Recent studies suggest CNNM2 (cyclin M2) to be part of the long-sought basolateral Mg2+ extruder at the renal distal convoluted tubule, or its regulator. In the present study, we explore structural features and ligand-binding capacities of the Bateman module of CNNM2 (residues 429-584), an intracellular domain structurally equivalent to the region involved in Mg2+ handling by the bacterial Mg2+ transporter MgtE, and AMP binding by the Mg2+ efflux protein CorC. Additionally, we studied the structural impact of the pathogenic mutation T568I located in this region. Our crystal structures reveal that nucleotides such as AMP, ADP or ATP bind at only one of the two cavities present in CNNM2429-584. Mg2+ favours ATP binding by alleviating the otherwise negative charge repulsion existing between acidic residues and the polyphosphate group of ATP. In crystals CNNM2429-584 forms parallel dimers, commonly referred to as CBS (cystathionine ?-synthase) modules. Interestingly, nucleotide binding triggers a conformational change in the CBS module from a twisted towards a flat disc-like structure that mostly affects the structural elements connecting the Bateman module with the transmembrane region. We furthermore show that the T568I mutation, which causes dominant hypomagnesaemia, mimics the structural effect induced by nucleotide binding. The results of the present study suggest that the T568I mutation exerts its pathogenic effect in humans by constraining the conformational equilibrium of the CBS module of CNNM2, which becomes 'locked' in its flat form.
Angiotensin (Ang) II is a potent mediator of both hypertension and cardiac damage; however, the mechanisms by which this occur remain unclear. B-cell lymphoma/leukemia 10 (Bcl10) is a member of the CBM signalosome, which links Ang II and nuclear factor-?B signaling. We hypothesized that Bcl10 is pivotal in the pathogenesis of Ang II-induced cardiac damage. Ang II infusion in mice lacking Bcl10 resulted in reduced cardiac fibrosis, less cellular infiltration, and improved arrhythmogenic electric remodeling, despite a similar degree of hypertension or cardiac hypertrophy. Adoptive transfer of bone marrow (BM), whereby Bcl10 knockout or wildtype BM was transferred to their opposite genotype recipients, revealed the dual importance of Bcl10 within both cardiac and immune cells. Loss of Bcl10 in cardiac cells resulted in reduced expression of genes important for the adhesion and recruitment of immune cells. In vitro experiments demonstrated that adhesion of monocytes to Ang II-treated endothelial cells also required Bcl10. Additionally, Bcl10 deficiency in macrophages reduced their intrinsic migratory ability. To address the role of BM-derived fibroblasts in the formation of cardiac fibrosis, we explored whether Bcl10 is also important for the infiltration of BM-derived (myo)fibroblasts into the heart. The transfer of green fluorescent protein positive wildtype BM into Bcl10 knockout recipient mice revealed a reduced number of noncardiac (myo)fibroblasts compared with those wildtype recipients. Our results demonstrate the significant role of Bcl10 in multiple cell types important for the generation of Ang II-induced cardiac damage and electric remodeling and may provide a new avenue for therapeutic intervention.
Preemptive renal transplantation is the method of choice for end stage renal disease in childhood and adolescence. However, without preemptive transplantation, waiting time for kidney transplantation might exceed several years. The poor quality of life and the extremely high morbidity and mortality rates of dialysis patients have led to the development of intensified hemodialysis programs in which the modes of dialysis (short daily, nocturnal intermittent or daily nocturnal) are different. Such programs have been shown to significantly improve several uremia-associated parameters, such as blood pressure, phosphate control, anemia and growth retardation, in both adult and pediatric (children and adolescents) patients and lead to a reduction in medications, including phosphate binders, erythropoietin and antihypertensive agents. Fluid limitations and dietary restrictions can also be lifted. With respect to psychosocial rehabilitation and quality of life, nocturnal intermittent dialysis programs provide a reasonable compromise of all forms of intensified programs. Experiences and practical approaches of our own in-center nocturnal intermittent hemodialysis program in the light of the recent publications are described in this review.
In the recent years, a role of the immune system in Huntington's disease (HD) is increasingly recognized. Here we investigate the presence of T cell activating auto-antibodies against angiotensin II type 1 receptors (AT1R) in all stages of the disease as compared to healthy controls and patients suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS) as a prototype neurologic autoimmune disease.
Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress plays an essential role in unfolded protein response induced apoptosis contributing to several pathological conditions. Glycogen synthase kinase-3? (GSK-3?) plays a central role in several apoptotic signaling, including ER stress, as the active form of GSK-3? induces apoptosis. The phosphorylation of cAMP responsive element (CRE) binding protein (CREB) Ser-133 (S133) residue is the end-point of various signaling pathways, like growth factor signaling, while the Ser-129 (S129) residue is phosphorylated by GSK-3?. The significance of the ubiquitously expressed transcription factor CREB is demonstrated in prolonged, tunicamycin (TM)-induced ER stress in this study. In the experiments wild-type (wt) CREB, S129Ala, S133Ala or S129Ala-S133Ala mutant CREB expressing PC12 rat pheochromocytoma cell lines showed increased survival under TM-evoked prolonged ER stress compared to wtPC12 cells. After TM treatment ER stress was activated in all PC12 cell types. Lithium and SB-216763, the selective, well-known inhibitors of GSK-3?, decreased TM-induced apoptosis and promoted cell survival. The proapoptotic BH3-only Bcl-2 family member Bcl-2-interacting mediator of cell death (Bim) level was decreased in the different CREB overexpressing PC12 cells as a result of TM treatment. CREB overexpression also inhibited the sequestration of Bim protein from tubulin molecules, as it was demonstrated in wtPC12 cells. Transient expression of wtCREB diminished TM-induced apoptosis in wtPC12, Rat-1 and primary rat vascular smooth muscle cells. These findings demonstrate a novel role of CREB in different cell types as a potent protector against ER stress.
Cytochrome P450 (CYP)-dependent metabolites of arachidonic acid (AA) contribute to the regulation of cardiovascular function. CYP enzymes also accept EPA and DHA to yield more potent vasodilatory and potentially anti-arrhythmic metabolites, suggesting that the endogenous CYP-eicosanoid profile can be favorably shifted by dietary omega-3 fatty acids. To test this hypothesis, 20 healthy volunteers were treated with an EPA/DHA supplement and analyzed for concomitant changes in the circulatory and urinary levels of AA-, EPA-, and DHA-derived metabolites produced by the cyclooxygenase-, lipoxygenase (LOX)-, and CYP-dependent pathways. Raising the Omega-3 Index from about four to eight primarily resulted in a large increase of EPA-derived CYP-dependent epoxy-metabolites followed by increases of EPA- and DHA-derived LOX-dependent monohydroxy-metabolites including the precursors of the resolvin E and D families; resolvins themselves were not detected. The metabolite/precursor fatty acid ratios indicated that CYP epoxygenases metabolized EPA with an 8.6-fold higher efficiency and DHA with a 2.2-fold higher efficiency than AA. Effects on leukotriene, prostaglandin E, prostacyclin, and thromboxane formation remained rather weak. We propose that CYP-dependent epoxy-metabolites of EPA and DHA may function as mediators of the vasodilatory and cardioprotective effects of omega-3 fatty acids and could serve as biomarkers in clinical studies investigating the cardiovascular effects of EPA/DHA supplementation.
There has been a steady increase of the incidence of erysipelas in Germany in the recent past. Affected patients also often show defects in the cutaneous barrier caused by microorganisms. The aim of this non-interventional case-control study was to investigate a possible interrelationship between interdigital tinea pedis and bacterial toe web (interdigital space) infections and erysipelas of the leg, as well as a potential interaction among the microorganisms themselves.
Developed societies, although having successfully reduced the burden of infectious disease, constitute an environment where metabolic, cardiovascular, and autoimmune diseases thrive. Living in westernized countries has not fundamentally changed the genetic basis on which these diseases emerge, but has strong impact on lifestyle and pathogen exposure. In particular, nutritional patterns collectively termed the "Western diet", including high-fat and cholesterol, high-protein, high-sugar, and excess salt intake, as well as frequent consumption of processed and 'fast foods', promote obesity, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease. These factors have also gained high interest as possible promoters of autoimmune diseases. Underlying metabolic and immunologic mechanisms are currently being intensively explored. This review discusses the current knowledge relative to the association of "Western diet" with autoimmunity, and highlights the role of T cells as central players linking dietary influences to autoimmune pathology.
To overcome the deleterious consequences of conventional dialysis, intensified dialysis programs have been developed and their feasibility and beneficial effects in children demonstrated. To investigate whether such a program can be further improved, we implemented hemodialfiltration within an established pediatric in-center, nocturnal hemodialysis program.
There are now almost 70 000 dialysis patients in Germany. Conventional hemodialysis does not adequately compensate for malnutrition, arterial hypertension, renal osteopathy, and diminished performance ability. Various strategies for intensified hemodialysis have been implemented in an attempt to lower the considerable morbidity and mortality of end-stage renal failure.
We have previously reported that sodium is stored in skin and muscle. The amounts stored in hemodialysis (HD) patients are unknown. We determined whether (23)Na magnetic resonance imaging (sodium-MRI) allows assessment of tissue sodium and its removal in 24 HD patients and 27 age-matched healthy controls. We also studied 20 HD patients before and shortly after HD with a batch dialysis system with direct measurement of sodium in dialysate and ultrafiltrate. Age was associated with higher tissue sodium content in controls. This increase was paralleled by an age-dependent decrease of circulating levels of vascular endothelial growth factor-C (VEGF-C). Older (>60 years) HD patients showed increased sodium and water in skin and muscle and lower VEGF-C levels compared with age-matched controls. After HD, patients with low VEGF-C levels had significantly higher skin sodium content compared with patients with high VEGF-C levels (low VEGF-C: 2.3?ng/ml and skin sodium: 24.3?mmol/l; high VEGF-C: 4.1?ng/ml and skin sodium: 18.2?mmol/l). Thus, sodium-MRI quantitatively detects sodium stored in skin and muscle in humans and allows studying sodium storage reduction in ESRD patients. Age and VEGF-C-related local tissue-specific clearance mechanisms may determine the efficacy of tissue sodium removal with HD. Prospective trials on the relationship between tissue sodium content and hard end points could provide new insights into sodium homeostasis, and clarify whether increased sodium storage is a cardiovascular risk factor.Kidney International advance online publication, 6 August 2014; doi:10.1038/ki.2014.269.
Although the oncolytic potential of natural, non-engineered Newcastle disease virus (NDV) isolates are well-known, cellular mechanisms determining NDV sensitivity of tumor cells are poorly understood. The aim of the present study was to look for gene expression changes in PC12 pheochromocytoma cells infected with an attenuated NDV strain that may be related to NDV susceptibility. PC12 cells were infected with the NDV strain MTH-68/H for 12h at a titer corresponding to the IC?? value. Total cytoplasmic RNA samples isolated from control and MTH-68/H-infected cells were analyzed using a rat specific Affymetrix exon chip. Genes with at least 2-fold increase or decrease in their expression were identified. MTH-68/H-induced gene expression changes of 9 genes were validated using quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR. A total of 729 genes were up- and 612 genes were down-regulated in PC12 cells infected with MTH-68/H. Using the DAVID functional annotation clustering tool, the up- and down-regulated genes can be categorized into 176 and 146 overlapping functional gene clusters, respectively. Gene expression changes affecting the most important signaling mechanisms (Toll-like receptor signaling, RIG-I-like receptor signaling, interferon signaling, interferon effector pathways, apoptosis pathways, endoplasmic reticulum stress pathways, cell cycle regulation) are analyzed and discussed in detail in this paper. NDV-induced gene expression changes described in this paper affect several regulatory mechanisms and dozens of putative key proteins that may determine the NDV susceptibility of various tumors. Further characterization of these proteins may identify susceptibility markers to predict the chances of virotherapeutic treatment of human tumors.
Macrophages are not only involved in inflammatory and anti-infective processes, but also play an important role in maintaining tissue homeostasis. In this review, we summarize recent evidence investigating the role of macrophages in controlling angiogenesis, metabolism as well as salt and water balance. Particularly, we summarize the importance of macrophage tonicity enhancer binding protein (TonEBP, also termed nuclear factor of activated T-cells 5 [NFAT5]) expression in the regulation of salt and water homeostasis. Further understanding of homeostatic macrophage function may lead to new therapeutic approaches to treat ischemia, hypertension and metabolic disorders.
Relaxin is a corpus-luteum produced protein hormone with vasodilatatory, anti-fibrotic, and angiogenic properties that are opposite to angiotensin (Ang) II. We investigated whether or not relaxin ameliorates Ang II-induced target-organ damage. We used double transgenic rats harboring both human renin and angiotensinogen genes (dTGR) that develop severe hypertension, target-organ damage, and die untreated within 7-8 weeks. Recombinant relaxin at a low (26 ?g/kg/d) and a high dose (240 ?g/kg/d) was given to 4 week-old dTGR and age-matched Sprague-Dawley rats (SD). Systolic blood pressure increased progressively in untreated dTGRs from 162 ± 3 mmHg at week 5 to 225 ± 5 mmHg at week 7. Relaxin had no effect on blood pressure whereas SD rats were normotensive (106 ± 1 mmHg). Untreated and relaxin-treated dTGR had similarly severe cardiac hypertrophy indices. Relaxin did not ameliorate albuminuria and did not prevent matrix-protein deposition in the heart and kidney in dTGR. Finally, relaxin treatment did not reduce mortality. These data suggest that pharmacological doses of relaxin do not reverse severe effects of Ang II.
Alzheimer disease features amyloid-? (A?) peptide deposition in brain and blood vessels and is associated with hypertension. A? peptide can cause vasoconstriction and endothelial dysfunction. We observed that A? peptides exert a chronotropic effect in neonatal cardiomyocytes, similar to ?1-adrenergic receptor autoantibodies that we described earlier. Recently, it was shown that ?1-adrenergic receptor could impair blood-brain flow. We hypothesized that A? peptides might elicit a signal transduction pathway in vascular cells, induced by ?1-adrenergic receptor activation. A? (25-35) and A? (10-35) induced a positive chronotropic effect in the cardiac contraction assay (28.75±1.15 and 29.40±0.98 bpm), which was attenuated by ?1-adrenergic receptor blockers (urapidil, 1.53±1.17 bpm; prazosin, 0.30±0.96 bpm). Both A? peptides induced an intracellular calcium release in vascular smooth muscle cells. Chronotropic activity and calcium response elicited by A? (25-35) were blocked with peptides corresponding to the first extracellular loop of the ?1-adrenergic receptor. We observed an induction of extracellular-regulated kinase 1/2 phosphorylation by A? (25-35) in Chinese hamster ovary cells overexpressing ?1-adrenergic receptor, vascular smooth muscle cells, and cardiomyocytes. We generated an activation-state-sensitive ?1-adrenergic receptor antibody and visualized activation of the ?1-adrenergic receptor by A? peptide. A? (25-35) induced vasoconstriction of mouse aortic rings and in coronary arteries in Langendorff-perfused rat hearts that resulted in decreased coronary flow. Both effects could be reversed by ?1-adrenergic receptor blockade. Our data are relevant to the association between Alzheimer disease and hypertension. They may explain impairment of vascular responses by A? and could have therapeutic implications.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic neuro-inflammatory disorder, which is marked by the invasion of the central nervous system by monocyte-derived macrophages and autoreactive T cells across the brain vasculature. Data from experimental animal models recently implied that the passage of leukocytes across the brain vasculature is preceded by their traversal across the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier (BCSFB) of the choroid plexus. The correlation between the presence of leukocytes in the CSF of patients suffering from MS and the number of inflammatory lesions as detected by magnetic resonance imaging suggests that inflammation at the choroid plexus contributes to the disease, although in a yet unknown fashion. We here provide first insights into the involvement of the choroid plexus in the onset and severity of the disease and in particular address the role of the tight junction protein claudin-3 (CLDN3) in this process. Detailed analysis of human post-mortem brain tissue revealed a selective loss of CLDN3 at the choroid plexus in MS patients compared to control tissues. Importantly, mice that lack CLDN3 have an impaired BCSFB and experience a more rapid onset and exacerbated clinical signs of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, which coincides with enhanced levels of infiltrated leukocytes in their CSF. Together, this study highlights a profound role for the choroid plexus in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis, and implies that CLDN3 may be regarded as a crucial and novel determinant of BCSFB integrity.
The aims of this study were to 1) determine whether renal localization of aliskiren and its antihypertensive and renoprotective effects persist after administration of the drug is stopped and 2) define the renal localization of aliskiren by light microscopy autoradiography. Hypertensive double transgenic rats (dTGR) overexpressing genes for human renin and angiotensinogen were treated with aliskiren (3 mg·kg(-1)·day(-1) sc; osmotic minipumps) or enalapril (18 mg/l in drinking water). After a 2-wk treatment, dTGR were assigned to either continued treatment with aliskiren ("continued"), or to cessation of their respective treatment ("stopped") for a 3-wk washout. One week of treatment with aliskiren and enalapril reduced blood pressure and albuminuria vs. baseline. After cessation of either treatment, blood pressure had returned to pretreatment levels and albuminuria remained relatively low for 1 wk, but rose thereafter similarly in both groups. In contrast, renal mRNA for transforming growth factor-? and renal collagen IV was reduced by aliskiren (continued and stopped groups), but not after cessation of enalapril. Similar patterns were found for collagen IV protein expression. Even 3 wk after stopping aliskiren treatment, renal levels of the drug exceeded its IC50, whereas enalaprilat was not detected. To localize aliskiren accumulation, Wistar rats were treated with [(3)H]-aliskiren for 7 days. Autoradiography demonstrated specific labeling in glomeruli, arterioles, and afferent arterioles as well as in the distal nephron. Labeling could still be observed even after 7 days washout. These results suggest that the renophilic properties of aliskiren are different from enalapril and could have contributed to the renoprotective mechanism of this renin inhibitor.
The skin interstitium sequesters excess Na+ and Cl- in salt-sensitive hypertension. Mononuclear phagocyte system (MPS) cells are recruited to the skin, sense the hypertonic electrolyte accumulation in skin, and activate the tonicity-responsive enhancer-binding protein (TONEBP, also known as NFAT5) to initiate expression and secretion of VEGFC, which enhances electrolyte clearance via cutaneous lymph vessels and increases eNOS expression in blood vessels. It is unclear whether this local MPS response to osmotic stress is important to systemic blood pressure control. Herein, we show that deletion of TonEBP in mouse MPS cells prevents the VEGFC response to a high-salt diet (HSD) and increases blood pressure. Additionally, an antibody that blocks the lymph-endothelial VEGFC receptor, VEGFR3, selectively inhibited MPS-driven increases in cutaneous lymphatic capillary density, led to skin Cl- accumulation, and induced salt-sensitive hypertension. Mice overexpressing soluble VEGFR3 in epidermal keratinocytes exhibited hypoplastic cutaneous lymph capillaries and increased Na+, Cl-, and water retention in skin and salt-sensitive hypertension. Further, we found that HSD elevated skin osmolality above plasma levels. These results suggest that the skin contains a hypertonic interstitial fluid compartment in which MPS cells exert homeostatic and blood pressure-regulatory control by local organization of interstitial electrolyte clearance via TONEBP and VEGFC/VEGFR3-mediated modification of cutaneous lymphatic capillary function.
There has been a marked increase in the incidence of autoimmune diseases in the past half-century. Although the underlying genetic basis of this class of diseases has recently been elucidated, implicating predominantly immune-response genes, changes in environmental factors must ultimately be driving this increase. The newly identified population of interleukin (IL)-17-producing CD4(+) helper T cells (TH17 cells) has a pivotal role in autoimmune diseases. Pathogenic IL-23-dependent TH17 cells have been shown to be critical for the development of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an animal model for multiple sclerosis, and genetic risk factors associated with multiple sclerosis are related to the IL-23-TH17 pathway. However, little is known about the environmental factors that directly influence TH17 cells. Here we show that increased salt (sodium chloride, NaCl) concentrations found locally under physiological conditions in vivo markedly boost the induction of murine and human TH17 cells. High-salt conditions activate the p38/MAPK pathway involving nuclear factor of activated T cells 5 (NFAT5; also called TONEBP) and serum/glucocorticoid-regulated kinase 1 (SGK1) during cytokine-induced TH17 polarization. Gene silencing or chemical inhibition of p38/MAPK, NFAT5 or SGK1 abrogates the high-salt-induced TH17 cell development. The TH17 cells generated under high-salt conditions display a highly pathogenic and stable phenotype characterized by the upregulation of the pro-inflammatory cytokines GM-CSF, TNF-? and IL-2. Moreover, mice fed with a high-salt diet develop a more severe form of EAE, in line with augmented central nervous system infiltrating and peripherally induced antigen-specific TH17 cells. Thus, increased dietary salt intake might represent an environmental risk factor for the development of autoimmune diseases through the induction of pathogenic TH17 cells.
The molecular mechanisms leading to preeclampsia are poorly understood. It has been related to certain immune mechanisms, as well as the pathological regulation of the renin-angiotensin system together with perturbed salt and plasma volume regulation. Finally, a non-specific, vascular, inflammatory response is generated, which leads to the clinical syndrome. Here, we present novel findings in salt (NaCl) metabolism implying that salt is not only important in blood pressure control and volume homeostasis, but also in immune regulation. Sodium and chloride can be stored without accumulation of water in the interstitium at hypertonic concentrations through interactions with proteoglycans. Macrophages in the interstitium act as osmosensors for salt, producing increased amounts of vascular endothelial factor C, which increases the density of the lymph-capillary network and the production of nitric oxide in vessels. An increased interstitial salt concentration activates the innate immune system, especially Th17 cells, and may be an important trigger for autoimmune diseases. The novel findings with the idea of sodium storage and local mechanisms of volume and immune regulation are appealing for preeclampsia and may unify the "immune" and "vascular" hypotheses of preeclampsia.
In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that chronic treatment with the direct rennin inhibitor aliskiren improves the remodelling of resistance arteries in dTGR (double-transgenic rats). dTGR (5 weeks) were treated with aliskiren (3 mg/kg of body mass per day) or ramipril (1 mg/kg of body mass per day) for 14 days and compared with age-matched vehicle-treated dTGR. BP (blood pressure) was similarly reduced in both aliskiren-treated and ramipril-treated rats compared with control dTGR (167±1 and 169±2 mmHg compared with 197±4 mmHg respectively; P<0.05). The M/L (media-to-lumen) ratio assessed on pressurized preparations was equally reduced in aliskiren-treated and ramipril-treated rats compared with controls (6.3±0.5 and 6.4±0.2% compared with 9.8±0.4% respectively; P<0.05). Endothelium-dependent and -independent relaxations were similar among the groups. L-NAME (N(G)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester) significantly reduced acetylcholine-induced dilation in drug-treated dTGR. This effect was significantly more prominent in aliskiren-treated rats. eNOS (endothelial NO synthase) expression showed a 2-fold increase only in aliskiren-treated dTGR as compared with controls (P<0.01) and ramipril-treated dTGR (P<0.05). Plasma nitrite, as an index of NO production, was significantly increased in dTGR treated with either aliskiren or ramipril compared with controls. Only aliskiren induced a 2-fold increase in plasma nitrite, which was significantly greater than that induced by ramipril (P<0.05). gp91(phox) expression and ROS (reactive oxygen species) production in aorta were significantly and similarly reduced by both drugs. In conclusion, equieffective hypotensive doses of aliskiren or ramipril reduced the M/L ratio of mesenteric arteries and improved oxidative stress in dTGR. However, only aliskiren increased further NO production in the vasculature. Hence, in dTGR, direct renin inhibition induces favourable effects similar to that induced by ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibition in improving vascular remodelling through different mechanisms.
High dietary salt intake is associated with hypertension; the prevalence of salt-sensitive hypertension increases with age. We hypothesized that tissue Na(+) might accumulate in hypertensive patients and that aging might be accompanied by Na(+) deposition in tissue. We implemented (23)Na magnetic resonance imaging to measure Na(+) content of soft tissues in vivo earlier, but had not studied essential hypertension. We report on a cohort of 56 healthy control men and women, and 57 men and women with essential hypertension. The ages ranged from 22 to 90 years. (23)Na magnetic resonance imaging measurements were made at the level of the calf. We observed age-dependent increases in Na(+) content in muscle in men, whereas muscle Na(+) content did not change with age in women. We estimated water content with conventional MRI and found no age-related increases in muscle water in men, despite remarkable Na(+) accumulation, indicating water-free Na(+) storage in muscle. With increasing age, there was Na(+) deposition in the skin in both women and men; however, skin Na(+) content remained lower in women. Similarly, this sex difference was found in skin water content, which was lower in women than in men. In contrast to muscle, increasing Na(+) content was paralleled with increasing skin water content. When controlled for age, we found that patients with refractory hypertension had increased tissue Na(+) content, compared with normotensive controls. These observations suggest that (23)Na magnetic resonance imaging could have utility in assessing the role of tissue Na(+) storage for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in longitudinal studies.
Microglia are crucial for immune responses in the brain. Although their origin from the yolk sac has been recognized for some time, their precise precursors and the transcription program that is used are not known. We found that mouse microglia were derived from primitive c-kit(+) erythromyeloid precursors that were detected in the yolk sac as early as 8 d post conception. These precursors developed into CD45(+) c-kit(lo) CX(3)CR1(-) immature (A1) cells and matured into CD45(+) c-kit(-) CX(3)CR1(+) (A2) cells, as evidenced by the downregulation of CD31 and concomitant upregulation of F4/80 and macrophage colony stimulating factor receptor (MCSF-R). Proliferating A2 cells became microglia and invaded the developing brain using specific matrix metalloproteinases. Notably, microgliogenesis was not only dependent on the transcription factor Pu.1 (also known as Sfpi), but also required Irf8, which was vital for the development of the A2 population, whereas Myb, Id2, Batf3 and Klf4 were not required. Our data provide cellular and molecular insights into the origin and development of microglia.
The steady-state concept of Na(+) homeostasis, based on short-term investigations of responses to high salt intake, maintains that dietary Na(+) is rapidly eliminated into urine, thereby achieving constant total-body Na(+) and water content. We introduced the reverse experimental approach by fixing salt intake of men participating in space flight simulations at 12 g, 9 g, and 6 g/day for months and tested for the predicted constancy in urinary excretion and total-body Na(+) content. At constant salt intake, daily Na(+) excretion exhibited aldosterone-dependent, weekly (circaseptan) rhythms, resulting in periodic Na(+) storage. Changes in total-body Na(+) (±200-400 mmol) exhibited longer infradian rhythm periods (about monthly and longer period lengths) without parallel changes in body weight and extracellular water and were directly related to urinary aldosterone excretion and inversely to urinary cortisol, suggesting rhythmic hormonal control. Our findings define rhythmic Na(+) excretory and retention patterns independent of blood pressure or body water, which occur independent of salt intake.
The (pro)renin receptor (PRR) is a newly reported member of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS); a hormonal cascade responsible for regulating blood pressure. Originally, identification of PRR was heralded as the next drug target of the RAS, of which such therapies would have increased benefits against target-organ damage and hypertension. However, in the years since its discovery, several conditional knockout mouse models of PRR have demonstrated an essential role for this receptor unrelated to the RAS and blood pressure. Specific deletion of PRR in podocytes or cardiomyocytes resulted in the rapid onset of organ failure and subsequently animal mortality after only a matter of weeks. In both cell types, loss of PRR resulted in the intracellular accumulation of autophagosomes and misfolded proteins, indicating a disturbance in autophagy. In light of the fact that the majority of PRR is located intracellularly, this molecular function appears to be more relevant than its ability to bind to high, non-physiological concentrations of (pro)renin. This review will focus on the role of PRR in autophagy and its importance in maintaining cellular homeostasis. Understanding the link between PRR, autophagy and how its loss results in cell death will be essential for deciphering its role in physiology and pathology.
Maladaptive cardiac hypertrophy predisposes one to arrhythmia and sudden death. Cytochrome P450 (CYP)-derived epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) promote anti-inflammatory and antiapoptotic mechanisms, and are involved in the regulation of cardiac Ca(2+)-, K(+)- and Na(+)-channels. To test the hypothesis that enhanced cardiac EET biosynthesis counteracts hypertrophy-induced electrical remodeling, male transgenic mice with cardiomyocyte-specific overexpression of the human epoxygenase CYP2J2 (CYP2J2-TG) and wildtype littermates (WT) were subjected to chronic pressure overload (transverse aortic constriction, TAC) or ?-adrenergic stimulation (isoproterenol infusion, ISO). TAC caused progressive mortality that was higher in WT (42% over 8 weeks after TAC), compared to CYP2J2-TG mice (6%). In vivo electrophysiological studies, 4 weeks after TAC, revealed high ventricular tachyarrhythmia inducibility in WT (47% of the stimulation protocols), but not in CYP2J2-TG mice (0%). CYP2J2 overexpression also enhanced ventricular refractoriness and protected against TAC-induced QRS prolongation and delocalization of left ventricular connexin-43. ISO for 14 days induced high vulnerability for atrial fibrillation in WT mice (54%) that was reduced in CYP-TG mice (17%). CYP2J2 overexpression also protected against ISO-induced reduction of atrial refractoriness and development of atrial fibrosis. In contrast to these profound effects on electrical remodeling, CYP2J2 overexpression only moderately reduced TAC-induced cardiac hypertrophy and did not affect the hypertrophic response to ?-adrenergic stimulation. These results demonstrate that enhanced cardiac EET biosynthesis protects against electrical remodeling, ventricular tachyarrhythmia, and atrial fibrillation susceptibility during maladaptive cardiac hypertrophy.
Hypertension is linked to disturbed total-body sodium (Na(+)) regulation; however, measuring Na(+) disposition in the body is difficult. We implemented (23)Na magnetic resonance spectroscopy ((23)Na-MR) and imaging technique ((23)Na-MRI) at 9.4T for animals and 3T for humans to quantify Na(+) content in skeletal muscle and skin. We compared (23)Na-MRI data with actual tissue Na(+) content measured by chemical analysis in animal and human tissue. We then quantified tissue Na(+) content in normal humans and in patients with primary aldosteronism. We found a 29% increase in muscle Na(+) content in patients with aldosteronism compared with normal women and men. This tissue Na(+) was mobilized after successful treatment without accompanying weight loss. We suggest that, after further refinements, this tool could facilitate understanding the relationships between Na(+) accumulation and hypertension. Furthermore, with additional technical advances, a future clinical use may be possible.
Angiotensin II-induced cardiac damage is associated with oxidative stress-dependent mitochondrial dysfunction. Caloric restriction (CR), a dietary regimen that increases mitochondrial activity and cellular stress resistance, could provide protection. We tested that hypothesis in double transgenic rats harboring human renin and angiotensinogen genes (dTGRs). CR (60% of energy intake for 4 weeks) decreased mortality in dTGRs. CR ameliorated angiotensin II-induced cardiomyocyte hypertrophy, vascular inflammation, cardiac damage and fibrosis, cardiomyocyte apoptosis, and cardiac atrial natriuretic peptide mRNA overexpression. The effects were blood pressure independent and were linked to increased endoplasmic reticulum stress, autophagy, serum adiponectin level, and 5 AMP-activated protein kinase phosphorylation. CR decreased cardiac p38 phosphorylation, nitrotyrosine expression, and serum insulin-like growth factor 1 levels. Mitochondria from dTGR hearts showed clustered mitochondrial patterns, decreased numbers, and volume fractions but increased trans-sectional areas. All of these effects were reduced in CR dTGRs. Mitochondrial proteomic profiling identified 43 dTGR proteins and 42 Sprague-Dawley proteins, of which 29 proteins were in common in response to CR. We identified 7 proteins in CR dTGRs that were not found in control dTGRs. In contrast, 6 mitochondrial proteins were identified from dTGRs that were not detected in any other group. Gene ontology annotations with the Panther protein classification system revealed downregulation of cytoskeletal proteins and enzyme modulators and upregulation of oxidoreductase activity in dTGRs. CR provides powerful, blood pressure-independent, protection against angiotensin II-induced mitochondrial remodeling and cardiac hypertrophy. The findings support the notion of modulating cardiac bioenergetics to ameliorate angiotensin II-induced cardiovascular complications.
The prorenin receptor (PRR) is highly expressed in podocytes, but its role in the maintenance of podocyte function is unknown. Here we generated podocyte-specific PRR-knockout mice and found that these animals died between 2 to 3 wk after birth. Within 14 d, PRR-knockout mice developed nephrotic syndrome, albuminuria with podocyte foot-process fusion, and cytoskeletal changes. Podocyte-specific PRR deletion also led to disturbed processing of multivesicular bodies and enrichment of autophagosomal (LC3) and lysosomal (LAMP2) markers, indicating a functional block in autophagosome-lysosome fusion and an overload of the proteasomal protein-degradation machinery. In vitro, PRR knockdown and pharmacologic blockade of vacuolar H(+)-ATPases, which associate with the PRR, increased vesicular pH, led to accumulation of LC3-positive and LAMP2-positive vesicles and altered the cytoskeleton. Taken together, these results suggest that the PRR is essential for podocyte function and survival by maintaining autophagy and protein-turnover machinery. Furthermore, PRR contributes to the control of lysosomal pH, which is important for podocyte survival and cytoskeletal integrity.
Renin/prorenin binding to the (pro)renin receptor ([P]RR) results in direct (angiotensin-independent) second-messenger activation in vitro, whereas in vivo studies in rodents overexpressing prorenin (?400-fold) or the (P)RR do not support such activation. To solve this discrepancy, DNA synthesis, extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 phosphorylation, and plasminogen-activator inhibitor 1 release were evaluated in wild-type and human (P)RR-overexpressing vascular smooth muscle cells after their incubation with 1 to 80 nmol/L of (pro)renin. Human prorenin (4 nmol/L, ie, ?800-fold above normal) + angiotensinogen increased DNA synthesis in human (P)RR cells only in an angiotensin II type 1 receptor-dependent manner. Prorenin at this concentration also increased plasminogen-activator inhibitor 1 release via angiotensin. Prorenin alone at 4 nmol/L was without effect, but at 20 nmol/L (?4000-fold above normal) it activated extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 directly (ie, independent of angiotensin). Renin at concentrations of 1 nmol/L (?2000-fold above normal) and higher directly stimulated DNA synthesis, extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 phosphorylation, and plasminogen-activator inhibitor 1 release in wild-type and human (P)RR cells, and similar effects were seen for rat renin, indicating that they were mediated via the rat (P)RR. In conclusion, angiotensin generation depending on prorenin-(P)RR interaction may occur in transgenic rodents overexpressing prorenin several 100-fold. Direct (pro)renin-induced effects via the (P)RR require agonist concentrations that are far above the levels in wild-type and transgenic rats. Therefore, only prorenin (and not [P]RR) overexpression will result in an angiotensin-dependent phenotype, and direct renin-(P)RR interaction is unlikely to ever occur in nonrenin-synthesizing organs.
Soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1 (sFlt1) is involved in the pathophysiology of preeclampsia and coronary artery disease. Because sFlt1 has a heparin-binding site, we investigated whether or not heparin releases sFlt1 from the extracellular matrix.
Although renal transplantation remains the most common treatment for children with end-stage renal disease (ESRD), the majority of children incident to ESRD receive dialytic therapy before receiving a renal allograft. Advances in the past decade have led to improved outcomes for children receiving maintenance hemodialysis, the majority of whom survive into adulthood. Medical, surgical, nutritional and psychosocial factors must be considered to provide optimal maintenance hemodialysis for children. In this Review, we discuss the various aspects of providing optimal hemodialysis to children, including vascular access, nutritional status, clearance targets, medications and assessment of health-related quality of life.
Mx proteins are a family of large GTPases that are induced exclusively by interferon-?/? and have a broad antiviral activity against several viruses, including influenza A virus (IAV). Although the antiviral activities of mouse Mx1 and human MxA have been studied extensively, the molecular mechanism of action remains largely unsolved. Because no direct interaction between Mx proteins and IAV proteins or RNA had been demonstrated so far, we addressed the question of whether Mx protein would interact with cellular proteins required for efficient replication of IAV. Immunoprecipitation of MxA revealed its association with two closely related RNA helicases, UAP56 and URH49. UAP56 and its paralog URH49 play an important role in IAV replication and are involved in nuclear export of IAV mRNAs and prevention of dsRNA accumulation in infected cells. In vitro binding assays with purified recombinant proteins revealed that MxA formed a direct complex with the RNA helicases. In addition, recombinant mouse Mx1 was also able to bind to UAP56 or URH49. Furthermore, the complex formation between cytoplasmic MxA and UAP56 or URH49 occurred in the perinuclear region, whereas nuclear Mx1 interacted with UAP56 or URH49 in distinct dots in the nucleus. Taken together, our data reveal that Mx proteins exerting antiviral activity can directly bind to the two cellular DExD/H box RNA helicases UAP56 and URH49. Moreover, the observed subcellular localization of the Mx-RNA helicase complexes coincides with the subcellular localization, where human MxA and mouse Mx1 proteins act antivirally. On the basis of these data, we propose that Mx proteins exert their antiviral activity against IAV by interfering with the function of the RNA helicases UAP56 and URH49.
Central angiotensin II (AngII) plays an important role in the regulation of the sympathetic nervous system. The underlining molecular mechanisms are largely unknown. Spinophilin (SPL) is a regulator of G protein-coupled receptor signaling. Deletion of SPL induces sympathetically mediated arterial hypertension in mice. We tested the hypothesis that SPL restrains blood pressure (BP) by regulating AngII activity. We equipped SPL(-/-) and SPL(+/+) mice with telemetric devices and applied AngII (1.0 mg kg(-1) day(-1), minipumps) or the AngII subtype 1 receptor (AT1-R) blocker valsartan (50 mg kg(-1) day(-1), gavage). We assessed autonomic nervous system activity through intraperitoneal application of trimethaphan, metoprolol, and atropine. We also tested the effect of intracerebroventricular (icv) AngII on blood pressure in SPL(-/-) and in SPL(+/+) mice. Chronic infusion of AngII upregulates SPL expression in the hypothalamus of SPL(+/+) mice. Compared with SPL(+/+) mice, SPL(-/-) mice showed a greater increase in daytime BP with AngII (19.2?±?0.8 vs. 13.5?±?1.6 mmHg, p?0.05). SPL(-/-) showed a greater depressor response to valsartan. BP and heart rate decreased more with trimethaphan and metoprolol in AngII-treated SPL(-/-) than in AngII-treated SPL(+/+) mice. SPL(-/-) mice responded more to icv AngII. Furthermore, brainstem AT1-R and AngII type 2 receptor (AT2-R) expression was reduced in SPL(-/-) mice. AngII treatment normalized AT1-R and AT2-R expression levels. In summary, our findings suggest that SPL restrains AngII-mediated sympathetic nervous system activation. SPL is a hitherto unrecognized molecule with regard to central blood pressure control and may pave the way to novel strategies for the treatment of hypertension.
The role and underlying mechanisms of rosiglitazone, a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPAR-?) agonist, on myocardial infarction are poorly understood. We investigated the effects of this PPAR-? agonist on the expression of tissue factor (TF), a primary molecule for thrombosis, and elucidated its underlying mechanisms. The PPAR-? agonist inhibited TF expression in response to TNF-? in human umbilical vein endothelial cells, human monocytic leukemia cell line, and human umbilical arterial smooth muscle cells. The overexpression of TF was mediated by increased phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), which was blocked by the PPAR-? agonist. The effective MAPK differed depending on each cell type. Luciferase and ChIP assays showed that transcription factor, activator protein-1 (AP-1), was a pivotal target of the PPAR-? agonist to lower TF transcription. Intriguingly, two main drugs for drug-eluting stent, paclitaxel or rapamycin, significantly exaggerated thrombin-induced TF expression, which was also effectively blocked by the PPAR-? agonist in all cell types. This PPAR-? agonist did not impair TF pathway inhibitor (TFPI) in three cell types. In rat balloon injury model (Sprague-Dawley rats, n?=?10/group) with continuous paclitaxel infusion, the PPAR-? agonist attenuated TF expression by 70±5% (n?=?4; P<0.0001) in injured vasculature. Taken together, rosiglitazone reduced TF expression in three critical cell types involved in vascular thrombus formation via MAPK and AP-1 inhibitions. Also, this PPAR-? agonist reversed the paclitaxel-induced aggravation of TF expression, which suggests a possibility that the benefits might outweigh its risks in a group of patients with paclitaxel-eluting stent implanted.
The cellular DEAD box RNA helicase UAP56 plays a pivotal role in the efficient transcription/replication of influenza A virus. UAP56 is recruited by the nucleoprotein (NP) of influenza A viruses, and recent data revealed that the RNA helicase is required for the nuclear export of a subset of spliced and unspliced viral mRNAs. The fact that influenza viruses do not produce detectable amounts of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) intermediates during transcription/replication suggests the involvement of cellular RNA helicases. Hence, we examined whether the RNA-unwinding activity of UAP56 or its paralog URH49 plays a role in preventing the accumulation of dsRNA during infection. First, our data showed that not only UAP56 but also its paralog URH49 can interact with NPs of avian and human influenza A viruses. The small interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated depletion of either RNA helicase reduced the transport of M1 and hemagglutinin (HA) mRNAs and, to a lesser extent, NP and NS1 mRNAs into the cytoplasm. Moreover, we found that virus infection of UAP56-depleted cells leads to the rapid accumulation of dsRNA in the perinuclear region. In parallel, we observed a robust virus-mediated activation of dsRNA-dependent protein kinase R (PKR), indicating that the cellular RNA helicase UAP56 may be recruited by influenza virus to prevent dsRNA formation. The accumulation of dsRNA was blocked when actinomycin D or cycloheximide was used to inhibit viral transcription/replication or translation, respectively. In summary, we demonstrate that UAP56 is utilized by influenza A viruses to prevent the formation of dsRNA and, hence, the activation of the innate immune response.
17(R),18(S)-epoxyeicosatetraenoic acid [17(R),18(S)-EETeTr], a cytochrome P450 epoxygenase metabolite of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), exerts negative chronotropic effects and protects neonatal rat cardiomyocytes against Ca(2+)-overload with EC(50) ? 1-2 nM. Structure-activity studies revealed that a cis-?(11,12)- or ?(14,15)-olefin and a 17(R),18(S)-epoxide are minimal structural elements for antiarrhythmic activity whereas antagonist activity was often associated with the combination of a ?(14,15)-olefin and a 17(S),18(R)-epoxide. Compared with natural material, the agonist and antagonist analogues are chemically and metabolically more robust and several show promise as templates for future development of clinical candidates.
Pregnant women who subsequently develop preeclampsia are highly sensitive to infused angiotensin (Ang) II; the sensitivity persists postpartum. Activating autoantibodies against the Ang II type 1 (AT(1)) receptor are present in preeclampsia. In vitro and in vivo data suggest that they could be involved in the disease process. We generated and purified activating antibodies against the AT(1) receptor (AT(1)-AB) by immunizing rabbits against the AFHYESQ epitope of the second extracellular loop, which is the binding epitope of endogenous activating autoantibodies against AT(1) from patients with preeclampsia. We then purified AT(1)-AB using affinity chromatography with the AFHYESQ peptide. We were able to detect AT(1)-AB both by ELISA and a functional bioassay. We then passively transferred AT(1)-AB into pregnant rats, alone or combined with Ang II. AT(1)-AB activated protein kinase C-? and extracellular-related kinase 1/2. Passive transfer of AT(1)-AB alone or Ang II (435 ng/kg per minute) infused alone did not induce a preeclampsia-like syndrome in pregnant rats. However, the combination (AT(1)-AB plus Ang II) induced hypertension, proteinuria, intrauterine growth retardation, and arteriolosclerosis in the uteroplacental unit. We next performed gene-array profiling of the uteroplacental unit and found that hypoxia-inducible factor 1? was upregulated by Ang II plus AT(1)-AB, which we then confirmed by Western blotting in villous explants. Furthermore, endothelin 1 was upregulated in endothelial cells by Ang II plus AT(1)-AB. We show that AT(1)-AB induces Ang II sensitivity. Our mechanistic study supports the existence of an "autoimmune-activating receptor" that could contribute to Ang II sensitivity and possible to preeclampsia.
Adipose tissue growth depends on angiogenesis. We tested the hypothesis that adipose tissue produces factors relevant to angiogenesis. We obtained fat biopsies in 2 different patient cohorts, cultured adipose-derived stem cells and studied mature adipocytes. We performed microarray, RT-PCR, and Western blotting; studied a rat obesity/metabolic syndrome model; and conducted viral gene transfer experiments in leptin-deficient mice. The microarray identified the splice variant of the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor, the soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1 (sFlt-1), as an antiangiogenesis candidate. We verified the expression findings and found that sFlt-1 was secreted by isolated mature human adipocytes. Tumor necrosis factor-? decreased sFlt-1 expression in mature adipocytes, whereas hypoxia had no effect. Separating cells from adipose tissue showed that the highest sFlt-1 expression was present in adipose-tissue nonfat cells rather than in the adipocytes themselves. We also found that sFlt-1 expression and sFlt-1 release by adipose-tissue explants were inversely correlated with body mass index of the corresponding patients but was directly correlated with adiponectin expression. In the obesity/metabolic syndrome rat model, we observed that circulating sFlt-1 levels and sFlt-1 expression in adipose tissue were also inversely correlated with body weight. To model our putative antiangiogenic factor further, we next overexpressed sFlt-1 by viral transfer in a mouse genetic model of leptin deficiency and observed that the transfected mice gained less weight than controls. We suggest that sFlt-1 could act as a paracrine factor inhibiting adipose tissue growth. Local sFlt-1 may regulate angiogenic potential and thereby influence adipose tissue mass.
Whether treatment with vitamin D receptor activators contributes to cardiovascular disease in patients with chronic kidney disease is a matter of debate. We studied mechanisms involved in vitamin D-related vascular calcifications in vivo and in vitro.
Familial hypomagnesemia is a rare human disorder caused by renal or intestinal magnesium (Mg(2+)) wasting, which may lead to symptoms of Mg(2+) depletion such as tetany, seizures, and cardiac arrhythmias. Our knowledge of the physiology of Mg(2+) (re)absorption, particularly the luminal uptake of Mg(2+) along the nephron, has benefitted from positional cloning approaches in families with Mg(2+) reabsorption disorders; however, basolateral Mg(2+) transport and its regulation are still poorly understood. Here, by using a candidate screening approach, we identified CNNM2 as a gene involved in renal Mg(2+) handling in patients of two unrelated families with unexplained dominant hypomagnesemia. In the kidney, CNNM2 was predominantly found along the basolateral membrane of distal tubular segments involved in Mg(2+) reabsorption. The basolateral localization of endogenous and recombinant CNNM2 was confirmed in epithelial kidney cell lines. Electrophysiological analysis showed that CNNM2 mediated Mg(2+)-sensitive Na(+) currents that were significantly diminished in mutant protein and were blocked by increased extracellular Mg(2+) concentrations. Our data support the findings of a recent genome-wide association study showing the CNNM2 locus to be associated with serum Mg(2+) concentrations. The mutations found in CNNM2, its observed sensitivity to extracellular Mg(2+), and its basolateral localization signify a critical role for CNNM2 in epithelial Mg(2+) transport.
Steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome (SRNS) is a frequent cause of end-stage renal failure. Identification of single-gene causes of SRNS has generated some insights into its pathogenesis; however, additional genes and disease mechanisms remain obscure, and SRNS continues to be treatment refractory. Here we have identified 6 different mutations in coenzyme Q10 biosynthesis monooxygenase 6 (COQ6) in 13 individuals from 7 families by homozygosity mapping. Each mutation was linked to early-onset SRNS with sensorineural deafness. The deleterious effects of these human COQ6 mutations were validated by their lack of complementation in coq6-deficient yeast. Furthermore, knockdown of Coq6 in podocyte cell lines and coq6 in zebrafish embryos caused apoptosis that was partially reversed by coenzyme Q10 treatment. In rats, COQ6 was located within cell processes and the Golgi apparatus of renal glomerular podocytes and in stria vascularis cells of the inner ear, consistent with an oto-renal disease phenotype. These data suggest that coenzyme Q10-related forms of SRNS and hearing loss can be molecularly identified and potentially treated.
Several studies published in the past three decades have suggested that inflammation and activation of immunity are central features in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, ischemic myocardial injury, and also in hypertension-induced target organ damage. A better understanding of this field could help us to explain the increased cardiovascular risk in patients with chronic inflammation.
Systemic sclerosis (SSc) features autoimmunity, vasculopathy and tissue fibrosis. The renin-angiotensin and endothelin systems have been implicated in vasculopathy and fibrosis. A role for autoantibody-mediated receptor stimulation is hypothesised, linking three major pathophysiological features consistent with SSc.
20-Hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (20-HETE) production is increased in ischemic kidney tissue and may contribute to ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury by mediating vasoconstriction and inflammation. To test this hypothesis, uninephrectomized male Lewis rats were exposed to warm ischemia following pretreatment with either an inhibitor of 20-HETE synthesis (HET0016), an antagonist (20-hydroxyeicosa-6(Z),15(Z)-dienoic acid), an agonist (20-hydroxyeicosa-5(Z),14(Z)-dienoic acid), or vehicle via the renal artery and the kidneys were examined 2 days after reperfusion. Pretreatment with either the inhibitor or the antagonist attenuated I/R-induced renal dysfunction as shown by improved creatinine clearance and decreased plasma urea levels, compared to controls. The inhibitor and antagonist also markedly reduced tubular lesion scores, inflammatory cell infiltration, and tubular epithelial cell apoptosis. Administering the antagonist accelerated the recovery of medullary perfusion, as well as renal medullary and cortical re-oxygenation, during the early reperfusion phase. In contrast, the agonist did not improve renal injury and reversed the beneficial effect of the inhibitor. Thus, 20-HETE generation and its action mediated kidney injury due to I/R. Whether or not these effects are clinically important will need to be tested in appropriate human studies.
The 2008-released FDA safety report described a potential association between use of MMF and progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy. We here report the case of an 11-yr-old kidney transplanted boy suffering from PML who showed rapid improvement parallel to withdrawal of MMF. This case contributes to the increasing knowledge on side effects of MMF treatment in children.
DEAP-HUS (deficiency of CFHR plasma proteins and factor H [FH] autoantibody positive hemolytic uremic syndrome [HUS]) is a new form of HUS characterized by a deletion of genes coding for FH-related proteins and the presence of autoantibodies directed to FH. These disease-associated autoantibodies inhibit FH (CFH) surface binding functions, which results in a defective regulation of the alternative pathway and damage of endothelial cells. Here we describe two representative patients with DEAP-HUS who both developed end-stage renal failure with the background of homozygous deletion of CFHR1 and CFHR3 genes and the presence of FH autoantibodies. Based on the retrospective diagnosis of DEAP-HUS 2 to 12 months after the initial clinical presentation, subsequent immunosuppressive therapy was initiated. The autoantibody titers decreased, and the complement status of the patients improved, as indicated by increased C3 levels. Thus early diagnosis of DEAP-HUS and immunosuppressive treatments are important factors to treat this particular type of HUS.
Calcium-sensitizing agents improve cardiac function in acute heart failure; however, their long-term effects on cardiovascular mortality are unknown. We tested the hypothesis that levosimendan, an inodilator that acts through calcium sensitization, opening of ATP-dependent potassium channels and phosphodiesterase III inhibition, improves cardiac function and survival in double transgenic rats harboring human renin and angiotensinogen genes (dTGRs), a model of angiotensin II (Ang II)-induced hypertensive heart failure. Levosimendan (1?mg?kg(-1)) was administered orally to 4-week-old dTGRs and normotensive Sprague-Dawley rats for 4 weeks. Untreated dTGRs developed severe hypertension, cardiac hypertrophy, heart failure with impaired diastolic relaxation, and exhibited a high mortality rate at the age of 8 weeks. Levosimendan did not decrease blood pressure and did not prevent cardiac hypertrophy. However, levosimendan improved systolic function, decreased cardiac atrial natriuretic peptide mRNA expression, ameliorated Ang II-induced cardiac damage and decreased mortality. Levosimendan did not correct Ang II-induced diastolic dysfunction and did not influence heart rate. In a separate survival study, levosimendan increased dTGR survival by 58% and median survival time by 27% (P=0.004). Our findings suggest that levosimendan ameliorates Ang II-induced hypertensive heart failure and reduces mortality. The results also support the notion that the effects of levosimendan in dTGRs are mediated by blood pressure-independent mechanisms and include improved systolic function and amelioration of Ang II-induced coronary and cardiomyocyte damage.
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) protect against cardiovascular disease by largely unknown mechanisms. We tested the hypothesis that EPA and DHA may compete with arachidonic acid (AA) for the conversion by cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes, resulting in the formation of alternative, physiologically active, metabolites. Renal and hepatic microsomes, as well as various CYP isoforms, displayed equal or elevated activities when metabolizing EPA or DHA instead of AA. CYP2C/2J isoforms converting AA to epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) preferentially epoxidized the ?-3 double bond and thereby produced 17,18-epoxyeicosatetraenoic (17,18-EEQ) and 19,20-epoxydocosapentaenoic acid (19,20-EDP) from EPA and DHA. We found that these ?-3 epoxides are highly active as antiarrhythmic agents, suppressing the Ca(2+)-induced increased rate of spontaneous beating of neonatal rat cardiomyocytes, at low nanomolar concentrations. CYP4A/4F isoforms ?-hydroxylating AA were less regioselective toward EPA and DHA, catalyzing predominantly ?- and ? minus 1 hydroxylation. Rats given dietary EPA/DHA supplementation exhibited substantial replacement of AA by EPA and DHA in membrane phospholipids in plasma, heart, kidney, liver, lung, and pancreas, with less pronounced changes in the brain. The changes in fatty acids were accompanied by concomitant changes in endogenous CYP metabolite profiles (e.g. altering the EET/EEQ/EDP ratio from 87:0:13 to 27:18:55 in the heart). These results demonstrate that CYP enzymes efficiently convert EPA and DHA to novel epoxy and hydroxy metabolites that could mediate some of the beneficial cardiovascular effects of dietary ?-3 fatty acids.
Pre-treatment with angiotensin receptor blockers is known to improve neurological outcome after stroke. This study investigated for the first time, whether the renin inhibitor aliskiren has similar neuroprotective effects.
Rats harboring the human angiotensinogen and human renin genes develop preeclamptic features in pregnancy. The preeclamptic rats exhibit a deeper trophoblast invasion associated with a reduced resistance index by uterine Doppler. Doxycycline inhibits matrix metalloproteinase activity. We tested the hypothesis that matrix metalloproteinase inhibition reduces trophoblast invasion with subsequent changes in placental perfusion. Preeclamptic and pregnant control Sprague-Dawley rats were treated with doxycycline (30 mg/kg of body weight orally) from gestational day 12 until day 18. Placental perfusion was assessed using a micromarker contrast agent. The animals were euthanized on day 18 of pregnancy; biometric data were acquired, and trophoblast invasion was analyzed. Doxycycline resulted in intrauterine growth retardation and lighter placentas in both groups. Maternal body weight was not affected. As shown earlier, preeclamptic rats exhibited a deeper endovascular trophoblast invasion. However, doxycycline treatment reduced trophoblast invasion in the preeclamptic rats. The physiological spiral artery remodeling, as assessed by the deposition of fibrinoid and alpha-actin in the spiral artery contour, was significantly reduced by doxycycline. The vascularity index, as assessed by perfusion measurement of the placenta, was reduced after doxycycline treatment in preeclamptic rats. Thus, matrix metalloproteinase inhibition with doxycycline leads to reduced trophoblast invasion and associated reduced placental perfusion. These studies are the first to show that reducing trophoblast-induced vascular remodeling decreases subsequent placental perfusion. Our model allows the study of dysregulated trophoblast invasion and vascular remodeling in vivo to gain important insights into preeclampsia-related mechanisms.
Patterning and differentiation of developing musculatures require elaborate networks of transcriptional regulation. In Drosophila, significant progress has been made into identifying the regulators of muscle development and defining their interactive networks. One major family of transcription factors involved in these processes consists of homeodomain proteins. In flies, several members of this family serve as muscle identity genes to specify the fates of individual muscles, or groups thereof, during embryonic and/or adult muscle development. Herein, we report on the expression and function of a new Drosophila homeobox gene during both embryonic and adult muscle development.
Endoscopic subureteral injection of bulking agents has become a widespread treatment for vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) in children. Various biological and plastic materials have been introduced for this purpose with different success and complication rates. Evaluations of this method in previous studies have focused on the success rate of eliminating VUR, whereas complications have been less frequently reported in detail. This report describes four children with VUR grade I to IV-V who experienced severe complications after endoscopic treatment with polydimethylsiloxane at the age of 5 months to 7 years. Three children developed urosepsis and two patients obstructive acute renal failure. These complications required repeated hospitalizations with extensive diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Percutaneous nephrostomy was necessary in three patients and ureteroneocystostomy was eventually performed in all. These observations suggest that endoscopic treatment of VUR in childhood with polydimethylsiloxane can lead to severe postoperative complications and that a standardized follow-up should be an integral part of endoscopic procedures.
The renin-angiotensin (Ang) system is important during placental development. Dysregulation of the renin-Ang system is important in preeclampsia (PE). Female rats transgenic for the human angiotensinogen gene crossed with males transgenic for the human renin gene develop the PE syndrome, whereas those of the opposite cross do not. We used this model to study the role of Ang II in trophoblast invasion, which is shallow in human PE but deeper in this model. We investigated the following groups: PE rats, opposite-cross rats, Ang II-infused rats (1000 ng/kg per day), and control rats. Ang II infusion increased only circulating Ang II levels (267.82 pg/mL), opposite cross influenced only uteroplacental Ang II (13.52 fmol/mg of protein), and PE increased both circulating (251.09 pg/mL) and uteroplacental (19.24 fmol/mg of protein) Ang II. Blood pressure and albuminuria occurred in the models with high circulating Ang II but not in the other models. Trophoblast invasion increased in PE and opposite-cross rats but not in Ang II-infused rats. Correspondingly, uterine artery resistance index increased in Ang II-infused rats but decreased in PE rats. We then studied human trophoblasts and villous explants from first-trimester pregnancies with time-lapse microscopy. Local Ang II dose-dependently increased migration by 75%, invasion by 58%, and motility by 282%. The data suggest that local tissue Ang II stimulates trophoblast invasion in vivo in the rat and in vitro in human cells, a hitherto fore unrecognized function. Conceivably, upregulation of tissue Ang II in the maternal part of the placenta represents an important growth factor for trophoblast invasion and migration.
In 2002, Nguyen et al. cloned the (pro)renin receptor ((P)RR). Two years later, Suzuki, Ichihara and colleagues provided a concept to inhibit the (P)RR through HRP. This decapeptide mimics a sequence of the prorenin prosegment and functions thereby as a decoy peptide. They showed that HRP prevented diabetic nephropathy in rodents and ameliorated renal and cardiac damage in spontaneously hypertensive rats. We tested HRP and the human renin inhibitor aliskiren in transgenic rats overexpressing the human renin and angiotensinogen genes (dTGR). Only aliskiren, but not HRP, was able to ameliorate target organ damage in this model. HRP had also no effect on target organ damage in renovascular hypertensive rats. In vitro studies showed that HRP did not inhibit (pro)renin binding and signaling. More confusing was the fact that HRP bound to cells lacking (P)RR on their surface. We believe that HRP does not act as a competitive antagonist for the (P)RR and promotes its action via an alternative mechanism. Elucidating this mechanism could offer further opportunities, in terms of (pro)renin research.
There is compelling evidence to indicate an important role for increased local renin-angiotensin system activity in the pathogenesis of cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure. Resveratrol is a natural polyphenol that activates SIRT1, a novel cardioprotective and longevity factor having NAD(+)-dependent histone deacetylase activity. We tested the hypothesis whether resveratrol could prevent from angiotensin II (Ang II)-induced cardiovascular damage. Four-week-old double transgenic rats harboring human renin and human angiotensinogen genes (dTGR) were treated for 4 weeks either with SIRT1 activator resveratrol or SIRT1 inhibitor nicotinamide. Untreated dTGR and their normotensive Sprague-Dawley control rats (SD) received vehicle. Untreated dTGR developed severe hypertension as well as cardiac hypertrophy, and showed pronounced cardiovascular mortality compared with normotensive SD rats. Resveratrol slightly but significantly decreased blood pressure, ameliorated cardiac hypertrophy and prevented completely Ang II-induced mortality, whereas nicotinamide increased blood pressure without significantly influencing cardiac hypertrophy or survival. Resveratrol decreased cardiac ANP mRNA expression and induced cardiac mRNA expressions of mitochondrial biogenesis markers peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator (PGC-1alpha), mitochondrial transcription factor (Tfam), nuclear respiratory factor 1 (NRF-1) and cytochrome c oxidase subunit 4 (cox4). Resveratrol dose-dependently increased SIRT1 activity in vitro. Our findings suggest that the beneficial effects of SIRT1 activator resveratrol on Ang II-induced cardiac remodeling are mediated by blood pressure-dependent pathways and are linked to increased mitochondrial biogenesis.
The paracellular barrier of epithelia and endothelia is established by several tight junction proteins including claudin-3. Although claudin-3 is present in many epithelia including skin, lung, kidney, and intestine and in endothelia, its function is unresolved as yet. We therefore characterized claudin-3 by stable transfection of MDCK II kidney tubule cells with human claudin-3 cDNA. Two clone systems were analyzed, exhibiting high or low claudin-2 expression, respectively. Expression of other claudins was unchanged. Ultrastructurally, tight junction strands were changed toward uninterrupted and rounded meshwork loops. Functionally, the paracellular resistance of claudin-3-transfected monolayers was strongly elevated, causing an increase in transepithelial resistance compared to vector controls. Permeabilities for mono- and divalent cations and for anions were decreased. In the high-claudin-2 system, claudin-3 reduced claudin-2-induced cation selectivity, while in the low-claudin-2 system no charge preference was observed, the latter thus reflecting the "intrinsic" action of claudin-3. Furthermore, the passage of the paracellular tracers fluorescein (332Da) and FD-4 (4kDa) was decreased, whereas the permeability to water was not affected. We demonstrate that claudin-3 alters the tight junction meshwork and seals the paracellular pathway against the passage of small ions of either charge and uncharged solutes. Thus, in a kidney model epithelium, claudin-3 acts as a general barrier-forming protein.
DEAP-HUS [Deficiency of CFHR (complement factor H-related) plasma proteins and Autoantibody Positive form of Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome] represents a novel subtype of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) with unique characteristics. It affects children and requires special clinical attention in terms of diagnosis and therapy. DEAP-HUS and other atypical forms of HUS share common features, such as microangiopathic hemolytic anemia, acute renal failure, and thrombocytopenia. However, DEAP-HUS has the unique combination of an acquired factor in the form of autoantibodies to the complement inhibitor Factor H and a genetic factor which, in most cases, is the chromosomal deletion of a 84-kbp fragment within human chromosome 1 that results in the absence of the CFHR1 and CFHR3 proteins in plasma. Special attention is required to diagnose and treat DEAP-HUS patients. Most patients show a favorable response to the reduction of autoantibody titers by either plasma therapy, steroid treatment, and/or immunosuppression. In addition, in those DEAP-HUS patients with end-stage renal disease, the reduction of autoantibody titers prior to transplantation is expected to prevent post-transplant disease recurrence by aiming for full complement control at the endothelial cell surface in order to minimize adverse complement and immune reactions.
Claudin-16 (CLDN16) is critical for renal paracellular epithelial transport of Ca(2+) and Mg(2+) in the thick ascending loop of Henle. To gain novel insights into the role of CLDN16 in renal Ca(2+) and Mg(2+) homeostasis and the pathological mechanisms underlying a human disease associated with CLDN16 dysfunction [familial hypomagnesemia with hypercalciuria and nephrocalcinosis (FHHNC), OMIM 248250], we generated a mouse model of CLDN16 deficiency. Similar to patients, CLDN16-deficient mice displayed hypercalciuria and hypomagnesemia. Contrary to FHHNC patients, nephrocalcinosis was absent in our model, indicating the existence of compensatory pathways in ion handling in this model. In line with the renal loss of Ca(2+), compensatory mechanisms like parathyroid hormone and 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) were significantly elevated. Also, gene expression profiling revealed transcriptional upregulation of several Ca(2+) and Mg(2+) transport systems including Trpv5, Trpm6, and calbindin-D9k. Induced gene expression was also seen for the transcripts of two putative Mg(2+) transport proteins, Cnnm2 and Atp13a4. Moreover, urinary pH was significantly lower when compared with wild-type mice. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that loss of CLDN16 activity leads to specific alterations in Ca(2+) and Mg(2+) homeostasis and that CLDN16-deficient mice represent a useful model to further elucidate pathways involved in renal Ca(2+) and Mg(2+) handling.
We showed recently that mononuclear phagocyte system (MPS) cells provide a buffering mechanism for salt-sensitive hypertension by driving interstitial lymphangiogenesis, modulating interstitial Na(+) clearance, and increasing endothelial NO synthase protein expression in response to very high dietary salt via a tonicity-responsive enhancer binding protein/vascular endothelial growth factor C regulatory mechanism. We now tested whether isotonic saline and deoxycorticosterone acetate (DOCA)-salt treatment leads to a similar regulatory response in Sprague-Dawley rats. Male rats were fed a low-salt diet and received tap water (low-salt diet LSD), 1.0% saline (high-salt diet HSD), or DOCA+1.0% saline (DOCA-HSD). To test the regulatory role of interstitial MPS cells, we further depleted MPS cells with clodronate liposomes. HSD and DOCA-HSD led to Na(+) accumulation in the skin, MPS-driven tonicity-responsive enhancer binding protein/vascular endothelial growth factor C-mediated hyperplasia of interstitial lymph capillaries, and increased endothelial NO synthase protein expression in skin interstitium. Clodronate liposome MPS cell depletion blocked MPS infiltration in the skin interstitium, resulting in unchanged tonicity-responsive enhance binding protein/vascular endothelial growth factor C levels and absent hyperplasia of the lymph capillary network. Moreover, no increased skin endothelial NO synthase protein expression occurred in either clodronate liposome-treated HSD or DOCA-salt rats. Thus, absence of the MPS-cell regulatory response converted a salt-resistant blood-pressure state to a salt-sensitive state in HSD rats. Furthermore, salt-sensitive hypertension in DOCA-salt rats was aggravated. We conclude that MPS cells act as onsite controllers of interstitial volume and blood pressure homeostasis, providing a local regulatory salt-sensitive tonicity-responsive enhancer binding protein/vascular endothelial growth factor C-mediated mechanism in the skin to maintain normal blood pressure in states of interstitial Na(+) and Cl(-) accumulation. Failure of this physiological extrarenal regulatory mechanism leads to a salt-sensitive blood pressure response.
Angiotensin II (Ang II) induces mitochondrial dysfunction. We tested whether Ang II alters the "metabolomic" profile. We harvested hearts from 8-week-old double transgenic rats harboring human renin and angiotensinogen genes (dTGRs) and controls (Sprague-Dawley), all with or without Ang II type 1 receptor (valsartan) blockade. We used gas chromatography coupled with time-of-flight mass spectrometry to detect 247 intermediary metabolites. We used a partial least-squares discriminate analysis and identified 112 metabolites that differed significantly after corrections (false discovery rate q <0.05). We found great differences in the use of fatty acids as an energy source, namely, decreased levels of octanoic, oleic, and linoleic acids in dTGR (all P<0.01). The increase in cardiac hypoxanthine levels in dTGRs suggested an increase in purine degradation, whereas other changes supported an increased ketogenic amino acid tyrosine level, causing energy production failure. The metabolomic profile of valsartan-treated dTGRs more closely resembled Sprague-Dawley rats than untreated dTGRs. Mitochondrial respiratory chain activity of cytochrome C oxidase was decreased in dTGRs, whereas complex I and complex II were unaltered. Mitochondria from dTGR hearts showed morphological alterations suggesting increased mitochondrial fusion. Cardiac expression of the redox-sensitive and the cardioprotective metabolic sensor sirtuin 1 was increased in dTGRs. Interestingly, valsartan changed the level of 33 metabolites and induced mitochondrial biogenesis in Sprague-Dawley rats. Thus, distinct patterns of cardiac substrate use in Ang II-induced cardiac hypertrophy are associated with mitochondrial dysfunction. The finding underscores the importance of Ang II in the regulation of mitochondrial biogenesis and cardiac metabolomics, even in healthy hearts.
The (pro)renin receptor (PRR) binds renin and prorenin, its proenzyme inactive form. Receptor-bound prorenin becomes enzymatically active and binding then activates the MAP kinases ERK1/2 and p38 pathways, leading to upregulation of profibrotic and cyclooxygenase-2 genes independent of angiotensin II generation. These characteristics explain the interest in the potential role of PRR in organ damage in diseases associated with activation of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS), in particular hypertension and diabetes. Although identification of PRR has improved our understanding of the physiology of the tissue RAS, its role in pathology is far from clear. Transgenic animals overexpressing PRR ubiquitously or selectively in smooth-muscle cells develop high BP or glomerulosclerosis, and increased expression of PRR is reported in models of hypertension or kidney damage. However, definitive proof is still lacking for a role for PRR in disease, or by showing improvement of disease by tissue-specific ablation of PRR or by administration of a specific PRR antagonist. Furthermore, the early embryonic lethality seen in PRR-null mice suggests PRR has additional essential cellular functions we do not understand.
Recent advances in our understanding of cardiovascular diseases clearly show that inflammation and activation of immunity are central features in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, ischemic myocardial injury, and also in hypertension-induced target organ damage. However, the idea that special immune cells could regulate immune responses in these conditions in favor of minimizing disease is a novel concept. Regulatory T cells have unique immune modulatory properties that offer an attractive alternative to common immunosuppressant drugs. Their application in animal models of autoimmunity and neoplastic conditions offers exciting therapeutic avenues. Thus, with the use of regulatory T cells in hypertension-induced target organ damage enables new insights into the pathophysiologic mechanisms and widen our knowledge of the role of the immune system in cardiovascular disease. The aim of this review was to summarize and discuss some of the most recent insights and put them into a perspective based on well-known interactions between immunity and hypertensive damage.
Angiotensin II is the principle effector molecule of the renin angiotensin system (RAS). It exerts its various actions on the cardiovascular and renal system, mainly via interaction with the angiotensin II type-1 receptor (AT1R), which contributes to blood pressure regulation and development of hypertension but may also mediate effects on the immune system. Here we study the role of the RAS in myelin-oligodendrocyte glycoprotein-induced experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (MOG-EAE), a model mimicking many aspects of multiple sclerosis. Quantitative RT-PCR analyses showed an up-regulation of renin, angiotensin-converting enzyme, as well as AT1R in the inflamed spinal cord and the immune system, including antigen presenting cells (APC). Treatment with the renin inhibitor aliskiren, the angiotensin II converting-enzyme inhibitor enalapril, as well as preventive or therapeutic application of the AT1R antagonist losartan, resulted in a significantly ameliorated course of MOG-EAE. Blockade of AT1R did not directly impact on T-cell responses, but significantly reduced numbers of CD11b+ or CD11c+ APC in immune organs and in the inflamed spinal cord. Additionally, AT1R blockade impaired the expression of CCL2, CCL3, and CXCL10, and reduced CCL2-induced APC migration. Our findings suggest a pivotal role of the RAS in autoimmune inflammation of the central nervous system and identify RAS blockade as a potential new target for multiple sclerosis therapy.
Tripeptides isoleucyl-prolyl-proline (IPP) and valyl-prolyl-proline (VPP) act as ACE inhibitors in vitro. Double transgenic rats (dTGR) harbouring human renin and human angiotensinogen genes develop malignant hypertension due to increased angiotensin II formation. The present study was aimed to evaluate possible antihypertensive effect of IPP and VPP in this severe model. Four-week-old dTGR were randomized in three groups to receive: (1) water (control), (2) fermented milk containing IPP and VPP, and (3) IPP and VPP dissolved in water for three weeks. Fermented milk, but not peptides in water, attenuated the development of hypertension in dTGR by 19 mmHg versus the control group (P = .023). In vitro vascular function tests showed that high concentrations of the peptides evinced ACE inhibitory properties. In other hypertension related variables, no significant differences between the treatment groups were found. In conclusion, fermented milk product containing IPP and VPP prevents development of malignant hypertension in an animal model.
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