ABSTRACT: Kidney fibrosis is characterized by expansion and activation of platelet-derived growth factor receptor-? (PDGFR-?)-positive mesenchymal cells. To study the consequences of PDGFR-? activation, we developed a model of primary renal fibrosis using transgenic mice with PDGFR-? activation specifically in renal mesenchymal cells, driving their pathological proliferation and phenotypic switch toward myofibroblasts. This resulted in progressive mesangioproliferative glomerulonephritis, mesangial sclerosis, and interstitial fibrosis with progressive anemia due to loss of erythropoietin production by fibroblasts. Fibrosis induced secondary tubular epithelial injury at later stages, coinciding with microinflammation, and aggravated the progression of hypertensive and obstructive nephropathy. Inhibition of PDGFR activation reversed fibrosis more effectively in the tubulointerstitium compared to glomeruli. Gene expression signatures in mice with PDGFR-? activation resembled those found in patients. In conclusion, PDGFR-? activation alone is sufficient to induce progressive renal fibrosis and failure, mimicking key aspects of chronic kidney disease in humans. Our data provide direct proof that fibrosis per se can drive chronic organ damage and establish a model of primary fibrosis allowing specific studies targeting fibrosis progression and regression.
Project description:Kidney fibrosis is characterized by expansion and activation of platelet-derived growth factor receptor-? (PDGFR-?) positive mesenchymal cells. To study the consequences of PDGFR-ß activation, we developed a model of primary renal fibrosis using transgenic mice with PDGFR-? activation specifically in renal mesenchymal cells, driving their pathological proliferation and phenotypic switch towards myofibroblasts. This resulted in progressive mesangioproliferative glomerulonephritis, mesangial sclerosis and interstitial fibrosis with progressive anemia due to loss of erythropoietin production by fibroblasts. Fibrosis induced secondary tubular epithelial injury at later stages, coinciding with microinflammation and aggravated the progression of hypertensive and obstructive nephropathy. Inhibition of PDGFR activation reversed fibrosis more effectively in the tubulointerstitium compared to glomeruli. Gene expression signatures in mice with PDGFR-? activation resembled those found in patients. In conclusion, PDGFR-? activation alone is sufficient to induce progressive renal fibrosis and failure mimicking key aspects of chronic kidney disease in humans. Our data provide direct proof that fibrosis per se can drive chronic organ damage and establish a model of primary fibrosis allowing specific studies targeting fibrosis progression and regression.
Project description:Kidney fibrosis is characterized by expansion and activation of platelet-derived growth factor receptor-β (PDGFR-β) positive mesenchymal cells. To study the consequences of PDGFR-ß activation, we developed a model of primary renal fibrosis using transgenic mice with PDGFR-β activation specifically in renal mesenchymal cells, driving their pathological proliferation and phenotypic switch towards myofibroblasts. This resulted in progressive mesangioproliferative glomerulonephritis, mesangial sclerosis and interstitial fibrosis with progressive anemia due to loss of erythropoietin production by fibroblasts. We used microarrays to compare wildtype animals (Foxd1_wt Pdgfrb_wt) to animals with constitutive mesenchymal PDGFR-β activation (Foxd1_mt Pdgfrb V536A) in the kidney to identify target genes of PDGFR-β signaling. Overall design: To generate mice with a renal mesenchymal cell-specific, constitutively active PDGFR-β (Foxd1_mt Pdgfrb V536A), we used mice in which one wt Pdgfrb allele was substituted by a conditional knock-in of Pdgfrb with an activating point mutation (V536A) in the juxtamembrane domain of PDGFR-β, behind a floxed STOP cassette. Expression of the mutated Receptor occurs after Cre-recombinase excision. Cre-recombinase expression occurs under the FoxD1-promoter, which is active in renal mesenchymal precursors during development. Foxd1_mt Pdgfrb V536A mice were compared to wildtype littermates Foxd1_wt Pdgfrb_wt.
Project description:Interstitial fibrosis is a common feature of chronic kidney disease, and platelet-derived growth factor receptor-? (PDGFR-?)-positive mesenchymal cells are reportedly the major source of scar-producing myofibroblasts. We had previously demonstrated that albumin and its derivative R-III (a retinol-binding protein-albumin domain III fusion protein) inhibited the transdifferentiation/activation of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) to myofibroblasts and that R-III administration reduced liver fibrosis. In this study, we isolated cells (referred to as renal stellate cells, RSCs) from rat kidney tissues using the HSC isolation protocol and compared their morphological and biochemical characteristics with those of HSCs. RSCs shared many characteristics with HSCs, such as storage of vitamin A-containing lipid droplets and expression of HSC markers as well as pericyte markers. RSCs underwent spontaneous transdifferentiation into myofibroblasts in in vitro culture, which was inhibited by albumin expression or R-III treatment. We also evaluated the therapeutic effects of R-III in unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO)-induced renal fibrosis in mice. Injected R-III localized predominantly in cytoglobin/stellate cell activation-associated protein (Cygb/STAP)-positive cells in the kidney and reduced renal fibrosis. These findings suggest that RSCs can be recognized as the renal counterparts of HSCs and that RSCs represent an attractive therapeutic target for anti-fibrotic therapy.
Project description:Although activation of sirtuin-1 (SIRT1) has been shown to protect the kidney from acute injury, its role in renal fibrosis remains controversial since both inhibition and activation of SIRT1 have been reported to attenuate renal fibrosis. To resolve this conflict, we further examined the effect of SIRT1 activators on the activation of renal interstitial fibroblasts and development of renal fibrosis in vivo and in vitro. In a murine model of renal fibrosis induced by unilateral ureteral obstruction, administration of SRT1720 (N-[2-[3-(piperazin-1-ylmethyl)imidazo[2,1-b][1,3]thiazol-6-yl]phenyl]quinoxaline-2-carboxamide), a potent activator of SIRT1, accelerated deposition of collagen fibrils and increased expression of fibroblast activation markers (?-smooth muscle actin [?-SMA], collagen I, and fibronectin) in the obstructive kidney of mice. In cultured rat renal interstitial fibroblasts (NRK-49F), exposure of cells to SRT1720 or YK-3-237 (B-[2-methoxy-5-[(1E)-3-oxo-3-(3,4,5-trimethoxyphenyl)-1-propen-1-yl]phenyl]-boronic acid), another SIRT1 activator, also resulted in enhanced expression of ?-SMA and fibronectin. Mechanistic studies showed that augmentation of renal fibrogenesis by SRT1720 is associated with elevated phosphorylation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and platelet-derived growth factor receptor ? (PDGFR?). SRT1720 treatment also increased the phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 and protein kinase B in the fibrotic kidney and NRK-49F cells. However, SRT1720 treatment did not affect expression of proliferating cell nuclear protein, a proliferation marker and activation of extracellular signal regulated kinase 1/2 in vitro and in vivo. These results indicate that SIRT1-activating compounds can provoke renal fibrogenesis through a mechanism involved in the activation of EGFR and PDGFR signaling pathways and suggest that long-term use of SIRT1 activators risks the development and progression of chronic kidney disease.
Project description:One of the commonest causes of end-stage renal disease is diabetic kidney disease (DKD). Renal fibrosis, characterized by the accumulation of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins in glomerular basement membranes and the tubulointerstitium, is the final manifestation of DKD. The TGF-β pathway triggers epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), which plays a key role in the accumulation of ECM proteins in DKD. DCCT/EDIC studies have shown that DKD often persists and progresses despite glycemic control in diabetes once DKD sets in due to prior exposure to hyperglycemia called "metabolic memory." These imply that epigenetic factors modulate kidney gene expression. There is evidence to suggest that in diabetes and hyperglycemia, epigenetic histone modifications have a significant effect in modulating renal fibrotic and ECM gene expression induced by TGF-β1, as well as its downstream profibrotic genes. Histone modifications are also implicated in renal fibrosis through its ability to regulate the EMT process triggered by TGF-β signaling. In view of this, efforts are being made to develop HAT, HDAC, and HMT inhibitors to delay, stop, or even reverse DKD. In this review, we outline the latest advances that are being made to regulate histone modifications involved in DKD.
Project description:Mesenchymal cells expressing platelet-derived growth factor receptor beta (PDGFR?) are known to be important in fibrosis of organs such as the liver and kidney. Here we show that PDGFR?+ cells contribute to skeletal muscle and cardiac fibrosis via a mechanism that depends on ?v integrins. Mice in which ?v integrin is depleted in PDGFR?+ cells are protected from cardiotoxin and laceration-induced skeletal muscle fibrosis and angiotensin II-induced cardiac fibrosis. In addition, a small-molecule inhibitor of ?v integrins attenuates fibrosis, even when pre-established, in both skeletal and cardiac muscle, and improves skeletal muscle function. ?v integrin blockade also reduces TGF? activation in primary human skeletal muscle and cardiac PDGFR?+ cells, suggesting that ?v integrin inhibitors may be effective for the treatment and prevention of a broad range of muscle fibroses.
Project description:Obesity is associated with metabolic endotoxemia, reactive oxygen species (ROS), chronic inflammation, and obese kidney fibrosis. Although the fat-intestine-kidney axis has been documented, the pathomechanism and therapeutic targets of obese kidney fibrosis remain unelucidated. To mimic obese humans with metabolic endotoxemia, high-fat-diet-fed mice (HF group) were injected with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to yield the obese kidney fibrosis-metabolic endotoxemia mouse model (HL group). Therapeutic effects of ROS, cytosolic phospholipases A2 (cPLA2) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors were analyzed with a quantitative comparison of immunohistochemistry stains and morphometric approach in the tubulointerstitium of different groups. Compared with basal and HF groups, the HL group exhibited the most prominent obese kidney fibrosis, tubular epithelial lipid vacuoles, and lymphocyte infiltration in the tubulointerstitium. Furthermore, inhibitors of nonspecific ROS, cPLA2 and COX-2 ameliorated the above renal damages. Notably, the ROS-inhibitor-treated group ameliorated not only oxidative injury but also the expression of cPLA2 and COX-2, indicating that ROS functions as the upstream signaling molecule in the inflammatory cascade of obese kidney fibrosis. ROS acts as a key messenger in the signaling transduction of obese kidney fibrosis, activating downstream cPLA2 and COX-2. The given antioxidant treatment ameliorates obese kidney fibrosis resulting from a combined high-fat diet and LPS-ROS could serve as a potential therapeutic target of obese kidney fibrosis with metabolic endotoxemia.
Project description:Rationale: Capillaries are composed of endothelial cells and the surrounding mural cells, pericytes. Microvascular repair after injury involves not only the proliferation of endothelial cells but also pericyte-based vessel stabilization. Exogenous bone marrow derived-putative endothelial progenitor cells (b-pEPCs) have the potential for vascular repair; however, their effect on vascular structure stabilization and pericyte-related pathobiological outcomes in the injured kidney has not been fully examined. Methods: We applied ischemia-reperfusion (IR) to induce renal vascular injury and renal fibrosis in mice. Platelet-derived growth factor receptor ? (PDGFR-?)-DTR-positive mice were generated to deplete pericytes, and exogenous b-pEPCs and the PDGFR-? ligand, PDGF chain B (PDGF-BB), were employed to explore the relationship among b-pEPCs, pericytes, vascular repair, and early renal fibrosis. Results: Administration of b-pEPCs reduced IR-induced pericyte-endothelial detachment, pericyte proliferation, and myofibroblast transition via a paracrine mode, which preserved not only vascular stabilization but also ameliorated IR-initiated renal fibrosis. PDGF-BB upregulated the expression of PDGFR-?, exacerbated vascular abnormality, and pericyte-myofibroblast transition, which were ameliorated by b-pEPCs administration. The exogenous b-pEPCs and their culture medium (CM) induced vascular injury protection, and renal fibrosis was blocked by selective deletion of pericytes. Conclusion: Exogenous b-pEPCs directly protect against IR-induced vascular injury and prevent renal fibrosis by inhibiting the activation of PDGFR-?-positive pericytes.
Project description:Renal fibrosis is the hallmark of chronic kidney disease progression and is characterized by an exaggerated wound-healing process with the production of renal scar tissue. It comprises both the glomerular and the tubulointerstitial compartments. Among the factors that contribute to kidney fibrosis, the members of the platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) family are among the best characterized ones. They appear to be the key factors in driving renal fibrosis, independent of the underlying kidney disease. The PDGF family consists of four isoforms (PDGF-A, -B, -C, and -D) and two receptor chains (PDGFR-α and -β), which are constitutively or inducibly expressed in most renal cells. These components have an irreplaceable role in kidney development by recruitment of mesenchymal cells to the glomerular and tubulointerstitial compartments. They further regulate multiple pathophysiologic processes including cell proliferation, cell migration, expression and accumulation of extracellular matrix, production and secretion of pro- and anti-inflammatory mediators, vascular permeability, and hemodynamics. This review provides a brief update on the role of different PDGF isoforms in the development of glomerulosclerosis and tubulointerstitial fibrosis, newly identified endogeneous PDGF antagonists, and resulting potential therapies.