Excessive renal efferent sympathetic nerve activity contributes to hypertension in many circumstances. Although both hemodynamic and tubular effects likely participate, most evidence supports a major role for ?-adrenergic receptors in mediating the direct epithelial stimulation of sodium retention. Recently, it was reported, however, that norepinephrine activates the thiazide-sensitive NaCl cotransporter (NCC) by stimulating ?-adrenergic receptors. Here, we confirmed this effect and developed an acute adrenergic stimulation model to study the signaling cascade. The results show that norepinephrine increases the abundance of phosphorylated NCC rapidly (161% increase), an effect largely dependent on ?-adrenergic receptors. This effect is not mediated by the activation of angiotensin II receptors. We used immunodissected mouse distal convoluted tubule to show that distal convoluted tubule cells are especially enriched for ??-adrenergic receptors, and that the effects of adrenergic stimulation can occur ex vivo (79% increase), suggesting they are direct. Because the 2 protein kinases, STE20p-related proline- and alanine-rich kinase (encoded by STK39) and oxidative stress-response kinase 1, phosphorylate and activate NCC, we examined their roles in norepinephrine effects. Surprisingly, norepinephrine did not affect STE20p-related proline- and alanine-rich kinase abundance or its localization in the distal convoluted tubule; instead, we observed a striking activation of oxidative stress-response kinase 1. We confirmed that STE20p-related proline- and alanine-rich kinase is not required for NCC activation, using STK39 knockout mice. Together, the data provide strong support for a signaling system involving ??-receptors in the distal convoluted tubule that activates NCC, at least in part via oxidative stress-response kinase 1. The results have implications about device- and drug-based treatment of hypertension.
Familial hyperkalemic hypertension (FHHt) is a monogenic disease resulting from mutations in genes encoding WNK kinases, the ubiquitin scaffold protein cullin 3 (CUL3), or the substrate adaptor kelch-like 3 (KLHL3). Disease-associated CUL3 mutations abrogate WNK kinase degradation in cells, but it is not clear how mutant forms of CUL3 promote WNK stability. Here, we demonstrated that an FHHt-causing CUL3 mutant (CUL3 ?403-459) not only retains the ability to bind and ubiquitylate WNK kinases and KLHL3 in cells, but is also more heavily neddylated and activated than WT CUL3. In cells, activated CUL3 ?403-459 depleted KLHL3, preventing WNK degradation, despite increased CUL3-mediated WNK ubiquitylation; therefore, CUL3 loss in kidney should phenocopy FHHt in murine models. As predicted, nephron-specific deletion of Cul3 in mice did increase WNK kinase levels and the abundance of phosphorylated Na-Cl cotransporter (NCC). Over time, however, Cul3 deletion caused renal dysfunction, including hypochloremic alkalosis, diabetes insipidus, and salt-sensitive hypotension, with depletion of sodium potassium chloride cotransporter 2 and aquaporin 2. Moreover, these animals exhibited renal inflammation, fibrosis, and increased cyclin E. These results indicate that FHHt-associated CUL3 ?403-459 targets KLHL3 for degradation, thereby preventing WNK degradation, whereas general loss of CUL3 activity - while also impairing WNK degradation - has widespread toxic effects in the kidney.
Activation of the Na(+)-K(+)-2Cl(-)-cotransporter (NKCC2) and the Na(+)-Cl(-)-cotransporter (NCC) by vasopressin includes their phosphorylation at defined, conserved N-terminal threonine and serine residues, but the kinase pathways that mediate this action of vasopressin are not well understood. Two homologous Ste20-like kinases, SPS-related proline/alanine-rich kinase (SPAK) and oxidative stress responsive kinase (OSR1), can phosphorylate the cotransporters directly. In this process, a full-length SPAK variant and OSR1 interact with a truncated SPAK variant, which has inhibitory effects. Here, we tested whether SPAK is an essential component of the vasopressin stimulatory pathway. We administered desmopressin, a V2 receptor-specific agonist, to wild-type mice, SPAK-deficient mice, and vasopressin-deficient rats. Desmopressin induced regulatory changes in SPAK variants, but not in OSR1 to the same degree, and activated NKCC2 and NCC. Furthermore, desmopressin modulated both the full-length and truncated SPAK variants to interact with and phosphorylate NKCC2, whereas only full-length SPAK promoted the activation of NCC. In summary, these results suggest that SPAK mediates the effect of vasopressin on sodium reabsorption along the distal nephron.
The dysfibrinogen gammaR275C can be a clinically silent mutation, with only two out of 17 cases in the literature reporting a hemorrhagic presentation and four cases reporting a thrombotic presentation. We describe here a particularly severe presentation in 54-year-old female patient who required a hysterectomy at 47 years of age due to heavy menstrual bleeding. Coagulation studies revealed a prolonged prothrombin time and thrombin time, a normal fibrinogen antigen level, and a low fibrinogen activity level. Molecular analysis of the patients DNA revealed a gamma chain gene mutation resulting in an amino acid substitution at residue 275 (gammaR275C). Protein sequencing of the fibrinogen gamma chain confirmed this mutation, which was named Fibrinogen Portland I. This case demonstrates that the gammaR275C mutation can lead to a severe hemorrhagic phenotype.
Vaginally applied microbicides hold promise as a strategy to prevent sexual HIV transmission. Several nonspecific microbicides, including the polyanion cellulose sulfate, have been evaluated in large-scale clinical trials but have failed to show significant efficacy. These findings have prompted a renewed search for preclinical testing systems that can predict negative outcomes of microbicide trials. Moreover, the pipeline of potential topical microbicides has been expanded to include antiretroviral agents, such as reverse transcriptase, fusion, and integrase inhibitors. Using a novel ex vivo model of vaginal HIV-1 infection, we compared the prophylactic potentials of two forms of the fusion inhibitor T-20, the CCR5 antagonist TAK-778, the integrase inhibitor 118-D-24, and cellulose sulfate (Ushercell). The T-20 peptide with free N- and C-terminal amino acids was the most efficacious compound, causing significantly greater inhibition of viral genomic integration in intraepithelial vaginal leukocytes, measured by an optimized real-time PCR assay, than the more water-soluble N-acetylated T-20 peptide (Fuzeon) (50% inhibitory concentration [IC50], 0.153 microM versus 51.2 microM [0.687 ng/ml versus 230 ng/ml]; P<0.0001). In contrast, no significant difference in IC50s was noted in peripheral blood cells (IC50, 13.58 microM versus 7.57 microM [61 ng/ml versus 34 ng/ml]; P=0.0614). Cellulose sulfate was the least effective of all the compounds tested (IC50, 1.8 microg/ml). These results highlight the merit of our model for screening the mucosal efficacies of novel microbicides and their formulations and potentially rank ordering candidates for clinical evaluation.
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