The nuclear factor-?B (NF-?B) is an important regulator of the inflammatory response. Angiotensin II (Ang II) activates the NF-?B pathway linked to renal inflammation. Although both AT1 and AT2 receptors are involved in Ang II-mediated NF-?B activation, the biological processes mediated by each receptor are not fully characterized. Interleukin-1? (IL-1?) is an important macrophage-derived cytokine that regulates immune and inflammatory processes, activating intracellular pathways shared with Ang II, including the NF-?B.
? Background: Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) has been considered a relative contraindication for peritoneal dialysis (PD), although there are few specific studies available. ? Methods: A multicenter historical prospective matched-cohort study was conducted to describe the outcome of ADPKD patients who have chosen PD. All ADPKD patients starting PD (n = 106) between January 2003 and December 2010 and a control group (2 consecutive patients without ADPKD) were studied. Mortality, PD-technique failure, peritonitis, abdominal wall leaks and cyst infections were compared. ? Results: Patients with ADPKD had similar age but less comorbidity at PD inclusion: Charlson comorbidity index (CCI) 4.3 (standard deviation [SD] 1.6) vs 5.3 (SD 2.5) p< 0.001, diabetes mellitus 5.7% vs 29.2%, p < 0.001 and previous cardiovascular events 10.4% vs 27.8%, p < 0.001. No differences were observed in clinical events that required transient transfer to hemodialysis, nor in peritoneal leakage episodes or delivered dialysis dose. The cyst infection rate was low (0.09 episodes per patient-year) and cyst infections were not associated to peritonitis episodes. Overall technique survival was similar in both groups. Permanent transfer to hemodialysis because of surgery or peritoneal leakage was more frequent in ADPKD. More ADPKD patients were included in the transplant waiting list (69.8 vs 58%, p=0.04) but mean time to transplantation was similar (2.08 [1.69- 2.47] years). The mortality rate was lower (2.5vs 7.6 deaths/100 patient-year, p = 0.02) and the median patient survival was longer in ADPKD patients (6.04 [5.39 - 6.69] vs 5.57 [4.95 - 6.18] years, p = 0.024). ? Conclusion: Peritoneal dialysis is a suitable renal replacement therapy option for ADPKD patients.
In patients with renal disease, uremia raises oxidative stress and senescence in endothelial cells, which can lead to endothelial dysfunction and cardiovascular disease. Klotho protein is a ?-glucuronidase capable of hydrolyzing steroid ?-glucuronides. This protein is recognized as an antiaging gene, that modulate both stress-induced senescence and functional response. The aim of the study was to investigate how senescence and oxidative stress induced by uremia in endothelial cells affects Klotho expression and whether intra or extracellular Klotho has effects on the response of these cells. Senescence and oxidative stress was obtained by exposure to uremic serum. Telomere length, the enzyme ?-galactosidase, and oxidative stress were studied by flow cytometry. Nuclear factor kappa B activity was determined by electrophoretic mobility shift assay. The expression of Klotho decreased with the uremia and preceded the manifestations of cell aging. Levels of intracellular Klotho decreases associated to endothelial senescence, and exogenous Klotho prevents cellular senescence by inhibiting the increase in oxidative stress induced by uremia and diminished the nuclear factor kappa B-DNA binding ability.
End-stage renal disease (ESRD) conveys high mortality risk by complex mechanisms not fully elucidated but possibly linked to hormonal abnormalities, including cortisol. Whereas a high serum cortisol level has recently been linked with increased mortality in the general population, there is scarce information on the clinical associates and prognostic value of cortisol levels in ESRD.
Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is the most frequent cause of genetic renal disease and accounts for 6-10% of patients on renal replacement therapy (RRT). Very few prospective, randomized trials or clinical studies address the diagnosis and management of this relatively frequent disorder. No clinical guidelines are available to date. This is a consensus statement presenting the recommendations of the Spanish Working Group on Inherited Kidney Diseases, which were agreed to following a literature search and discussions. Levels of evidence found were C and D according to the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (University of Oxford). The recommendations relate to, among other topics, the use of imaging and genetic diagnosis, management of hypertension, pain, cyst infections and bleeding, extra-renal involvement including polycystic liver disease and cranial aneurysms, management of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and RRT and management of children with ADPKD. Recommendations on specific ADPKD therapies are not provided since no drug has regulatory approval for this indication.
Screening for Fabry disease (FD), an X-linked lysosomal storage disorder, reveals a significant number of individuals with a genetic variant of unknown significance without classical FD manifestations; these variants in the ?-galactosidase A gene often result in a high residual leukocyte ?-galactosidase A and it is unclear whether these individuals suffer from FD. Therefore, a structured diagnostic approach is warranted. We present a diagnostic algorithm on how to approach adults with chronic kidney disease and an uncertain diagnosis of FD nephropathy.
Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a serious clinical condition with no effective treatment. Tubular cells are key targets in AKI. Tubular cells and, specifically, proximal tubular cells are extremely rich in mitochondria and mitochondrial changes had long been known to be a feature of AKI. However, only recent advances in understanding the molecules involved in mitochondria biogenesis and dynamics and the availability of mitochondria-targeted drugs has allowed the exploration of the specific role of mitochondria in AKI. We now review the morphological and functional mitochondrial changes during AKI, as well as changes in the expression of mitochondrial genes and proteins. Finally, we summarise the current status of novel therapeutic strategies specifically targeting mitochondria such as mitochondrial permeability transition pore (MPTP) opening inhibitors (cyclosporine A (CsA)), quinone analogues (MitoQ, SkQ1 and SkQR1), superoxide dismutase (SOD) mimetics (Mito-CP), Szeto-Schiller (SS) peptides (Bendavia) and mitochondrial division inhibitors (mdivi-1). MitoQ, SkQ1, SkQR1, Mito-CP, Bendavia and mdivi-1 have improved the course of diverse experimental models of AKI. Evidence for a beneficial effect of CsA on human cardiac ischaemia-reperfusion injury derives from a clinical trial; however, CsA is nephrotoxic. MitoQ and Bendavia have been shown to be safe for humans. Ongoing clinical trials are testing the efficacy of Bendavia in AKI prevention following renal artery percutaneous transluminal angioplasty.
Galectin-3 (Gal-3) participates in different mechanisms involved in atherothrombosis, such as inflammation, proliferation, or macrophage chemotaxis. Thus, there have been committed intensive efforts to elucidate the function of Gal-3 in cardiovascular (CV) diseases. The role of Gal-3 as a circulating biomarker has been demonstrated in patients with heart failure, but its importance as a biomarker in atherothrombosis is still unknown.
Abstract Aims: Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF/CCN2) is a developmental gene upregulated in pathological conditions, including cardiovascular diseases, whose product is a matricellular protein that can be degraded to biologically active fragments. Among them, the C-terminal module IV [CCN2(IV)] regulates many cellular functions, but there are no data about redox process. Therefore, we investigated whether CCN2(IV) through redox signaling regulates vascular responses. Results: CCN2(IV) increased superoxide anion (O2(•-)) production in murine aorta (ex vivo and in vivo) and in cultured vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). In isolated murine aorta, CCN2(IV), via O2(•-), increased phenylephrine-induced vascular contraction. CCN2(IV) in vivo regulated several redox-related processes in mice aorta, including increased nonphagocytic NAD(P)H oxidases (Nox)1 activity, protein nitrosylation, endothelial dysfunction, and activation of the nuclear factor-?B (NF-?B) pathway and its related proinflammatory factors. The role of Nox1 in CCN2(IV)-mediated vascular responses in vivo was investigated by gene silencing. The administration of a Nox1 morpholino diminished aortic O2(•-) production, endothelial dysfunction, NF-?B activation, and overexpression of proinflammatory genes in CCN2(IV)-injected mice. The link CCN2(IV)/Nox1/NF-?B/inflammation was confirmed in cultured VSMCs. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a known CCN2 receptor. In VSMCs, CCN2(IV) activates EGFR signaling. Moreover, EGFR kinase inhibition blocked vascular responses in CCN2(IV)-injected mice. Innovation and Conclusion: CCN2(IV) is a novel prooxidant factor that in VSMCs induces O2(•-) production via EGFR/Nox1 activation. Our in vivo data demonstrate that CCN2(IV) through EGFR/Nox1 signaling pathway induces endothelial dysfunction and activation of the NF-?B inflammatory pathway. Therefore, CCN2(IV) could be considered a potential therapeutic target for redox-related cardiovascular diseases. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 00, 000-000.
In 2005, the oral iron chelator deferasirox was approved by the FDA for clinical use as a first-line therapy for blood-transfusion-related iron overload. Nephrotoxicity is the most serious and frequent adverse effect of deferasirox treatment. This nephrotoxicity can present as an acute or chronic decrease in glomerular filtration rate (GFR). Features of proximal tubular dysfunction might also be present. In clinical trials and observational studies, GFR is decreased in 30-100% of patients treated with deferasirox, depending on dose, method of assessment and population studied. Nephrotoxicity is usually nonprogressive and/or reversible and rapid iron depletion is one of several risk factors. Scarce data are available on the molecular mechanisms of nephrotoxicity and the reasons for the specific proximal tubular sensitivity to the drug. Although deferasirox promotes apoptosis of cultured proximal tubular cells, the trigger has not been well characterized. Observational studies are required to track current trends in deferasirox prescription, assess the epidemiology of deferasirox nephrotoxicity in routine clinical practice, explore the effect on outcomes of various monitoring and dose-adjustment protocols and elucidate the long-term consequences of the different features of nephrotoxicity. Deferasirox nephrotoxicity can be more common in the elderly; thus, specific efforts should be dedicated to investigate the effect of deferasirox use in this group of patients.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is characterized by autoantibodies that mediate tissue injury. However, the pathogenesis of SLE remains poorly understood and available therapeutic approaches are not fully satisfactory. Belimumab, a monoclonal antibody that neutralizes B-cell activating factor (BAFF), was the first drug approved to treat SLE in more than 50 years. However, it is not labelled for use in severe lupus nephritis. Recently, a novel high-throughput multiplex protein microarray platform to profile circulating immunoglobulin G (IgG) autoantibodies in SLE patients identified IgG autoantibodies against several cytokines and growth factors at higher titres in SLE patients than in controls. The presence of autoantibodies to BAFF was validated in a subset of SLE patients by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Low levels of anti-BAFF autoantibodies were also present in healthy controls. The association of anti-BAFF reactivity to clinical features and response to therapy was not addressed. However, preliminary data suggested an association to an interferon-?-responsive mRNA signature, itself associated with severity. Functional studies disclosed a neutralizing activity of autoantibodies against BAFF. These findings raise new questions regarding the role of BAFF in SLE and the functional and therapeutic significance of anti-BAFF and anti-cytokine autoantibodies.
TNF-like weak inducer of apoptosis (TWEAK) is an inflammatory cytokine that activates the FGF-inducible 14 receptor. Both TWEAK and the FGF-inducible 14 receptor are constitutively expressed in the kidney. TWEAK has been shown to modulate several biological responses, such as inflammation, proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis, that contribute to kidney injury. However, the role of TWEAK in fibrosis and TWEAK-activated intracellular signaling pathways remain poorly understood. We tested the hypothesis that TWEAK can be a potent inducer of renal fibrosis by increasing transforming growth factor (TGF)-?1 expression (a well-known switch in the fibrosis process) through PKG-I downregulation. We showed that in human mesangial cells, TWEAK increased TGF-?1 expression and activity, leading to higher levels of the extracellular matrix protein fibronectin and decreased PKG-I expression and activity via the Ras pathway. PKG-I activation with 8-bromo-cGMP, Ras inactivation with dominant negative Ras, or Ras pathway inhibition with the ERK1/2 inhibitor PD-98059 resulted in the prevention of TWEAK-induced TGF-?1 upregulation. In vivo, exogenous administration of TWEAK to wild-type mice downregulated kidney PKG-I and increased kidney TGF-?1 expression. These effects were blunted in H-Ras knockout mice. Together, these data demonstrate, for the first time, the key role of PKG-I in TGF-?1 induction by TWEAK in kidney cells.
Patients with chronic kidney failure--defined as a glomerular filtration rate persistently below 15 mL/min per 1·73 m(2)--have an unacceptably high mortality rate. In developing countries, mortality results primarily from an absence of access to renal replacement therapy. Additionally, cardiovascular and non-cardiovascular mortality are several times higher in patients on dialysis or post-renal transplantation than in the general population. Mortality of patients on renal replacement therapy is affected by a combination of socioeconomic factors, pre-existing medical disorders, renal replacement treatment modalities, and kidney failure itself. Characterisation of the key pathophysiological contributors to increased mortality and cardiorenal risk staging systems are needed for the rational design of clinical trials aimed at decreasing mortality. Policy changes to improve access to renal replacement therapy should be combined with research into low-cost renal replacement therapy and optimum clinical care, which should include multifaceted approaches simultaneously targeting several of the putative contributors to increased mortality.
Phosphate excess is associated with increased mortality in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and has recently been linked to accelerated aging. Oral phosphate binders are prescribed to patients with CKD to prevent absorption of dietary phosphate. Currently available binders have been associated with impaired outcomes (calcium-based binders) or are expensive (non-calcium-based binders). Iron-based phosphate binders represent a new class of phosphate binders. Four iron-based phosphate binders have undergone testing in clinical trials. The development of fermagate and SBR759 is currently on hold due to suboptimal and adverse effect profiles in at least some clinical trials. Ferric citrate and sucroferric oxyhydroxide (PA21) are at different stages of application for regulatory approval after being found safe and efficacious in decreasing serum phosphate. Iron from ferric citrate is more readily absorbed than that from sucroferric oxyhydroxide. Sucroferric oxyhydroxide was launched in the USA in 2014 for the treatment of hyperphosphatemia in adult dialysis patients. Ferric citrate may be more suited for chronic treatment of hyperphosphatemia in CKD patients requiring iron supplements but its use may have to be limited in time because of potential for iron overload in patients not needing iron or not receiving erythropoiesis-stimulating agents. In contrast, sucroferric oxyhydroxide may be more suited for hyperphosphatemic CKD patients not requiring iron supplements.
Urine is a source of potential markers of disease. In the context of renal disease, urine is particularly important as it may directly reflect kidney injury. Current markers of renal dysfunction lack both optimal specificity and sensitivity, and improved technologies and approaches are needed. There is no clear consensus about the best sample pretreatment procedure for 2DE analysis of the urine proteome. Sample pretreatment conditions spots resolution and detection sensitivity, critically. As a first goal, we exhaustively compared eight different sample cleaning and protein purification methodologies for 2DE analysis of urine from healthy individuals. Oasis® HLB cartridges allowed the detection of the highest number of low molecular weight proteins; while PD10 desalting columns resulted in the highest number of detected spots in the high molecular weight area. Sample pretreatment strategies were also explored in the context of proteinuria, a clinical condition often associated to renal damage. Testing of urine samples from 13 patients with hypertension or kidney disease and different levels of proteinuria identified Oasis® HLB cartridge purification in combination with albumin depletion by ProteoPrep kit as the best option for urine proteome profiling from patients with proteinuric (> 30 mg/L albumin in urine) renal disease.
Despite improvements in glycaemic and blood pressure control, and the efficacy of renin-angiotensin system (RAS) blockade for proteinuria reduction, diabetic nephropathy is the most frequent cause of end-stage renal disease in developed countries. This finding is consistent with the hypothesis that key pathogenetic mechanisms leading to progression of renal disease are not modified or inactivated by current therapeutic approaches. Although extensive research has elucidated molecular signalling mechanisms that are involved in progression of diabetic kidney disease, a number of high-profile clinical trials of potentially nephroprotective agents have failed, highlighting an insufficient understanding of pathogenic pathways. These include trials of paricalcitol in early diabetic kidney disease and bardoxolone methyl in advanced-stage disease. Various strategies based on encouraging data from preclinical studies that showed renoprotective effects of receptor antagonists, neutralizing antibodies, kinase inhibitors, small compounds and peptide-based technologies are currently been tested in randomized controlled trials. Phase II clinical trials are investigating approaches targeting inflammation, fibrosis and signalling pathways. However, only one trial that aims to provide evidence for marketing approval of a potentially renoprotective drug (atrasentan) is underway-further research into the potential nephroprotective effects of novel glucose-lowering agents is required.
The presence of malnutrition in chronic kidney disease (CKD) is well-known. The discovery in the last 15 years of pathophysiological mechanisms that lead to this process, such as anorexia, the increase of protein catabolism and inflammation, has created the need for a new name by the International Society of Renal Nutrition and Metabolism (ISRNM): protein-energy wasting syndrome (PEW). This document’s objectives are to propose the use of the term "desgaste proteico energético" (DPE) as a more accurate translation of the English term and to update the pathogenic mechanisms involved that are inherent to DPE (PEW). We simultaneously review the latest epidemiological evidence that highlight the relevance of malnutrition and its impact both on mortality and morbidity in CKD. Finally, we point out the need to redefine DPE (PEW) diagnostic criteria so that they are applicable to the Spanish population with CKD. We do not think that the criteria established by the ISRNM can be extrapolated to different populations, as is the case, for example, with interracial anthropometric differences.
Biobank certification ISO 9001:2008 aims to improve the management of processes performed. This has two objectives: customer satisfaction and continuous improvement. This paper presents the impact of certification ISO 9001:2008 on the sample transfer process in a Spanish biobank specialising in kidney patient samples. The biobank experienced a large increase in the number of samples between 2009 (12,582 vials) and 2010 (37,042 vials).
Abstract Narrow diameter implants may be at increased risk of overload due to occlusal forces. Implants with higher fatigue strength may therefore be beneficial. The aim of this observational study was to evaluate survival and success of narrow diameter (Ø 3.3 mm) TiZr alloy (Roxolid®; Institut Straumann AG) implants for 2 years in daily dental practice.This was a prospective, non-interventional, multicenter study; no specific patient inclusion or exclusion criteria were applied. Each patient received at least one TiZr implant; the treatment plan, including implant loading and final restoration, was at the investigator's discretion. The primary outcome was implant survival and success after 1 year. Secondary outcomes included 2-year survival and success and marginal bone level change. A total of 603 implants were placed in 357 patients. Cumulative survival and success rates were 97.8% and 97.6% respectively after 1 year; and 97.6% and 97.4% respectively after 2 years. Bone levels remained stable in the majority of patients , and soft tissue remained stable up to 2 years. Within the limitations of a non-interventional study design, TiZr implants showed excellent survival and success and minimal bone loss up to 2 years in daily dental practice. The results compare favorably with those of small-diameter implants in controlled clinical trials.
Free choice is not easy when there is a lack of information. Methods for evaluating quality of care to provide patients with comprehensive and understandable information on hospital departments are therefore necessary. Objectives: To draft a methodological proposal for evaluating quality of care of hospital departments, the data of which can provide citizens with useful care quality information. The proposal should be based on consensus and on the experience of medical specialists, defining thus complementary paths to improvement.
CXC chemokine ligand 16 (CXCL16) is a CXC soluble chemokine, an adhesion molecule and a cell surface scavenger receptor. CXCL16 regulates inflammation, tissue injury and fibrosis. Parenchymal renal cells, vascular wall cells, leukocytes and platelets express and/or release CXCL16 under the regulation of inflammatory mediators. CXCL16 expression is increased in experimental and human nephropathies. Targeting CXCL16 protected from experimental glomerular injury or interstitial fibrosis. Conflicting results were reported for experimental cardiovascular injury. High circulating CXCL16 levels are associated to human kidney and cardiovascular disease and urinary CXCL16 may increase in kidney injury. In conclusion, mounting evidence suggests a role of CXCL16 in kidney and cardiovascular disease. However, a better understanding is still required before exploring CXCL16 targeting in the clinic.
Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is one of the major late complications of diabetes. Treatment aimed at slowing down the progression of DN is available but methods for early and definitive detection of DN progression are currently lacking. The 'Proteomic prediction and Renin angiotensin aldosterone system Inhibition prevention Of early diabetic nephRopathy In TYpe 2 diabetic patients with normoalbuminuria trial' (PRIORITY) aims to evaluate the early detection of DN in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) using a urinary proteome-based classifier (CKD273).
Gremlin is a developmental gene upregulated in human chronic kidney disease and in renal cells in response to transforming growth factor-? (TGF-?). Epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) is one process involved in renal fibrosis. In tubular epithelial cells we have recently described that Gremlin induces EMT and acts as a downstream TGF-? mediator. Our aim was to investigate whether Gremlin participates in EMT by the regulation of the Smad pathway. Stimulation of human tubular epithelial cells (HK2) with Gremlin caused an early activation of the Smad signaling pathway (Smad 2/3 phosphorylation, nuclear translocation, and Smad-dependent gene transcription). The blockade of TGF-?, by a neutralizing antibody against active TGF-?, did not modify Gremlin-induced early Smad activation. These data show that Gremlin directly, by a TGF-? independent process, activates the Smad pathway. In tubular epithelial cells long-term incubation with Gremlin increased TGF-? production and caused a sustained Smad activation and a phenotype conversion into myofibroblasts-like cells. Smad 7 overexpression, which blocks Smad 2/3 activation, diminished EMT changes observed in Gremlin-transfected tubuloepithelial cells. TGF-? neutralization also diminished Gremlin-induced EMT changes. In conclusion, we propose that Gremlin could participate in renal fibrosis by inducing EMT in tubular epithelial cells through activation of Smad pathway and induction of TGF-?.
The classical view of the immune system has changed by the discovery of novel T-helper (Th) subsets, including Th17 (IL-17A-producing cells). IL-17A participates in immune-mediated glomerulonephritis and more recently in inflammatory pathologies, including experimental renal injury. Peritoneal dialysis patients present chronic inflammation and Th1/Th2 imbalance, but the role of the Th17 response in peritoneal membrane damage has not been investigated. In peritoneal biopsies from dialyzed patients, IL-17A immunostaining was found mainly in inflammatory areas and was absent in the healthy peritoneum. IL-17A-expressing cells included lymphocytes (CD4+ and ??), neutrophils, and mast cells. Elevated IL-17A effluent concentrations were found in long-term peritoneal dialysis patients. Studies in mice showed that repeated exposure to recombinant IL-17A caused peritoneal inflammation and fibrosis. Moreover, chronic exposure to dialysis fluids resulted in a peritoneal Th17 response, including elevated IL-17A gene and protein production, submesothelial cell infiltration of IL-17A-expressing cells, and upregulation of Th17 differentiation factors and cytokines. IL-17A neutralization diminished experimental peritoneal inflammation and fibrosis caused by chronic exposure to dialysis fluids in mice. Thus, IL-17A is a key player of peritoneum damage and it may be a good candidate for therapeutic intervention in peritoneal dialysis patients.
Experimental and human studies have shown that proteinuria contributes to the progression of renal disease. Overexposure to filtered proteins promotes the expression and release of chemokines by tubular epithelial cells, thus leading to inflammatory cell recruitment and renal impairment. This review focuses on recent progress in cellular and molecular understanding of the role of chemokines in the pathogenesis of proteinuria-induced renal injury, as well as their clinical implications and therapeutic potential.
Tumour necrosis factor-like weak inducer of apoptosis (TWEAK) activates the fibroblast growth factor-inducible-14 (Fn14) receptor. TWEAK has actions on intrinsic kidney cells and on inflammatory cells of potential pathophysiological relevance. The effects of TWEAK in tubular cells have been explored in most detail. In cultured murine tubular cells TWEAK induces the expression of inflammatory cytokines, downregulates the expression of Klotho, is mitogenic, and in the presence of sensitizing agents promotes apoptosis. Similar actions were observed on glomerular mesangial cells. In vivo TWEAK actions on healthy kidneys mimic cell culture observations. Increased expression of TWEAK and Fn14 was reported in human and experimental acute and chronic kidney injury. The role of TWEAK/Fn14 in kidney injury has been demonstrated in non-inflammatory compensatory renal growth, acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease of immune and non-immune origin, including hyperlipidaemic nephropathy, lupus nephritis (LN) and anti-GBM nephritis. The nephroprotective effect of TWEAK or Fn14 targeting in immune-mediated kidney injury is the result of protection from TWEAK-induced injury of renal intrinsic cells, not from interference with the immune response. A phase I dose-ranging clinical trial demonstrated the safety of anti-TWEAK antibodies in humans. A phase II randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial exploring the efficacy, safety and tolerability of neutralizing anti-TWEAK antibodies as a tissue protection strategy in LN is ongoing. The eventual success of this trial may expand the range of kidney diseases in which TWEAK targeting should be explored.
The Notch signalling pathway is activated in a wide variety of human renal diseases. We have recently demonstrated that the activation of this pathway is not involved in experimental renal fibrosis induced by angiotensin II or hypertension.
Childhood maltreatment, anger, and racial/ethnic background were examined in relation to physical health, psychological well-being, and blood pressure outcomes. This study used data from a diverse sample of African American, Latino, and Caucasian participants (N=198). Results from a series of multiple regressions indicated anger and total childhood maltreatment were robust predictors of poorer health. Although correlational analyses found maltreatment from the mother and father were associated with poorer health outcomes, when considered as part of the regression models, only a relationship between maltreatment from the mother and physical health was found. Greater anger scores were linked with lower blood pressure, particularly systolic blood pressure. Generally, more psychological and physical symptom reporting was found with greater anger scores, and higher levels of total maltreatment also predicted physical symptoms. The pattern of interactions indicated anger was more detrimental for African American participant's (and marginally so for Latino participant's) physical health. Interestingly, interactions also indicated total childhood maltreatment was related to fewer symptoms for Latino participants. Although child maltreatment may be viewed as a moral and/or human rights issue, this study provides evidence that it can also be viewed as a public health issue. Our study demonstrated that known health risk factors such as anger and maltreatment may operate in a different pattern dependent on ethnic/cultural background. The findings suggest health and health disparities research would benefit from greater exploration of the differential impact of certain moderating variables based on racial/ethnic background.
ILK (integrin-linked kinase) is an intracellular serine/threonine kinase involved in cell-matrix interactions. ILK dysregulation has been described in chronic renal disease and modulates podocyte function and fibrosis, whereas data about its role in inflammation are scarce. AngII (angiotensin II) is a pro-inflammatory cytokine that promotes renal inflammation. AngII blockers are renoprotective and down-regulate ILK in experimental kidney disease, but the involvement of ILK in the actions of AngII in the kidney has not been addressed. Therefore we have investigated whether ILK signalling modulates the kidney response to systemic AngII infusion in wild-type and ILK-conditional knockout mice. In wild-type mice, AngII induced an inflammatory response, characterized by infiltration of monocytes/macrophages and lymphocytes, and up-regulation of pro-inflammatory factors (chemokines, adhesion molecules and cytokines). AngII activated several intracellular signalling mechanisms, such as the NF-?B (nuclear factor ?B) transcription factor, Akt and production of ROS (reactive oxygen species). All these responses were prevented in AngII-infused ILK-deficient mice. In vitro studies characterized further the mechanisms regulating the inflammatory response modulated by ILK. In cultured tubular epithelial cells ILK blockade, by siRNA, inhibited AngII-induced NF-?B subunit p65 phosphorylation and its nuclear translocation. Moreover, ILK gene silencing prevented NF-?B-related pro-inflammatory gene up-regulation. The results of the present study demonstrate that ILK plays a key role in the regulation of renal inflammation by modulating the canonical NF-?B pathway, and suggest a potential therapeutic target for inflammatory renal diseases.
Vascular calcification in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients is associated to increased mortality. Osteoprotegerin (OPG) is a soluble tumor necrosis factor (TNF) superfamily receptor that inhibits the actions of the cytokines receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-B ligand (RANKL) and TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) by preventing their binding to signaling receptors in the cell membrane. OPG-deficient mice display vascular calcification while OPG prevented calcification of cultured vascular smooth muscle cells and protected kidney cells from TRAIL-induced death. OPG may be a biomarker in patients with kidney disease. Circulating OPG is increased in predialysis, dialysis and transplant CKD patients and may predict vascular calcification progression and patient survival. By contrast, circulating OPG is decreased in nephrotic syndrome. In addition, free and exosome-bound urinary OPG is increased in human kidney disease. Increased urinary OPG has been associated with lupus nephritis activity. Despite the association of high OPG levels with disease, experimental functional information available suggests that OPG might be protective in kidney disease and in vascular injury in the context of uremia. Thus, tissue injury results in increased OPG, while OPG may protect from tissue injury. Recombinant OPG was safe in phase I randomized controlled trials. Further research is needed to fully define the therapeutic and biomarker potential of OPG in patients with kidney disease.
Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is complicated by peritonitis episodes that cause loss of mesothelium and eventually sclerosing peritonitis. An improved understanding of the molecular contributors to peritoneal injury and defense may increase the therapeutic armamentarium to optimize peritoneal defenses while minimizing peritoneal injury. There is no information on the expression and function of the cytokine TWEAK and its receptor Fn14 during peritoneal injury. Fn14 expression and soluble TWEAK levels were measured in human PD peritoneal effluent cells or fluids with or without peritonitis. Fn14 expression was also analyzed in peritoneal biopsies from PD patients. Actions of intraperitoneal TWEAK were studied in mice in vivo. sTWEAK levels were increased in peritoneal effluent in PD peritonitis. Effluent sTWEAK levels correlated with the number of peritoneal macrophages (r=0.491, p=0.002). Potential TWEAK targets that express the receptor Fn14 include mesothelial cells and macrophages, as demonstrated by flow cytometry of peritoneal effluents and by analysis of peritoneal biopsies. Peritoneal biopsy Fn14 correlated with mesothelial injury, fibrosis and inflammation, suggesting a potential deleterious effect of TWEAK/Fn14. In this regard, intraperitoneal TWEAK administration to mice promoted peritoneal inflammation characterized by increased peritoneal effluent MCP-1, Fn14 and Gr1+ macrophages, increased mesothelial Fn14, MCP-1 and CCL21 expression and submesothelial tissue macrophage recruitment. Taken together these data suggest that the TWEAK/Fn14 system may promote inflammation and tissue injury during peritonitis and PD.
Obesity is an important problem in the epidemic of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Obesity is usually diagnosed by body mass index (BMI), but this metric has limitations as a measure of adiposity in CKD patients. Simple anthropometric tools, like skinfold thickness measurements, have been shown to be a better test to classify obesity among those with CKD.
p-Cresyl sulphate (p-CS) and p-cresyl glucuronide (p-CG) are uraemic toxins that exhibit pro-inflammatory features in leukocytes and are associated with the progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Tubular cells are key targets of nephrotoxic agents and tubular cell death and activation contribute to the progression of CKD. However, the potential toxicity of these compounds on tubular cells is not fully understood. More specifically, apoptosis has never been studied.
Epidemiological studies have highlighted the role of arterial stiffness as a risk factor for development of cardiovascular (CV) diseases. Moreover, aortic stiffness has been shown to be a significant predictive factor of all-cause and CV mortality in different populations including patients with end-stage renal disease. Pulse-wave velocity (PWV) is the most widely used technique to assess arterial stiffness. Although PWV can be measured on any artery or between any arterial sites, only carotid-to-femoral PWV, representing stiffness of the aorta and iliofemoral axes, has been shown to have predictive value for morbidity and mortality. The several available commercial devices differ according to the type of signal (pressure, distension, flow) or by recording both sites simultaneously or using ECG synchronization. It is also possible to directly measure arterial diameter changes during the cardiac cycle and link them to local pulse-pressure changes, which provides the pressure-diameter relationship and stress-strain relationship if arterial wall thickness is also measured. These techniques are based on high-precision vascular echo tracking or magnetic resonance imaging and applanation tonometry. This paper summarizes the basic principles of arterial haemodynamics and various methodologies to assess stiffness and the latest consensus recommendations for clinical applications.
Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) are at a particularly high risk for cardiovascular disease. Vascular calcification (VC) is considered a cardiovascular risk marker, so in CKD patients screening for the presence of VC is suggested in current guidelines. VC is the result of both passive and active processes that involve a variety of proteins and factors. In the CKD population, numerous studies have identified circulating biomarkers potentially responsible for VC and have evaluated their link with this process. This narrative review, and an accompanying analysis performed on the Amiens CKD database, focuses on selected VC biomarkers-namely phosphate, fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23), osteopontin (OPN), osteoprotegerin (OPG), matrix Gla protein and fetuin A-all of which have been implicated as major players in VC in experimental studies in vitro or in animal models. None of the VC biomarkers considered in this review have qualified as a reliable predictor of meaningful clinical events or as a valid indicator of the risk of having VC. In the analysis based on the Amiens-CKD database, no biomarker outperformed age and the classical risk factors as a predictor of VC either in the aorta or in the coronaries. Well-designed clinical trials are now urgently needed to test the potential value of these biomarkers as a guide for interventions targeting VC.
Chronic kidney disease is reaching epidemic proportions worldwide and there is no effective treatment. Connective tissue growth factor (CCN2) has been suggested as a risk biomarker and a potential therapeutic target for renal diseases, but its specific receptor has not been identified. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) participates in kidney damage, but whether CCN2 activates the EGFR pathway is unknown. Here, we show that CCN2 is a novel EGFR ligand. CCN2 binding to EGFR extracellular domain was demonstrated by surface plasmon resonance. CCN2 contains four distinct structural modules. The carboxyl-terminal module (CCN2(IV)) showed a clear interaction with soluble EGFR, suggesting that EGFR-binding site is located in this module. Injection of CCN2(IV) in mice increased EGFR phosphorylation in the kidney, mainly in tubular epithelial cells. EGFR kinase inhibition decreased CCN2(IV)-induced renal changes (ERK activation and inflammation). Studies in cultured tubular epithelial cells showed that CCN2(IV) binds to EGFR leading to ERK activation and proinflammatory factors overexpression. CCN2 interacts with the neurotrophin receptor TrkA, and EGFR/TrkA receptor crosstalk was found in response to CCN2(IV) stimulation. Moreover, endogenous CCN2 blockade inhibited TGF-?-induced EGFR activation. These findings indicate that CCN2 is a novel EGFR ligand that contributes to renal damage through EGFR signalling.
Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a frequent condition in hospitalised patients undergoing major surgery or the critically ill and is associated with increased mortality. Based on the volume of the published literature addressing this condition, reporting both supporting as well as conflicting molecular evidence, it is apparent that a comprehensive analysis strategy is required to understand and fully delineate molecular events and pathways which can be used to describe disease induction and progression as well as lead to a more targeted approach in intervention therapies.
Regulated necrosis (RN) may result from cyclophilin (Cyp)D-mediated mitochondrial permeability transition (MPT) and receptor-interacting protein kinase (RIPK)1-mediated necroptosis, but it is currently unclear whether there is one common pathway in which CypD and RIPK1 act in or whether separate RN pathways exist. Here, we demonstrate that necroptosis in ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI) in mice occurs as primary organ damage, independent of the immune system, and that mice deficient for RIPK3, the essential downstream partner of RIPK1 in necroptosis, are protected from IRI. Protection of RIPK3-knockout mice was significantly stronger than of CypD-deficient mice. Mechanistically, in vivo analysis of cisplatin-induced acute kidney injury and hyperacute TNF-shock models in mice suggested the distinctness of CypD-mediated MPT from RIPK1/RIPK3-mediated necroptosis. We, therefore, generated CypD-RIPK3 double-deficient mice that are viable and fertile without an overt phenotype and that survived prolonged IRI, which was lethal to each single knockout. Combined application of the RIPK1 inhibitor necrostatin-1 and the MPT inhibitor sanglifehrin A confirmed the results with mutant mice. The data demonstrate the pathophysiological coexistence and corelevance of two separate pathways of RN in IRI and suggest that combination therapy targeting distinct RN pathways can be beneficial in the treatment of ischemic injury.
Recent advances in cell death biology have uncovered an ever increasing range of cell death forms. Macrophages have a bidirectional relationship with cell death that modulates the immune response. Thus, macrophages engulf apoptotic cells and secrete cytokines that may promote cell death in parenchymal cells. Furthermore, the presence of apoptotic or necrotic dead cells in the microenvironment elicits differential macrophage responses. Apoptotic cells elicit anti-inflammatory responses in macrophages. By contrast macrophages may undergo a proinflammatory form of cell death (pyroptosis) in response to damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) released from necrotic cells and also in response to pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). Pyroptosis is a recently identified form of cell death that occurs predominantly in subsets of inflammatory macrophages and is associated to the release of interleukin-1? (IL-1?) and IL-18. Deregulation of these processes may result in disease. Thus, failure of macrophages to engulf apoptotic cells may be a source of autoantigens in autoimmune diseases, excessive macrophage release of proapoptotic factors or sterile pyroptosis may contribute to tissue injury and failure of pathogen-induced pyroptosis may contribute to pathogen survival. Ongoing research is exploring the therapeutic opportunities resulting this new knowledge.
Hyperglycemia is the key driver of diabetic complications and increased concentrations of glucose degradation products. The study of peritoneal dialysis solution biocompatibility has highlighted the adverse biological effects of glucose degradation products. Recently, 3,4-dideoxyglucosone-3-ene (3,4-DGE) was identified as the most toxic glucose degradation product in peritoneal dialysis fluids. In addition, 3,4-DGE is present in high-fructose corn syrup, and its precursor 3-deoxyglucosone is increased in diabetes. The role of 3,4-DGE in glomerular injury had not been addressed. We studied the effects of 3,4-DGE on cultured human podocytes and in vivo in mice. 3,4-DGE induced apoptosis in podocytes in a dose- and time-dependent manner. 3,4-DGE promoted the release of cytochrome c from mitochondria and activation of caspase-3. While high glucose concentrations increased the levels of the podocyte intracellular antiapoptotic protein HSP27/HSPB1, 3,4-DGE decreased the expression of podocyte HSP27/HSPB1. Apoptosis induced by 3,4-DGE was caspase-dependent and could be prevented by the broad-spectrum caspase inhibitor zVAD-fmk. Antagonism of Bax by a Ku-70-derived peptide also prevented apoptosis. Intravenous administration of 3,4-DGE to healthy mice resulted in a decreased expression of HSP27/HSPB1 and caspase-3 activation in whole kidney and in podocytes in vivo. In conclusion, 3,4-DGE induces apoptotic cell death in cultured human podocytes, suggesting a potential role in glomerular injury resulting from metabolic disorders.
Tumor necrosis factor-like weak inducer of apoptosis (TWEAK) regulates apoptosis, proliferation and inflammation in renal epithelial cells and plays a role in acute kidney injury. However, there is little information on the chronic effects of TWEAK. We hypothesized that TWEAK may influence renal fibrosis and regulate kidney fibroblast biology, in part, through Ras pathway. We studied a chronic model of experimental unilateral ureteral obstruction in wild type and TWEAK deficient mice, and a murine model of systemic TWEAK overexpression. TWEAK actions were also explored in cultured renal and embryonic fibroblasts. TWEAK and TWEAK receptor expression was increased in the obstructed kidneys. The absence of TWEAK decreased early kidney tubular damage, inflammatory infiltrates and myofibroblast number. TWEAK deficient mice had decreased renal fibrosis 21days after obstruction, as assessed by extracellular matrix staining. In mice without prior underlying kidney disease, systemic overexpression of TWEAK induced kidney inflammation and fibrosis. In cultured fibroblasts, TWEAK induced proliferation through activation of the Ras/ERK pathway. TWEAK also activated nuclear factor ?B (NF?B)-dependent inflammatory chemokine production in murine renal fibroblasts. In conclusion, lack of TWEAK reduces renal fibrosis in a model of persistent kidney insult and overexpression of TWEAK led to renal fibrosis. TWEAK actions on renal fibroblasts may contribute to the in vivo observations, as TWEAK promotes inflammatory activity and proliferation in fibroblast cultures.
The prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) is increasing and frequently progresses to end-stage renal disease. There is an urgent demand to discover novel markers of disease that allow monitoring disease progression and, eventually, response to treatment. To identify such markers, and as a proof of principle, we determined if a metabolite signature corresponding to CKD can be found in urine. In the discovery stage, we analyzed the urine metabolome by NMR of 15 patients with CKD and compared that with the metabolome of 15 healthy individuals and found a classification pattern clearly indicative of CKD. A validation cohort of urine samples from an additional 16 patients with CKD and 15 controls was then analyzed by (Selected Reaction Monitoring) liquid chromatography-triple quadrupole mass spectrometry and indicated that a group of seven urinary metabolites differed between CKD and non-CKD urine samples. This profile consisted of 5-oxoproline, glutamate, guanidoacetate, ?-phenylacetylglutamine, taurine, citrate, and trimethylamine N-oxide. Thus, we identified a panel of urine metabolites differentially present in urine that may help identify and monitor patients with CKD.
TWEAK, a member of the TNF superfamily, binds to the Fn14 receptor eliciting biological responses. EGFR signaling is involved in experimental renal injury. Our aim was to investigate the relation between TWEAK and EGFR in the kidney. Systemic TWEAK administration into C57BL/6 mice increased renal EGFR phosphorylation, mainly in tubular epithelial cells. In vitro, in these cells TWEAK phosphorylated EGFR via Fn14 binding, ADAM17 activation, and subsequent release of the EGFR ligands HB-EGF and TGF-?. In vivo, the EGFR kinase inhibitor Erlotinib inhibited TWEAK-induced renal EGFR activation and downstream signaling, including ERK activation, up-regulation of proinflammatory factors and inflammatory cell infiltration. Moreover, the ADAM17 inhibitor WTACE-2 also prevented those TWEAK-induced renal effects. In vitro TWEAK induction of proinflammatory factors was prevented by EGFR, ERK or ADAM17 inhibition. In contrast, EGFR transactivation did not modify TWEAK-mediated NF-?B activation. Our data suggest that TWEAK transactivates EGFR in the kidney, leading to modulation of downstream effects, including ERK activation and inflammation, and suggest that inhibition of EGFR signaling could be a novel therapeutic tool for renal inflammation.
A total of 569 individuals aged 55-85 and Caucasian were genotyped for SNP rs10927887 in the Ka renal chloride channel gene (CLCNKA). The following variables were significantly associated with an estimated glomerular filtration rate of (eGFR) <60 ml/min./1.73 m(2): age, type 2 diabetes, total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, and the CLCNKA GG genotype (p=0.03; OR=1.65, 95% CI=1.04-2.62). This novel finding could partly explain the reported greater risk of heart failure linked to the CLCNKA SNP, but requires confirmation on other populations.
Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF/CCN2) is a matricellular protein susceptible to proteolytic degradation. CCN2 levels have been suggested as a potential risk biomarker in several chronic diseases. In body fluids, CCN2 full-length and its degradation fragments can be found; however, their in vivo effects are far from being elucidated. CCN2 was described as a profibrotic mediator, but this concept is changing to a proinflammatory cytokine. In vitro, CCN2 full-length and its C-terminal module IV (CCN2(IV)) exert proinflammatory properties. Emerging evidence suggest that Th17 cells, and its effector cytokine IL-17A, participate in chronic inflammatory diseases. Our aim was to explore whether CCN2(IV) could regulate the Th17 response. In vitro, stimulation of human naive CD4+ T lymphocytes with CCN2(IV) resulted in differentiation to Th17 phenotype. The in vivo effects of CCN2(IV) were studied in C57BL/6 mice. Intraperitoneal administration of recombinant CCN2(IV) did not change serum IL-17A levels, but caused an activation of the Th17 response in the kidney, characterized by interstitial infiltration of Th17 (IL17A+/CD4+) cells and upregulation of proinflammatory mediators. In CCN2(IV)-injected mice, elevated renal levels of Th17-related factors (IL-17A, IL-6, STAT3 and ROR?t) were found, whereas Th1/Th2 cytokines or Treg-related factors (TGF-? and Foxp-3) were not modified. Treatment with an anti-IL-17A neutralizing antibody diminished CCN2(IV)-induced renal inflammation. Our findings unveil that the C-terminal module of CCN2 induces the Th17 differentiation of human Th17 cells and causes a renal Th17 inflammatory response. Furthermore, these data bear out that IL-17A targeting is a promising tool for chronic inflammatory diseases, including renal pathologies.
The calcineurin inhibitors (CNIs) cyclosporine (CsA) and tacrolimus are key drugs in current immunosuppressive regimes for solid organ transplantation. However, they are nephrotoxic and promote death and profibrotic responses in tubular cells. Moreover, renal inflammation is observed in CNI nephrotoxicity but the mechanisms are poorly understood. We have now studied molecular pathways leading to inflammation elicited by the CNIs in cultured and kidney tubular cells. Both CsA and tacrolimus elicited a proinflammatory response in tubular cells as evidenced by a transcriptomics approach. Transcriptomics also suggested several potential pathways leading to expression of proinflammatory genes. Validation and functional studies disclosed that in tubular cells, CNIs activated protein kinases such as the JAK2/STAT3 and TAK1/JNK/AP-1 pathways, TLR4/Myd88/IRAK signaling and the Unfolded Protein Response (UPR) to promote NF-?B activation and proinflammatory gene expression. CNIs also activated an Nrf2/HO-1-dependent compensatory response and the Nrf2 activator sulforaphane inhibited JAK2 and JNK activation and inflammation. A murine model of CsA nephrotoxicity corroborated activation of the proinflammatory pathways identified in cell cultures. Human CNIs nephrotoxicity was also associated with NF-?B, STAT3 and IRE1? activation. In conclusion, CNIs recruit several intracellular pathways leading to previously non-described proinflammatory actions in renal tubular cells. Identification of these pathways provides novel clues for therapeutic intervention to limit CNIs nephrotoxicity.
Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a clinical syndrome characterized by the acute loss of kidney function. AKI is increasingly frequent and is associated with impaired survival and chronic kidney disease progression. Experimental AKI models have contributed to a better understanding of pathophysiological mechanisms but they have not yet resulted in routine clinical application of novel therapeutic approaches.
Fabry disease is a rare X-linked hereditary disease caused by mutations in the AGAL gene encoding the lysosomal enzyme alpha-galactosidase A. Enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) is the current cornerstone of Fabry disease management. Involvement of kidney, heart and the central nervous system shortens life span, and fibrosis of these organs is a hallmark of the disease. Fibrosis was initially thought to result from tissue ischemia secondary to endothelial accumulation of glycosphingolipids in the microvasculature. However, despite ready clearance of endothelial deposits, ERT is less effective in patients who have already developed fibrosis. Several potential explanations of this clinical observation may impact on the future management of Fabry disease. Alternative molecular pathways linking glycosphingolipids and fibrosis may be operative; tissue injury may recruit secondary molecular mediators of fibrosis that are unresponsive to ERT, or fibrosis may represent irreversible tissue injury that limits the therapeutic response to ERT. We provide an overview of Fabry disease, with a focus on the assessment of fibrosis, the clinical consequences of fibrosis, and recent advances in understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of fibrosis that may suggest novel therapeutic approaches to Fabry disease.
Malnutrition has been described in patients with chronic kidney disease as well as its association with cardiovascular risk and mortality in haemodialysis patients. Recently, the new term "protein energy wasting" has been proposed with new diagnostic criteria (biochemical and anthropometric markers) for early identification of patients at risk for protein energy wasting and mortality. The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence, evolution over time and prognostic significance of PEW in a Spanish dialysis centre for the first time in Spain.
Proteinuria is the main predictor of chronic kidney disease progression. Drugs that block the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone (RAA) system reduce proteinuria and slow down the progression of the disease. However, their effect is suboptimal, and residual proteinuria persists as an important predictor of renal impairment. Vitamin D has pleiotropic effects that could have an impact on these parameters. In this study, we critically review the molecular and experimental bases that suggest an antiproteinuric effect of vitamin D receptor (VDR) activation and the available evidence on its antiproteinuric effect in clinical practice. In animal models, we have observed the antiproteinuric effect of VDR activation, which could be due to direct protective action on the podocyte or other pleiotropic effects that slow down RAA system activation, inflammation and fibrosis. Clinical trials have generally been conducted in patients with a vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency and the main trial (VITAL) did not demonstrate that paricalcitol improved the studys primary endpoint (decrease in the urine albumin to creatinine ratio). In this sense, the information available is insufficient to advise the use of native vitamin D or VDR activators as renoprotective antiproteinuric drugs beyond the experimental level. Two Spanish clinical trials and one Italian trial attempted to determine the effect of paricalcitol and vitamin D on residual proteinuria in various clinical circumstances (PALIFE, NEFROVID and PROCEED).
Unilateral ureteral obstruction is a popular experimental model of renal injury. However, the study of the kidney response to urinary tract obstruction is only one of several advantages of this model. Unilateral ureteral obstruction causes subacute renal injury characterized by tubular cell injury, interstitial inflammation and fibrosis. For this reason, it serves as a model both of irreversible acute kidney injury and of events taking place during human chronic kidney disease. Being a unilateral disease, it is not useful to study changes in global kidney function, but has the advantage of a low mortality and the availability of an internal control (the non-obstructed kidney). Experimental unilateral ureteral obstruction has illustrated the molecular mechanisms of apoptosis, inflammation and fibrosis, all three key processes in kidney injury of any cause, thus providing information beyond obstruction. Recently this model has supported key concepts on the role in kidney fibrosis of epithelial-mesenchymal transition, tubular epithelial cell G2/M arrest, the anti-aging hormone Klotho and renal innervation. We now review the experimental model and its contribution to identifying novel therapeutic targets in kidney injury and fibrosis, independently of the noxa.
Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is a major complication of diabetes mellitus (DM), the most frequent cause of end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Exosomes isolated from urine are considered a rich non-invasive source of markers for renal events. Proteinuria associated with DN patients at advanced stages may result in "contamination" of exosomal fraction by co-precipitation of high abundance urine proteins, making it enormously difficult to obtain a reliable comparison of healthy individuals and DN patients and to detect minor proteins. We evaluated different protocols for urinary exosome isolation (ultracentrifugation-based and Exoquick® reagent-based) in combination with an easy and quick depletion procedure of contaminating high abundance proteins (albumin). The optimal methodology was then applied to investigate the proteome of human urinary exosomes in DN and controls using spectral counting LC-MS/MS analysis followed by selected reaction monitoring (SRM) confirmation. A panel of 3 proteins (AMBP, MLL3, and VDAC1) is differentially present in urinary exosomes from DN patients, opening a new field of research focused on improving diagnosis and follow-up of this pathology.
Phenols are uremic toxins of intestinal origin formed by bacteria during protein metabolism. Of these molecules, p-cresol is the most studied and has been associated with renal function impairment and vascular damage. Bisphenol A (BPA) is a molecule with structural similarity with phenols found in plastic food and beverage containers as well as in some dialyzers. BPA is considered an environmental toxicant based on animal and cell culture studies. Japanese authorities recently banned BPA use in baby bottles based on observational association studies in newborns. BPA is excreted in urine and uremic patients present higher serum levels, but there is insufficient evidence to set cut-off levels or to link BPA to any harmful effect in CKD. However, the renal elimination and potential exposure during dialysis warrant the monitoring of BPA exposure and the design of observational studies in which the potential health risks of BPA for end-stage renal disease patients are evaluated.
Prosthetic joint infections (PJIs) are related to the formation of biofilms, mainly by Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis. Therapy is usually selected according conventional susceptibility testing, but these data may be insufficient to detect the true antibiotic susceptibility in the biofilm. In total, 32 clinical strains (17 S. aureus and 15 S. epidermidis) isolated from patients with PJIs as well as 2 collection strains (S. aureus 15981 and S. epidermidis ATCC 35984) were tested against nine antibiotics commonly used in the treatment of PJIs (rifampicin, vancomycin, tigecycline, clindamycin, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, ciprofloxacin, cloxacillin, daptomycin and fosfomycin) using the Calgary Biofilm Device. None of the antibiotics proved to be totally effective against biofilms in both species, with minimum biofilm eradication concentrations (MBECs) highly above the minimum inhibitory concentrations for most of the antibiotics (>1024 mg/L). Rifampicin and tigecycline showed MBECs slightly lower, mainly against S. epidermidis biofilms, and only two strains of this staphylococcal species were susceptible to almost all of the antibiotics tested. These results show that the search for new compounds with antimicrobial and antibiofilm properties is mandatory as well as the development of other strategies that could lead to the prevention and treatment of PJIs. In addition, more studies are necessary to obtain a better understanding of the mechanisms involved in antimicrobial resistance of biofilms.
Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is the most common cause of end-stage renal disease and identification of new therapeutic targets is needed. Nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT) is both an extracellular and intracellular protein. Circulating NAMPT is increased in diabetics and in chronic kidney disease patients. The role of NAMPT in renal cell biology is poorly understood. NAMPT mRNA and protein were increased in the kidneys of rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetes. Immunohistochemistry localized NAMPT to glomerular and tubular cells in diabetic rats. The inflammatory cytokine TNF? increased NAMPT mRNA, protein and NAD production in cultured kidney human tubular cells. Exogenous NAMPT increased the mRNA expression of chemokines MCP-1 and RANTES. The NAMPT enzymatic activity inhibitor FK866 prevented these effects. By contrast, FK866 boosted TNF?-induced expression of MCP-1 and RANTES mRNA and endogenous NAMPT targeting by siRNA also had a proinflammatory effect. Furthermore, FK866 promoted tubular cell apoptosis in an inflammatory milieu containing the cytokines TNF?/IFN?. In an inflammatory environment FK866 promoted tubular cell expression of the lethal cytokine TRAIL. These data are consistent with a role of endogenous NAMPT activity as an adaptive, protective response to an inflammatory milieu that differs from the proinflammatory activity of exogenous NAMPT. Thus, disruption of endogenous NAMPT function in stressed cells promotes tubular cell death and chemokine expression. This information may be relevant for the design of novel therapeutic strategies in DN.
Non-proliferative proteinuric diseases are the most common primary glomerular disorders causing end-stage renal disease. These disorders may associate low level glomerular inflammation and podocyte expression of inflammatory mediators. However, the factors regulating podocyte expression of inflammatory mediators in vivo in non-immune disorders are poorly understood. We have now explored the regulation and role of TWEAK receptor Fn14 in mediating glomerular inflammation in cultured podocytes and in experimental and human non-immune proteinuria. Transcriptomics disclosed Fn14 and MCP-1 mRNA upregulation in glomeruli from patients with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, as well as a correlation between the expression of both transcripts. Increased glomerular Fn14 and MCP-1 mRNA was confirmed in a second focal segmental glomerulosclerosis cohort and was also observed in membranous nephropathy. In human non-proliferative proteinuric kidney diseases podocytes displayed Fn14 and MCP-1 expression and NF?B activation. Podocyte Fn14 was increased in murine protein overload-induced proteinuria. In Fn14 knock-out mice with protein overload-induced proteinuria, glomerular and periglomerular macrophage infiltrates were reduced, as were MCP-1 mRNA and podocyte MCP-1 staining and podocyte numbers preserved as compared to wild-type counterparts. Adenovirus-mediated overexpression of TWEAK increased periglomerular macrophage infiltration in mice without prior kidney injury. In cultured podocytes inflammatory cytokines increased Fn14 mRNA and protein levels. TWEAK activated NF?B and increased MCP-1 mRNA and protein, an effect prevented by the NF?B inhibitor parthenolide. In conclusion, Fn14 activation results in NF?B-mediated pro-inflammatory effects on podocytes that may be relevant for the pathogenesis of non-proliferative proteinuric kidney disease of non-immune origin.
Both parathyroid hormone (PTH) and fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23) are phosphaturic hormones. These hormones should increase in response to phosphate excess. However, they also regulate serum calcium; PTH increases serum calcium concentration and FGF23 suppresses renal production of calcitriol, favoring hypocalcemia. We report the case of an 83-year-old woman with hyperphosphatemia and hypocalcemia resulting from phosphate-containing enemas. PTH and calcitriol increased in response to hypocalcemia, and FGF23 increased in response to hyperphosphatemia. Unexpectedly, peak FGF23 did not coincide with peak serum phosphate. Rather, peak FG23 was observed only after severe hypocalcemia was partially corrected with exogenous calcium administration, even though serum phosphate had been already decreasing for 32 h. Correction of severe hypocalcemia was thus associated with peak FGF23 values and with a precipitous decrease in PTH. Peak FGF23 was followed by an accelerated decrease in serum phosphate and significant phosphaturia. This clinical report is consistent with experimental data in rats showing a blunted FGF23 response to high phosphate in the presence of severe hypocalcemia. Thus, complementary experimental and clinical data suggest that partial correction of severe hypocalcemia is required for optimal FGF23-mediated phosphaturia, which takes place despite correction of PTH levels. We believe this the first human report suggesting blunting of the FGF23 response to high phosphate by severe hypocalcemia.
Runx2 is a key transcription factor in bone development regulating several processes, including osteoblast apoptosis. The antiapoptotic effects of parathyroid hormone (PTH) in osteoblasts depend on Runx2-mediated transcription of prosurvival genes. In the kidney, PTH-related protein (PTHrP) promotes tubulointerstitial cell survival by activating the PTH/PTHrP type 1 receptor. We found that Runx2 is expressed in renal tubuloepithelial MCT and HK2 cell lines in vitro and in the mouse kidney tubuloepithelium in vivo. The 1-36 amino-acid fragment of PTHrP was found to increase the expression and nuclear translocation of Runx2 in both cell lines in a dose- and time-dependent manner. PTHrP(1-36) protected renal tubuloepithelial cells from folic acid toxicity and serum deprivation, an effect inhibited by a dominant-negative Runx2 construct or a Runx2 siRNA. Furthermore, PTHrP(1-36) upregulated the antiapoptotic proteins Bcl-2 and osteopontin, and these effects were abolished by Runx2 siRNA. Runx2, osteopontin, and Bcl-2 were increased in tubuloepithelial cells from transgenic mice with PTHrP overexpression and in wild-type mice with acute or chronic renal failure. Thus, PTHrP regulates renal tubuloepithelial cell survival via Runx2 in the mammalian kidney.
Metabolic syndrome is characterized by hyperglycemia, hypertension, dyslipidemia and obesity. Diabetes and hypertension are the main causes of chronic end-stage kidney disease in humans. Chronic kidney disease is characterized by kidney inflammation and eventual development of kidney fibrosis. Low-level laser (or light) therapy (LLLT) can be used to relieve pain associated with some inflammatory diseases due to photochemical effects. Despite the known contribution of inflammation to metabolic syndrome and kidney disease, there is scarce information on the potential therapeutic use of LLLT in renal disease. The aim of this randomized, placebo-controlled study was to test the hypothesis that LLLT could modulate chronic kidney injury. Rats with nephropathy, hypertension, hyperlipidemia and type II diabetes (strain ZSF1) were subjected to three different conditions of LLLT or sham treatment for 8 weeks, and then sacrificed 10 weeks later. The main findings of this study are that the LLLT-treated rats had lower blood pressure after treatment and a better preserved glomerular filtration rate with less interstitial fibrosis upon euthanasia at the end of follow-up. This initial proof-of-concept study suggests that LLLT may modulate chronic kidney disease progression, providing a painless, noninvasive, therapeutic strategy, which should be further evaluated.
The polyglutamic acid/peptoid 1 (QM56) nanoconjugate inhibits apoptosis by interfering with Apaf-1 binding to procaspase-9. We now describe anti-inflammatory properties of QM56 in mouse kidney and renal cell models.In cultured murine tubular cells, QM56 inhibited the inflammatory response to Tweak, a non-apoptotic stimulus. Tweak induced MCP-1 and Rantes synthesis through JAK2 kinase and NF-?B activation. Similar to JAK2 kinase inhibitors, QM56 inhibited Tweak-induced NF-?B transcriptional activity and chemokine expression, despite failing to inhibit NF-?B-p65 nuclear translocation and NF-?B DNA binding. QM56 prevented JAK2 activation and NF-?B-p65(Ser536) phosphorylation. The anti-inflammatory effect and JAK2 inhibition by QM56 were observed in Apaf-1(-/-) cells. In murine acute kidney injury, QM56 decreased tubular cell apoptosis and kidney inflammation as measured by down-modulations of MCP-1 and Rantes mRNA expression, immune cell infiltration and activation of the JAK2-dependent inflammatory pathway.In conclusion, QM56 has an anti-inflammatory activity which is independent from its role as inhibitor of Apaf-1 and apoptosis and may have potential therapeutic relevance.
Klotho is a renal protein with anti-aging properties that is downregulated in conditions related to kidney injury. Hyperlipidemia accelerates the progression of renal damage, but the mechanisms of the deleterious effects of hyperlipidemia remain unclear.
The incidence of acute kidney injury (AKI) and chronic kidney disease (CKD) is increasing. However, there is no effective therapy for AKI and current approaches only slow down, but do not prevent progression of CKD. TWEAK is a TNF superfamily cytokine. A solid base of preclinical data suggests a role of therapies targeting the TWEAK or its receptor Fn14 in AKI and CKD. In particular TWEAK/Fn14 targeting may preserve renal function and decrease cell death, inflammation, proteinuria, and fibrosis in mouse animal models. Furthermore there is clinical evidence for a role of TWEAK in human kidney injury including increased tissue and/or urinary levels of TWEAK and parenchymal renal cell expression of the receptor Fn14. In this regard, clinical trials of TWEAK targeting are ongoing in lupus nephritis. Nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-?B) activation plays a key role in TWEAK-elicited inflammatory responses. Activation of the non-canonical NF-?B pathway is a critical difference between TWEAK and TNF. TWEAK activation of the non-canonical NF-?B pathways promotes inflammatory responses in tubular cells. However, there is an incomplete understanding of the role of non-canonical NF-?B activation in kidney disease and on its contribution to TWEAK actions in vivo.
Urinary exosomes have been proposed as potential diagnostic tools. TNF superfamily cytokines and receptors may be present in exosomes and are expressed by proximal tubular cells. We have now studied the expression of selected TNF superfamily proteins in exosome-like vesicles from cultured human proximal tubular cells and human urine and have identified additional proteins in these vesicles by LC-MS/MS proteomics. Human proximal tubular cells constitutively released exosome-like vesicles that did not contain the TNF superfamily cytokines TRAIL or TWEAK. However, exosome-like vesicles contained osteoprotegerin (OPG), a TNF receptor superfamily protein, as assessed by Western blot, ELISA or selected reaction monitoring by nLC-(QQQ)MS/MS. Twenty-one additional proteins were identified in tubular cell exosome-like vesicles, including one (vitamin D binding protein) that had not been previously reported in exosome-like vesicles. Twelve were extracellular matrix proteins, including the basement membrane proteins type IV collagen, nidogen-1, agrin and fibulin-1. Urine from chronic kidney disease patients contained a higher amount of exosomal protein and exosomal OPG than urine from healthy volunteers. Specifically OPG was increased in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease urinary exosome-like vesicles and expressed by cystic epithelium in vivo. In conclusion, OPG is present in exosome-like vesicles secreted by proximal tubular epithelial cells and isolated from Chronic Kidney Disease urine.
The secretion of angiogenic factors by vascular endothelial cells is one of the key mechanisms of angiogenesis. Here we report on the isolation of a new potent angiogenic factor, diuridine tetraphosphate (Up4U) from the secretome of human endothelial cells. The angiogenic effect of the endothelial secretome was partially reduced after incubation with alkaline phosphatase and abolished in the presence of suramin. In one fraction, purified to homogeneity by reversed phase and affinity chromatography, Up4U was identified by MALDI-LIFT-fragment-mass-spectrometry, enzymatic cleavage analysis and retention-time comparison. Beside a strong angiogenic effect on the yolk sac membrane and the developing rat embryo itself, Up4U increased the proliferation rate of endothelial cells and, in the presence of PDGF, of vascular smooth muscle cells. Up4U stimulated the migration rate of endothelial cells via P2Y2-receptors, increased the ability of endothelial cells to form capillary-like tubes and acts as a potent inducer of sprouting angiogenesis originating from gel-embedded EC spheroids. Endothelial cells released Up4U after stimulation with shear stress. Mean total plasma Up4U concentrations of healthy subjects (N=6) were sufficient to induce angiogenic and proliferative effects (1.34 ± 0.26 nmol L(-1)). In conclusion, Up4U is a novel strong human endothelium-derived angiogenic factor.
Local inflammation is thought to contribute to the progression of diabetic nephropathy. The vitamin D receptor (VDR) activator paricalcitol has an antiproteinuric effect in human diabetic nephropathy at high doses. We have explored potential anti-inflammatory effects of VDR activator doses that do not modulate proteinuria in an experimental model of diabetic nephropathy to gain insights into potential benefits of VDR activators in those patients whose proteinuria is not decreased by this therapy. The effect of calcitriol and paricalcitol on renal function, albuminuria, and renal inflammation was explored in a rat experimental model of diabetes induced by streptozotocin. Modulation of the expression of mediators of inflammation by these drugs was explored in cultured podocytes. At the doses used, neither calcitriol nor paricalcitol significantly modified renal function or reduced albuminuria in experimental diabetes. However, both drugs reduced the total kidney mRNA expression of IL-6, monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1, and IL-18. Immunohistochemistry showed that calcitriol and paricalcitol reduced MCP-1 and IL-6 in podocytes and tubular cells as well as glomerular infiltration by macrophages, glomerular cell NF-?B activation, apoptosis, and extracellular matrix deposition. In cultured podocytes, paricalcitol and calcitriol at concentrations in the physiological and clinically significant range prevented the increase in MCP-1, IL-6, renin, and fibronectin mRNA expression and the secretion of MCP-1 to the culture media induced by high glucose. In conclusion, in experimental diabetic nephropathy VDR activation has local renal anti-inflammatory effects that can be observed even when proteinuria is not decreased. This may be ascribed to decreased inflammatory responses of intrinsic renal cells, including podocytes, to high glucose.
Hematuria is a common finding in various glomerular diseases. This article reviews the clinical data on glomerular hematuria and kidney injury, as well as the pathophysiology of hematuria-associated renal damage. Although glomerular hematuria has been considered a clinical manifestation of glomerular diseases without real consequences on renal function and long-term prognosis, many studies performed have shown a relationship between macroscopic glomerular hematuria and AKI and have suggested that macroscopic hematuria-associated AKI is related to adverse long-term outcomes. Thus, up to 25% of patients with macroscopic hematuria-associated AKI do not recover baseline renal function. Oral anticoagulation has been associated with glomerular macrohematuria-related kidney injury. Several pathophysiologic mechanisms may account for the tubular injury found on renal biopsy specimens. Mechanical obstruction by red blood cell casts was thought to play a role. More recent evidence points to cytotoxic effects of oxidative stress induced by hemoglobin, heme, or iron released from red blood cells. These mechanisms of injury may be shared with hemoglobinuria or myoglobinuria-induced AKI. Heme oxygenase catalyzes the conversion of heme to biliverdin and is protective in animal models of heme toxicity. CD163, the recently identified scavenger receptor for extracellular hemoglobin, promotes the activation of anti-inflammatory pathways, opening the gates for novel therapeutic approaches.
Prognosis, risk stratification and monitoring the effects of treatment are fundamental elements in the decision-making process when implementing prevention strategies for chronic kidney disease. The use of biomarkers is increasingly proposed as a method to refine risk stratification and guide therapy. In this Review, we present basic concepts regarding the validation of biomarkers and highlight difficulties inherent to the identification of useful new biomarkers in patients on hemodialysis. We focus on prognostic biomarkers that have been consistently linked to survival in this group of patients. To date, no biomarker has had sufficient full-scale testing to qualify as a useful addition to standard prognostic factors or to guide the prescription of specific treatments in this population. Furthermore, little information exists on the relative strength of various biomarkers for their prediction of mortality. A multimarker approach might refine prognosis in patients on hemodialysis, but this concept needs to be properly evaluated in large longitudinal studies and clinical trials. The potential of proteomics for the identification and study of new biomarkers in the pathophysiology of cardiovascular disease in patients with end-stage renal disease is also discussed.
Apoptosis is a driving force of diabetic end-organ damage, including diabetic nephropathy (DN). However, the mechanisms that modulate diabetes-induced cell death are not fully understood. Heat shock protein 27 (HSP27/HSPB1) is a cell stress protein that regulates apoptosis in extrarenal cells and is expressed by podocytes exposed to toxins causing nephrotic syndrome. We investigated the regulation of HSPB1 expression and its function in podocytes exposed to factors contributing to DN, such as high glucose and angiotensin (Ang) II. HSPB1 expression was assessed in renal biopsies from patients with DN, minimal change disease or focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), in a rat model of diabetes induced by streptozotocin (STZ) and in Ang II-infused rats. The regulation of HSPB1 was studied in cultured human podocytes and the function of HSPB1 expressed in response to pathophysiologically relevant stimuli was explored by short interfering RNA knockdown. Total kidney HSPB1 mRNA and protein expression was increased in rats with STZ-induced diabetes and in rats infused with Ang II. Upregulation of HSPB1 protein was confirmed in isolated diabetic glomeruli. Immunohistochemistry showed increased glomerular expression of HSPB1 in both models and localized glomerular HSPB1 to podocytes. HSPB1 protein was increased in glomerular podocytes from patients with DN or FSGS. In cultured human podocytes HSPB1 mRNA and protein expression was upregulated by high glucose concentrations and Ang II. High glucose, but not Ang II, promoted podocyte apoptosis. HSPB1 short interfering RNA (siRNA) targeting increased apoptosis in a high-glucose milieu and sensitized to Ang II or TGF?1-induced apoptosis by promoting caspase activation. In conclusion, both high glucose and Ang II contribute to HSPB1 upregulation. HSPB1 upregulation allows podocytes to better withstand an adverse high-glucose or Ang II-rich environment, such as can be found in DN.
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