ET1 was blocked by 8Br-cGMP or SIL. However, transfection with T70A or S322Q TRPC6 mutants blocked this inhibitory effect, whereas phospho-mimetic mutants (T70E, S322E, and both combined) suppressed NFAT activation. Thus PDE5-inhibition blocks TRPC6 channel activation and associated Cn/NFAT activation signaling by PKG-dependent channel phosphorylation.
Project description:Podocytes are specialized cells of the glomerulus and key component of the glomerular filtration apparatus (GFA). GFA regulates the permselectivity and ultrafiltration of blood. The mechanism by which the integrity of the GFA is compromised and manifest in proteinuria during ischemic stroke remains enigmatic. We investigated the mechanism of ischemic hypoxia-induced proteinuria in a middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) model. Ischemic hypoxia resulted in the accumulation of HIF1? in the podocytes that resulted in the increased expression of ZEB2 (Zinc finger E-box-binding homeobox 2). ZEB2, in turn, induced TRPC6 (transient receptor potential cation channel, subfamily C, member 6), which has increased selectivity for calcium. Elevated expression of TRPC6 elicited increased calcium influx and aberrant activation of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) in podocytes. FAK activation resulted in the stress fibers reorganization and podocyte foot process effacement. Our study suggests overactive HIF1?/ZEB2 axis during ischemic-hypoxia raises intracellular calcium levels via TRPC6 and consequently altered podocyte structure and function thus contributes to proteinuria.
Project description:Gain-of-function mutations of classic transient receptor potential channel 6 (TRPC6) were identified in familial FSGS, and increased expression of wild-type TRPC6 in glomeruli is observed in several human acquired proteinuric diseases. Synaptopodin, an actin binding protein that is important in maintaining podocyte function, is downregulated in various glomerular diseases. Here, we investigated whether synaptopodin maintains podocyte function by regulating podocyte surface expression and activity of TRPC6. We show indirect interaction and nonrandom association of synaptopodin and TRPC6 in podocytes. Knockdown of synaptopodin in cultured mouse podocytes increased the expression of TRPC6 at the plasma membrane, whereas overexpression of synaptopodin decreased it. Mechanistically, synaptopodin-dependent TRPC6 surface expression required functional actin and microtubule cytoskeletons. Overexpression of wild-type or FSGS-inducing mutant TRPC6 in synaptopodin-depleted podocytes enhanced TRPC6-mediated calcium influx and induced apoptosis. In vivo, knockdown of synaptopodin also caused increased podocyte surface expression of TRPC6. Administration of cyclosporin A, which stabilizes synaptopodin, reduced LPS-induced proteinuria significantly in wild-type mice but to a lesser extent in TRPC6 knockout mice. Furthermore, administration of cyclosporin A reversed the LPS-induced increase in podocyte surface expression of TRPC6 in wild-type mice. Our findings suggest that alteration in synaptopodin levels under disease conditions may modify intracellular TRPC6 channel localization and activity, which further contribute to podocyte dysfunction. Reducing TRPC6 surface levels may be a new approach to restoring podocyte function.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:Diabetic nephropathy is a major complication of diabetes and a frequent cause of end-stage renal disease and recent studies suggest that podocyte damage may play a role in the pathogenesis of this. At early onset of diabetic nephropathy there is podocyte drop-out, which is thought to provoke glomerular albuminuria and subsequent glomerular injury; however, the underlying molecular mechanisms of this remain poorly understood. Here we report that we tested the hypothesis that early diabetic podocyte injury is caused, at least in part, by up-regulation of transient receptor potential cation channel 6 (TRPC6), which is regulated by the canonical Wnt signalling pathway, in mouse podocytes. MATERIALS AND METHODS:Mechanism of injury initiation in mouse podocytes, by high concentration of D-glucose (HG, 30 mM), was investigated by MTT, flow cytometry, real-time quantitative PCR, and western blot analysis. RESULTS:HG induced apoptosis and reduced viability of differentiated podocytes. It caused time-dependent up-regulation of TRPC6 and activation of the canonical Wnt signalling pathway, in mouse podocytes. In these cells, blockade of the Wnt signalling pathway by dickkopf related protein 1 (Dkk1) resulted in effective reduction of TRPC6 up-regulation and amelioration of podocyte apoptosis. Furthermore, reduction of cell viability induced by HG was attenuated by treatment with Dkk1. CONCLUSION:These findings indicate that the Wnt/?-catenin signalling pathway may potentially be active in pathogenesis of TRPC6-mediated diabetic podocyte injury.
Project description:Sildenafil, a potent inhibitor of phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) induces powerful protection against myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury. PDE-5 inhibition increases cGMP levels that activate cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG). However, the cause and effect relationship of PKG in sildenafil-induced cardioprotection and the downstream targets of PKG remain unclear. Adult ventricular myocytes were treated with sildenafil and subjected to simulated ischemia and reoxygenation. Sildenafil treatment significantly decreased cardiomyocyte necrosis and apoptosis. The PKG inhibitors, KT5823, guanosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphorothioate, 8-(4-chloro-phenylthio) (R(p)-8-pCPT-cGMPs), or DT-2 blocked the anti-necrotic and anti-apoptotic effect of sildenafil. Selective knockdown of PKG in cardiomyocytes with adenoviral vector containing short hairpin RNA of PKG also abolished sildenafil-induced protection. Furthermore, intra-coronary infusion of sildenafil in Langendorff-isolated mouse hearts prior to ischemia-reperfusion significantly reduced myocardial infarct size after 20 min ischemia and 30 min reperfusion, which was abrogated by KT5823. Sildenafil significantly increased PKG activity in intact hearts and cardiomyocytes. Sildenafil also enhanced the Bcl-2/Bax ratio, phosphorylation of Akt, ERK1/2, and glycogen synthase kinase 3beta. All these changes (except Akt phosphorylation) were significantly blocked by KT5823 and short hairpin RNA of PKG. These studies provide the first evidence for an essential role of PKG in sildenafil-induced cardioprotection. Moreover, our results demonstrate that sildenafil activates a PKG-dependent novel signaling cascade that involves activation of ERK and inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase 3beta leading to cytoprotection.
Project description:Podocytes are terminally differentiated epithelial cells in the kidney glomeruli that act as a key component of the glomerular filtration barrier. Although the inciting injury to the podocyte may vary between various glomerular diseases, the inevitable consequence of podocyte injury results in their loss, leading to progressive kidney disease. Here, we report that the expression of CCAAT/enhancer binding protein-? (C/EBP-?), a transcription factor known to interact with and activate PPAR-? and NF-?B, is suppressed in the glomerular cells, particularly in podocytes, in human kidneys with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis. Genetic ablation of C/EBP-? in podocytes resulted in increased proteinuria, increased podocyte foot process effacement, and to decreased podocyte number in the setting of Adriamycin (ADR)-induced nephropathy. Overexpression of C/EBP-? in human podocytes in vitro led to an inhibition of MCP-1 and IL-6 expression in response to TNF-? and IL-1? treatments. Conversely, augmented production of MCP-1 and IL-6 was observed in the glomeruli of C/EBP-? knockout mice and was associated increased infiltration of macrophages in vivo. Together, our data suggest that C/EBP-? mediates anti-inflammatory effects in podocytes to confer protection against podocyte injury and loss that may contribute to worsening glomerulosclerosis.