Clinical practice is frequently challenged by limited funding and resources, which finally limit both clinical effectiveness and safety of some therapies. Electrolyte disorders represent serious problems in the clinical management. Nonetheless the osmometer, that is the reference instrument for routine assessment of osmolality, it is only available in a limited number of healthcare facilities. The diagnosis of the leading electrolyte disorders relies therefore on indirect criteria, frequently inaccurate, especially when inappropriately used. According to recent evidences emerged on prevalence, severity and therapeutic approach of patients with electrolyte disturbances such as hyponatremia, the diagnostic appropriateness is now regarded as an essential aspect of the clinical decision making. Recent multidisciplinary guidelines indicate that urinary osmolality is a mainstay in the differential diagnosis of hyponatremic states. Since hyponatremia is commonplace across a broad range of clinical conditions, it is noteworthy that accurate knowledge of the different equations that may be used for its calculation in serum or urine is not widespread among general and hospital physicians. To couple with these clinical issues, this article is aimed to briefly describe the epidemiology and clinics of osmolality disturbances and to suggest some equations that may be useful for its routine assessment in serum or urine, and which can be applied to different categories of patients. The usefulness and reliability of additional indirect methods used in the diagnostic approach of electrolyte disturbances, such as the assessment of urine specific gravity, will also be briefly discussed. The equations that will be proposed have been validated in small sample population studies, but are commonly used as a surrogate or replacement of direct osmolality assessment. A larger multicentric study is hence necessary to validate the clinical use of the equations used for the calculation of serum and urine osmolality.
Spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 (SCA2) is an autosomal dominant disorder. Lithium is able to stimulate autophagy, and to reduce Ca(2+) efflux from the inositol-1,4,5-triphosphate receptor. We designed a phase II, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, 48-week trial with lithium carbonate in 20 patients with SCA2. The primary objective was to determine safety and tolerability of lithium. The secondary objectives were to determine disease progression, quality of life, mood, and brain volume change. Sixteen patients completed the trial, 8 randomized to lithium, 8 to placebo. Forty adverse events (AEs) were reported during the trial, twenty-eight in the lithium and 12 in the placebo group (p = 0.11). Mean AE duration was 57.4 ± 60.8 and 77.4 ± 68.5 days (p = 0.37). Non-significant differences were observed for the SARA and for brain volume change, whereas a significant reduction in the BDI-II was observed for lithium group (p < 0.05). Lithium was well tolerated and reported AEs were similar to those previously described for bipolar disorder patients. A correctly powered phase III trial is needed to assess if lithium may slow disease progression in SCA2.
To review information on cardiovascular health and migration, to stress the attention of researchers that much needs to be done in the collection of sound data in Italy and to allow policy makers identifying this issue as an important public health concern.
Almost half of patients receiving lithium salts have nephrogenic diabetes insipidus. Chronic lithium exposure induces AQP2 downregulation and changes in the cellular composition of the collecting duct. In order to understand these pathophysiological events, we determined the earliest lithium targets in rat inner medullary collecting duct (IMCD) by examining changes in the IMCD phosphoproteome after acute lithium administration. IMCDs were isolated 9?h after lithium exposure, a time when urinary concentrating impairment was evident. We found 1093 unique phosphopeptides corresponding to 492 phosphoproteins identified and quantified by mass spectrometry. Label-free quantification identified 152 upregulated and 56 downregulated phosphopeptides in response to lithium. Bioinformatic analysis highlighted several signaling proteins including MAP kinases and cell-junction proteins. The majority of the upregulated phosphopeptides contained a proline-directed motif, a known target of MAPK. Four hours after lithium exposure, phosphorylation sites in the activation loops of ERK1/2 and p38 were upregulated. Increased expression of phospho-Ser261-AQP2 (proline-directed motif) was concomitant with the increase in urine output. Pretreatment with MAPK inhibitors reversed the increased Ser261-AQP2 phosphorylation. Thus, in IMCD, ERK1/2 and p38 are early targets of lithium and may play a role in the onset of lithium-induced polyuria.
The outcome of steroid-dependent or frequently relapsing nephrotic syndrome of minimal change disease (MCD), mesangial proliferative GN (MesGN), or FSGS may be poor and with major treatment toxicity. This academic, multicenter, off-on trial (ClinicalTrials.gov #NCT00981838) primarily evaluated the effects of rituximab therapy followed by immunosuppression withdrawal on disease recurrence in 10 children and 20 adults with MCD/MesGN (n=22) or FSGS who had suffered ?2 recurrences over the previous year and were in steroid-induced remission for ?1 month. Participants received one dose (n=28) or two doses of rituximab (375 mg/m(2) intravenously). At 1 year, all patients were in remission: 18 were treatment-free and 15 never relapsed. Compared with the year before rituximab treatment, total relapses decreased from 88 to 22 and the per-patient median number of relapses decreased from 2.5 (interquartile range [IQR], 2-4) to 0.5 (IQR, 0-1; P<0.001) during 1 year of follow-up. Reduction was significant across subgroups (children, adults, MCD/MesGN, and FSGS; P<0.01). After rituximab, the per-patient steroid maintenance median dose decreased from 0.27 mg/kg (IQR, 0.19-0.60) to 0 mg/kg (IQR, 0-0.23) (P<0.001), and the median cumulative dose to achieve relapse remission decreased from 19.5 mg/kg (IQR, 13.0-29.2) to 0.5 mg/kg (IQR, 0-9.4) (P<0.001). Furthermore, the mean estimated GFR increased from 111.3±25.7 to 121.8±29.2 ml/min per 1.73 m(2) (P=0.01), with the largest increases in children and in FSGS subgroups. The mean height z score slope stabilized in children (P<0.01). Treatment was well tolerated. Rituximab effectively and safely prevented recurrences and reduced the need for immunosuppression in steroid-dependent or frequently relapsing nephrotic syndrome, and halted disease-associated growth deficit in children.
Cystinuria is an autosomal recessive disease caused by mutations in SLC3A1 (rBAT) and SLC7A9 (b(0,+)AT). Gene targeting of the catalytic subunit (Slc7a9) in mice leads to excessive excretion of cystine, lysine, arginine, and ornithine. Here, we studied this non-type I cystinuria mouse model using gene expression analysis, Western blotting, clearance, and brush-border membrane vesicle (BBMV) uptake experiments to further characterize the renal and intestinal consequences of losing Slc7a9 function. The electrogenic and BBMV flux studies in the intestine suggested that arginine and ornithine are transported via other routes apart from system b(0,+). No remarkable gene expression changes were observed in other amino acid transporters and the peptide transporters in the intestine and kidney. Furthermore, the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) was reduced by 30% in knockout animals compared with wild-type animals. The fractional excretion of arginine was increased as expected (?100%), but fractional excretions of lysine (?35%), ornithine (?16%), and cystine (?11%) were less affected. Loss of function of b(0,+)AT reduced transport of cystine and arginine in renal BBMVs and completely abolished the exchanger activity of dibasic amino acids with neutral amino acids. In conclusion, loss of Slc7a9 function decreases the GFR and increases the excretion of several amino acids to a lesser extent than expected with no clear regulation at the mRNA and protein level of alternative transporters and no increased renal epithelial uptake. These observations indicate that transporters located in distal segments of the kidney and/or metabolic pathways may partially compensate for Slc7a9 loss of function.
In chronic hemodialysis patients with secondary hyperparathyroidism, pathological modifications of bone and mineral metabolism increase the risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Parathyroidectomy, reducing the incidence of cardiovascular events, may improve outcomes; however, its effects on long-term survival are still subject of active research.
Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is the most common inherited human renal disorder. Progressive enlargement of the kidneys is due to aberrant proliferation of the cyst epithelial cells, together with accumulation of fluid within the cyst cavities due to transepithelial fluid secretion. Multiple studies have suggested that fluid secretion across ADPKD cyst-lining cells is driven by the transepithelial secretion of chloride, mediated by the apical cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator chloride channel (CFTR) and specific basolateral transporters. Increased levels of cAMP, probably reflecting modifications in intracellular calcium homeostasis and abnormal stimulation of the vasopressin V2 receptor, in mutant renal epithelia, play an important role in the pathogenesis of ADPKD and contribute to both transepithelial secretion of fluid and proliferation of cyst epithelia. For example, cAMP activates the CFTR leading to the stimulation of Cl- secretion into the cyst lumen. This review focuses on the pathophysiology and molecular mechanism of fluid secretion in ADPKD cysts examined during pre-clinical trials of potentially useful drugs for the treatment of this condition.
The cellular morphology of the collecting duct is altered by chronic lithium treatment. We have previously shown that lithium increases the fraction of type-A intercalated cells and lowers the fraction of principal cells along the collecting duct. Moreover, type-A intercalated cells acquire a long-row distribution pattern along the tubules. In the present study, we show that these morphological changes reverse progressively after discontinuation of lithium and finally disappear after 19 days from lithium suspension. In this time frame we have identified for the first time, in vivo, a novel cellular type positive for both intercalated and principal cells functional markers, as recognized by colabeling with H(+)-ATPase/aquaporin-4 (AQP4) and anion exchanger-1 (AE-1)/AQP2 and Foxi1/AQP4. This cell type is mainly present after 6 days of lithium washout, and it disappears in parallel with the long-row pattern of the type-A intercalated cells. It usually localizes either in the middle or at the edge of the long-row pattern. Its ultrastructure resembles the intercalated cells as shown both by differential interference contrast and by electron microscopy. The time course of appearance, the localization along the collecting duct, and the ultrastructure suggest that the cells double labeled for principal and intercalated cells markers could represent a transition element driving the conversion of intercalated cells into principal cells.
Discovery of the ideal biomarker for clinical care remains a major challenge. Recent progress in genomic and proteomic technologies has allowed the identification of thousands of potential markers, although the benefits of these findings in clinical routine use are not completely evident yet.
Cyclosporine A (CsA) is one of the most frequently used anticalcineurinic drugs for preventing graft rejection and autoimmune disease. Its use is hampered by nephrotoxic effects, namely an impairment of the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and hypertension. Evidence suggests that reactive oxygen species (ROS) play a causal role in the nephrotoxicity. The present study aims to investigate in vivo the effects of a new recombinant mitochondrial manganese-containing superoxide dismutase (rMnSOD), a strong antioxidant, on the CsA-induced nephotoxicity.
The proximal tubule uses a complex process of apical acid secretion and basolateral bicarbonate absorption to regulate both luminal acidification and fluid absorption. One of the primary regulators of apical acid secretion is the luminal sodium-hydrogen exchanger expressed along the apical membrane of the proximal tubule. Similarly, the calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR) is also located along the luminal membrane of the proximal tubule. Here we investigated the role of CaSR in proton secretion and fluid reabsorption in proximal tubules by modulating luminal calcium concentration, using both in vivo micropuncture in rats and in vitro perfused mouse proximal tubules. Using CaSR knockout mice and a calcimimetic agent, we found that increased proton secretion and fluid reabsorption were CaSR dependent. Activating CaSR by either raising the luminal calcium ion concentration or by the calcimimetic caused a concomitant increase in sodium-dependent proton extrusion and fluid reabsorption, whereas in proximal tubules isolated from CaSR knockout mice varying calcium ion concentration had no effect. Application of a calcimimetic in lower concentrations of calcium ion stimulated these processes in vitro and in vivo. Thus, in both rats and mice, increased luminal calcium concentration leads to enhanced fluid reabsorption in the proximal tubule, a process related to activation of CaSR.
The renal handling of salt and protons and bicarbonate are intricately linked through shared transport mechanisms for sodium, chloride, protons, and bicarbonate. In the collecting duct, the regulated fine-tuning of salt and acid-base homeostasis is achieved by a series of transport proteins located in different cell types, intercalated and principal cells. Intercalated cells are considered to be of less importance for salt handling but recent evidence has suggested that the anion exchanger pendrin may participate in salt reabsorption and blood pressure regulation. Here, we examined the regulated expression of two functionally related but differentially expressed anion exchangers, AE1 and pendrin, by dietary electrolyte intake and aldosterone. Cortical expression of pendrin was regulated on mRNA and protein level. The combination of NaHCO? and DOCA enhanced pendrin mRNA and protein levels, whereas DOCA or NaHCO? alone had no effect. NaCl or KHCO? increased pendrin mRNA, KCl decreased its mRNA abundance. On protein level, NH?Cl, NaCl, and KCl reduced pendrin expression, the other treatments were without effect. In contrast, AE1 mRNA or protein expression in kidney cortex was regulated by none of these treatments. In kidney medulla, NaHCO?/DOCA or NaHCO? alone enhanced AE1 mRNA levels. AE1 protein abundance was increased by NH?Cl, NaHCO?/DOCA, and NaCl. Immunolocalization showed that during NH?Cl treatment the relative number of AE1 positive cells was increased and pendrin expressing cells reduced. Thus, pendrin and AE1 are differentially regulated with distinct mechanisms that separately affect mRNA and protein levels. Pendrin is regulated by acidosis and chloride intake, whereas AE1 is enhanced by acidosis, NaCl, and the combination of DOCA and NaHCO?.
H2S is the third endogenous gaseous mediator, after nitric oxide and carbon monoxide, possessing pleiotropic effects, including cytoprotection and anti-inflammatory action. We analyzed, in an in vitro model entailing monocyte adhesion to an endothelial monolayer, the changes induced by H2S on various potential targets, including cytokines, chemokines, and proteases, playing a crucial role in inflammation and cell adhesion. Results show that H2S prevents the increase in monocyte adhesion induced by tumor necrosis factor-? (TNF-?). Under these conditions, downregulation of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), chemokine C-C motif receptor 2, and increase of cluster of differentiation 36 could be detected in monocytes. In endothelial cells, H2 S treatment reduces the increase in MCP-1, inter-cellular adhesion molecule-1, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, and of a disintegrin and metalloproteinase metallopeptidase domain 17 (ADAM17), both at the gene expression and protein levels. Cystathionine ?-lyase and 3-mercaptopyruvate sulfurtransferase, the major H2S forming enzymes, are downregulated in endothelial cells. In addition, H2S significantly reduces activation of ADAM17 by PMA in endothelial cells, with consequent reduction of both ADAM17-dependent TNF-? ectodomain shedding and MCP-1 release. In conclusion, H2S is able to prevent endothelial activation by hampering endothelial activation, triggered by TNF-?. The mechanism of this protective effect is mainly mediated by down-modulation of ADAM17-dependent TNF-converting enzyme (TACE) activity with consequent inhibition of soluble TNF-? shedding and its relevant MCP-1 release in the medium. These results are discussed in the light of the potential protective role of H2S in pro-inflammatory and pro-atherogenic processes, such as chronic renal failure.
Primary hypertension is one of the leading risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Although the pathogenesis is not completely understood, an imbalance of sodium and chloride homeostasis seems to be relevant both in the induction and in the maintenance of salt-sensitive hypertension. Besides individual renal phenotypes, salt intake is one of the most important environmental determinants of this condition. The Milan hypertensive strain (MHS) of rats is an interesting model to investigate the molecular mechanisms underling the development of salt-sensitive hypertension. In young MHS rats, hypertension is anticipated by a phase of increased salt reabsorption localized along the medullary thick ascending limb associated with the up-regulation of the apical sodium-potassium-chloride cotransporter (NKCC2). Later, the frank hypertensive status of adult MHS rats is accompanied by the activation of the luminal and basal lateral transporters of sodium chloride (NaCl) in the distal convoluted tubule (DCT). Several lines of evidence have proven the key role of DCT in the maintenance of hypertension in MHS rats; more importantly, hypertensive patients carrying a mutation of ?-adducin (resembling the MHS model) have a high sensitivity to thiazides, suggesting that the Na(+)-Cl(-) cotransporter also plays a pivotal role in humans.
The anion exchanger pendrin (Pds, SLC26A4) transports various anions including bicarbonate, chloride and iodide. In the kidney, pendrin is exclusively expressed on the luminal pole of bicarbonate-secretory type B intercalated cells. Genetic ablation of pendrin in mice abolishes luminal chloride-bicarbonate exchanger activity from type B intercalated cells suggesting that pendrin is the apical bicarbonate extruding pathway. The renal expression of pendrin is developmentally adapted and pendrin positive cells originate from both the uretric bud and mesenchyme. In adult kidney, pendrin expression and activity is regulated by systemic acid-base status, dietary electrolyte intake (mostly chloride), and hormones such as angiotensin II and aldosterone which can affect subcellular localization, the relative number of pendrin expressing cells, and the overall abundance consistent with a role of pendrin in maintaining normal acid-base homeostasis. This review summarizes recent findings on the role and regulation of pendrin in the context of the kidneys role in acid-base homeostasis in health and disease.
Phosphate is a key constituent of several important molecules, and hyperphospatemia has been associated with increased cardiovascular mortality. The kidney plays a crucial role in phosphate metabolism, as it is able to modulate phosphate excretion. Serum- and glucocorticoid-inducible kinase 3 (SGK3) has been shown to regulate a wide variety of transport systems. Bhandaru et al. suggest that SGK3 may have a significant role in the regulation of renal tubular phosphate transport.
Depending on both membrane composition and solute transport rate across the membrane, protein composition of the dialysate of patients receiving peritoneal dialysis (PD) has recently become of great interest. Unfortunately, thus far few studies have focused on dialysate characterization, and further investigations are required to better understand the biological mechanisms influencing PD efficiency.
In the last thirty decade, with the emergence of new trends in molecular biology and advances in high-throughput technologies, much progress has been made in basic renal physiology. Molecular genetics has allowed the identification and elucidation of the structure, function and effects of the mutations of several of the main transporters and ion channels involved in renal disorders. Some renal stone disorders, such as cystinuria and Dents disease, have been found to be due to mutations in genes SLC3A1 (type I) (See the section "Molecular biology and genotype-phenotype correlation in tubular dysfunction") and SLC7A9 (type II and type III), (See the section "Molecular biology and genotype-phenotype correlation in tubular dysfunction") and in CLC5, respectively. Liddle syndrome, a rare cause of hypertension, is now known to be caused by a mutation in tubular transport, due to a mutation in the SCNN1B gene, encoding for a Na+ channel protein (ENaC). Nevertheless, numerous issues remain unsettled and warrant additional research. These important advances and discoveries are not without limitations and challenges as changes in individual gene expression do not always translate into changes in its protein or protein modification. This raises proteomics as the most logical next step in our understanding of biological processes, as proteins from these deregulated genes are the functional agents in the cells. Proteomics takes a global and comprehensive view of a system, involving in many cases some notion of high throughput; but in contrast to genomics, there is no single biochemical method that can be used for the analysis of all proteins. Genomics and proteomics can complement each other in clinical applications by balancing the strengths and weaknesses of each individual technology. Several proteomics approaches have been exploited to shed more light on the molecular pathophysiology of several hereditary tubular disorders, such as Fanconi and Gitelman syndromes, and have provided important insights into the defective molecular mechanisms underlying these tubulopathies. Here we summarize several of the most important discoveries arising from molecular genetic and proteomic studies on hereditary tubular dysfunctions and show how these results can complement each other to increase our comprehension of these disorders at the molecular level.
High resolution proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-NMR) of body fluids coupled with multivariate data analysis has led to a new science known as metabonomics. Metabonomics is a powerful tool for investigating any disturbance in the normal homeostasis of biochemical processes. In particular, urine metabonomics provides information on the metabolite phenotype of the human being and is therefore appropriate to study the status of the global system. Here we applied 1H-NMR-based urinary metabonomics in a perspective study of the inherited lysosomal storage disorder known as Fabry disease, starting from the metabolite profiling of urine samples of male and female naïve Fabry subjects. Here we show that the 2 groups of patients can be fairly clearly separated into 2 classes due to statistically significant differences in the urinary level of some metabolites. This preliminary study shows that metabonomics can potentially be used for characterizing the biochemical mechanisms underlying the disease and, hopefully, for early diagnosis of Fabry disease.
Fabry disease (FD) is an X-linked lysosomal storage disorder caused by mutations in the gene encoding the lysosomal enzyme a-galactosidase A (a-GalA). The resulting deficiency in a-GalA activity leads to intra-lysosomal accumulation of neutral glycosphingolipids, mainly globotriaosylceramide (Gb3), in various organ systems. As a consequence, a multisystem disorder develops, culminating in strokes and progressive renal and cardiac dysfunction. Enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) offers a specific treatment for patients affected by FD, though monitoring treatment is hampered by a lack of surrogate markers of response. Furthermore, even if signs and symptoms of the disease become manifest in childhood, its diagnosis is often delayed. Biomarkers that predict disease progression and respond relatively quickly to effective therapy may be useful to follow individual patients or groups of patients. Here we report the use of 2 different mass spectrometry-based proteomic techniques to identify disease-associated compositional changes that can be used as early biomarkers of the pathology, as well as for monitoring the effectiveness of ERT. To this purpose, we compared the renal Fabry urinary proteome with normal (control) urine using, respectively, 2-dimensional gel electrophoresis and label-free quantification. Our preliminary results show that the urinary protein pattern of affected patients can be easily distinguished from that of healthy subjects both qualitatively and quantitatively, thus encouraging further studies in the search for FD-specific biomarkers using this proteomic approach.
Cyclosporine (CsA) is among the most widely used immunosuppressants for preventing graft rejection and autoimmune diseases. However, its clinical use is hampered by its significant nephrotoxicity and effects as a cause of hypertension. The proximal tubular Na+-H+ exchanger (NHE3) is responsible for transcellular reabsorption of 30%-60% of the sodium filtered by the glomerulus. CsA induces a reduction of absolute sodium reabsorption, and this effect is, most probably, correlated with the decrease of NHE3 activity. In Henles loop, in physiological conditions, the Na+-K+-2Cl- cotransporter (NKCC2) reabsorbs approximately 20% of the filtered Na+ and Cl-. CsA increases the NKCC2 activity in cultured bovine renal NBL-1 cells. In the collecting duct, CsA may cause hypertension by stimulating the epithelial Na+ channel (ENaC) through a pathway associated with inhibition of ABCA1 and consequent elevation of cholesterol in the cells. It is still unclear whether CsA regulates the Na+-Cl- cotransporter in the distal tubule and ENaC in the collecting duct. Aside from this, there is evidence suggesting the possible involvement of free radicals during the development of CsA-induced hypertension. The hypertensive effect is, most probably, correlated with higher levels of superoxide (O2-) that decreases glomerular filtration rate and may affect fluid reabsorption along the nephron.
Calcium homeostasis is altered in hypertensive patients. Indeed several investigators have reported that sodium-sensitive hypertension is associated with hypercalciuria. On the other hand, an independent clinical association exists between the occurrence of urolithiasis and hypertension, but the molecular mechanism(s) involved in stone formation by high blood pressure have not been so far clarified. To understand this association, it is obvious that we should analyze the effect of hypertension on the transport proteins involved in the renal calcium handling. In the kidney, the tubular reabsorption of calcium may proceed through transcellular and paracellular routes. At variance with the proximal tubule, along the distal segment, calcium transport is entirely sodium independent and occurs via the transcellular pathway. In particular, transcellular calcium reabsorption proceeds through a well-controlled sequence of events consisting of luminal calcium entry via the epithelial calcium channel (TRPV5), cytosolic diffusion of calcium bound to calbindin-D28K, and basolateral extrusion of calcium through the Na/Ca exchanger (NCX1) and plasma membrane Ca-ATPase (PMCA). It is highly likely that these proteins may be altered in hypertensive disease thus justifying and explaining the reported hypercalciuria. Experiments in hypertensive strains of animals exhibiting hypercalciuria may help to solve this puzzle.
Clinical proteomics has yielded some early positive results-the identification of potential disease biomarkers-indicating the promise for this analytical approach to improve the current state of the art in clinical practice. However, the inability to verify some candidate molecules in subsequent studies has led to skepticism among many clinicians and regulatory bodies, and it has become evident that commonly encountered shortcomings in fundamental aspects of experimental design mainly during biomarker discovery must be addressed in order to provide robust data. In this Perspective, we assert that successful studies generally use suitable statistical approaches for biomarker definition and confirm results in independent test sets; in addition, we describe a brief set of practical and feasible recommendations that we have developed for investigators to properly identify and qualify proteomic biomarkers, which could also be used as reporting requirements. Such recommendations should help put proteomic biomarker discovery on the solid ground needed for turning the old promise into a new reality.
The monocarboxylate transporter family (MCT) comprises 14 members with distinct transport properties and tissue distribution. The kidney expresses several members of the MCT family, but only little is known about their exact distribution and function. Here, we investigated selected members of the MCT family in the mouse kidney. MCT1, MCT2, MCT7, and MCT8 localized to basolateral membranes of the epithelial cells lining the nephron. MCT1 and MCT8 were detected in proximal tubule cells whereas MCT7 and MCT2 were located in the thick ascending limb and the distal tubule. CD147, a beta-subunit of MCT1 and MCT4, showed partially overlapping expression with MCT1 and MCT2. However, CD147 was also found in intercalated cells. We also detected SMCT1 and SMCT2, two Na(+)-dependent monocarboxylate cotransporters, on the luminal membrane of type A intercalated cells. Moreover, mice were given an acid load for 2 and 7 days. Acidotic animals showed a marked but transient increase in urinary lactate excretion. During acidosis, a downregulation of MCT1, MCT8, and SMCT2 was observed at the mRNA level, whereas MCT7 and SMCT1 showed increased mRNA abundance. Only MCT7 showed lower protein abundance whereas all other transporters remained unchanged. In summary, we describe for the first time the localization of various MCT transporters in mammalian kidney and demonstrate that metabolic acidosis induces a transient increase in urinary lactate excretion paralleled by lower MCT7 protein expression.
We visualized insulin uptake in vivo across the apical membrane of the rat proximal tubule (PT) by confocal microscopy; we compared it with in vitro findings in a rat PT cell line (WKPT) using fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry. Surface tubules were observed in vivo with a 633-nm single laser-illuminated real-time video-rate confocal scanning microscope in upright configuration for optical sectioning below the renal capsule. Fields were selected containing proximal and distal tubules; Cy5-labeled insulin was injected twice (the second time after approximately 140 min) into the right jugular vein, and the fluorescence signal (at 650-670 nm) was recorded. Fluorescence was detected almost immediately at the brush-border membrane (BBM) of PT cells only, moving inside cells within 30-40 min. As a measure of insulin uptake, the ratio of the fluorescence signal after the second injection to the first doubled (ratio: 2.11 +/- 0.26, mean +/- SE, n = 10), indicating a "priming," or stimulating, effect of insulin on its uptake mechanism at the BBM. This effect did not occur after pretreatment with intravenous lysine (ratio: 1.03 +/- 0.07, n = 6; P < 0.01). Cy2- or Cy3-labeled insulin uptake in a PT cell line in vitro was monitored by 488-nm excitation fluorescence microscopy using an inverted microscope. Insulin localized toward the apical membrane of these cells. Semiquantitative analysis of insulin uptake by flow cytometry also demonstrated a priming effect (upregulation) on insulin internalization in the presence of increasing amounts of insulin, as was observed in vivo; moreover, this effect was not seen with, or affected by, the similarly endocytosed ligand beta2-glycoprotein.
Urinary exosomes have received considerable attention as a potential biomarker source for the diagnosis of renal diseases. Notwithstanding, their use in protein biomarker research is hampered by the lack of efficient methods for vesicle isolation, lysis, and protein quantification. Here we report an improved ultracentrifugation-based method that facilitates the solubilization and removal of major impurities associated with urinary exosomes. A double-cushion sucrose/D(2)O centrifugation step was used after a two-step differential centrifugation to separate exosomes from the heavier vesicles. After the removal of uromodulin, 378 and 79 unique proteins were identified, respectively, in low- and high-density fractions. Comparison of our data with two previously published data sets helped to define proteins commonly found in urinary exosomes. Lysis, protein extraction, and in-solution digestion of exosomes were then optimized for MudPIT application. More than a hundred exosomal proteins were quantified by four-plex iTRAQ analysis of single and pooled samples from two different age groups. For healthy men, six proteins (TSN1, PODXL, IDHC, PPAP, ACBP, and ANXA5) showed significant expression differences between exosome pools of those aged 25-50 and 50-70 years old. Thus, exosomes isolated by our method provide the basis for the development of robust quantitative methods for protein biomarker research.
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