SciCombinator

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Concept: Glomerulus

195

Abatacept (cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen 4-immunoglobulin fusion protein [CTLA-4-Ig]) is a costimulatory inhibitor that targets B7-1 (CD80). The present report describes five patients who had focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) (four with recurrent FSGS after transplantation and one with primary FSGS) and proteinuria with B7-1 immunostaining of podocytes in kidney-biopsy specimens. Abatacept induced partial or complete remissions of proteinuria in these patients, suggesting that B7-1 may be a useful biomarker for the treatment of some glomerulopathies. Our data indicate that abatacept may stabilize β1-integrin activation in podocytes and reduce proteinuria in patients with B7-1-positive glomerular disease.

Concepts: Protein, Glomerulus, Nephron, Nephrotic syndrome, Proteinuria, Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, Glomerulosclerosis, CTLA-4

170

Alport syndrome is a hereditary glomerulopathy with proteinuria and nephritis caused by defects in genes encoding type IV collagen in the glomerular basement membrane. All male and most female patients develop end-stage renal disease. Effective treatment to stop or decelerate the progression of proteinuria and nephritis is still under investigation. Here we showed that combination treatment of mild electrical stress (MES) and heat stress (HS) ameliorated progressive proteinuria and renal injury in mouse model of Alport syndrome. The expressions of kidney injury marker neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin and pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-1β were suppressed by MES+HS treatment. The anti-proteinuric effect of MES+HS treatment is mediated by podocytic activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-OH kinase (PI3K)-Akt and heat shock protein 72 (Hsp72)-dependent pathways in vitro and in vivo. The anti-inflammatory effect of MES+HS was mediated by glomerular activation of c-jun NH(2)-terminal kinase ½ (JNK1/2) and p38-dependent pathways ex vivo. Collectively, our studies show that combination treatment of MES and HS confers anti-proteinuric and anti-inflammatory effects on Alport mice likely through the activation of multiple signaling pathways including PI3K-Akt, Hsp72, JNK1/2, and p38 pathways, providing a novel candidate therapeutic strategy to decelerate the progression of patho-phenotypes in Alport syndrome.

Concepts: Kidney, Nephrology, Collagen, Glomerulus, In vivo, In vitro, Glomerulonephritis, Alport syndrome

169

To assess the risk of medication errors in subjects with renal impairment (defined as an estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) ≤40 ml/min/1.73 m(2)) and the effectiveness of automatic eGFR ≤40-alerts relayed to community pharmacists.

Concepts: Renal failure, Kidney, Nephrology, Dialysis, Glomerulus, Renal function

28

Nephrons comprise a blood filter and an epithelial tubule that is subdivided into proximal and distal segments, but what directs this patterning during kidney organogenesis is not well understood. Using zebrafish, we found that the HNF1β paralogues hnf1ba and hnf1bb, which encode homeodomain transcription factors, are essential for normal segmentation of nephrons. Embryos deficient in hnf1ba and hnf1bb did not express proximal and distal segment markers, yet still developed an epithelial tubule. Initiating hnf1ba/b expression required Pax2a and Pax8, but hnf1ba/b-deficient embryos did not exhibit the expected downregulation of pax2a and pax8 at later stages of development, suggesting complex regulatory loops involving these molecules. Embryos deficient in hnf1ba/b also did not express the irx3b transcription factor, which is responsible for differentiation of the first distal tubule segment. Reciprocally, embryos deficient in irx3b exhibited downregulation of hnf1ba/b transcripts in the distal early segment, suggesting a segment-specific regulatory circuit. Deficiency of hnf1ba/b also led to ectopic expansion of podocytes into the proximal tubule domain. Epistasis experiments showed that the formation of podocytes required wt1a, which encodes the Wilms' tumor suppressor-1 transcription factor, and rbpj, which encodes a mediator of canonical Notch signaling, downstream or parallel to hnf1ba/b. Taken together, these results suggest that Hnf1β factors are essential for normal segmentation of nephrons during kidney organogenesis.

Concepts: DNA, Gene expression, Developmental biology, Glomerulus, Bowman's capsule, Nephron, Transcription factor, Distal convoluted tubule

27

Calcium, phosphate, and magnesium are multivalent cations that are important for many biologic and cellular functions. The kidneys play a central role in the homeostasis of these ions. Gastrointestinal absorption is balanced by renal excretion. When body stores of these ions decline significantly, gastrointestinal absorption, bone resorption, and renal tubular reabsorption increase to normalize their levels. Renal regulation of these ions occurs through glomerular filtration and tubular reabsorption and/or secretion and is therefore an important determinant of plasma ion concentration. Under physiologic conditions, the whole body balance of calcium, phosphate, and magnesium is maintained by fine adjustments of urinary excretion to equal the net intake. This review discusses how calcium, phosphate, and magnesium are handled by the kidneys.

Concepts: Kidney, Nephrology, Metabolism, Physiology, Glomerulus, Renal physiology, Ion, Potassium

27

Nephron number (Nglom) and size (Vglom) are correlated with risk for chronic cardiovascular and kidney disease and may be predictive of renal allograft viability. Unfortunately, there are no techniques to assess Nglom and Vglom in intact kidneys. This work demonstrates the use of cationized ferritin (CF) as a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agent to measure Nglom and Vglom in functioning human kidneys donated to science. The kidneys were obtained from patients with varying levels of cardiovascular and renal disease. CF was intravenously injected into three functioning human kidneys. A fourth naive control kidney was perfused with saline. After fixation, immunofluorescence and electron microscopy confirmed binding of CF to the glomerulus. The intact kidneys were imaged with 3D MRI and CF-labeled glomeruli appeared as punctate spots. Custom software identified, counted, and measured the apparent volumes of CF-labeled glomeruli, with an ~6% false positive rate. These measurements were comparable to stereological estimates. The MRI-based technique yielded a novel whole-kidney distribution of glomerular volumes. Histopathology demonstrated that the distribution of CF-labeled glomeruli may be predictive of glomerular and vascular disease. Variations in CF distribution were quantified using spectral analyses and may be a useful marker of glomerular sclerosis. This is the first report of direct measurement of glomerular number and volume in intact human kidneys.

Concepts: Kidney, Glomerulus, Nephron, Measurement, Medical imaging, Magnetic resonance imaging, Contrast medium, Renal corpuscle

27

Unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO), a widely used model of chronic kidney disease and congenital obstructive uropathy, causes proximal tubular injury and formation of atubular glomeruli. Because transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) is a central regulator of renal injury, neonatal and adult mice were subjected to complete UUO under general anesthesia and treated with vehicle or ALK5 TGF-β1 receptor inhibitor (IN-1130, 30 mg/kg/d). After 14 days, glomerulotubular integrity and proximal tubular mass were determined by morphometry of Lotus tetragonolobus lectin distribution, and the fraction of atubular glomeruli was determined by serial section analysis of randomly selected individual glomeruli. Glomerular area, macrophage infiltration, fibronectin distribution and interstitial collagen were measured by morphometry. Compared to placebo, inhibition of TGF-β1 by IN-1130 decreased apoptosis and formation of atubular glomeruli, prevented parenchymal loss, increased glomerular area and glomerulotubular integrity, and increased proximal tubule fraction of the adult obstructed kidney parenchyma from 17% to 30% (p<0.05, respectively). IN-1130 decreased macrophage infiltration and fibronectin and collagen deposition in the adult obstructed kidney by ~50% (p<0.05, respectively). In contrast to these salutary effects in the adult, IN-1130 caused widespread necrosis in obstructed neonatal kidneys. We conclude that whereas IN-1130 reduces obstructive injury in adult kidneys through preservation of glomerulotubular integrity and proximal tubular mass, TGF-β1 inhibition aggravates obstructive injury in neonates. These results indicate that while caution is necessary in treating congenital uropathies, ALK5 inhibitors may prevent nephron loss due to adult kidney disease.

Concepts: Chronic kidney disease, Kidney, Glomerulus, Bowman's capsule, Nephron, Renal cortex, Distal convoluted tubule, Renal corpuscle

26

Background and aim. In patients with chronic hepatitis C receiving Peg interferon/ribavirin (PEG-IFN/RBV) who do not achieve ≥ 2log-reduction in HCV-RNA at week 12 (null responders, NR) and in those with ≥ 2log-decrease but detectable at week 24 (partial responders, PR) the probability to achieve the sustained virological response (SVR) is almost null. The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy of individualized schedule of progressively increased RBV doses in the setting of PEG-IFN/RBV treatment. Material and methods. PR or NR to PEG-IFN/RBV instead of discontinuing treatment were enrolled to receive increasing doses of RBV until a target theoretical concentration ([tRBV]) of ≥ 15 μmol/L (by pharmacokinetic formula based on glomerular filtration rate). HCV-RNA was assessed every 4 weeks and, if detectable, RBV dose was gradually increased until negativization. Twelve weeks later, patients with detectable HCV-RNA discontinued therapy while those with undetectable HCV-RNA continued for further 48 weeks. Results. Twenty genotype-1 patients (8 NR and 12 PR) were enrolled. After 12 weeks 9 (45%) were still HCV-RNA positive and were discontinued, while remaining 11 had undetectable HCV-RNA. One stopped treatment for side effects. Ten completed treatment. Five (all PR) achieved SVR. Side effects incidence was similar to that observed during PEG-IFN/RBV. Conclusions. In conclusion, RBV high doses, according to individualized schedule, increase SVR in PR on a similar extent to that of triple therapy but without increase of side effects. Such treatment should be considered in PR with no access or intolerant to protease inhibitors (PI).

Concepts: Pharmacology, Glomerulus, Renal function, Hepatitis, Dose, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis A, Conclusion

25

Sirtuin is a nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide-dependent deacetylase. One of its isoforms, Sirt1, is a key molecule in glucose, lipid, and energy metabolism. The renal protective effects of Sirt1 are found in various models of renal disorders with metabolic impairment, such as diabetic nephropathy. Protective effects include the maintenance of glomerular barrier function, anti-fibrosis effects, anti-oxidative stress effects, and regulation of mitochondria function and energy metabolism. Various target molecules subject to direct deacetylation or epigenetic gene regulation have been identified as effectors of the renal protective function of sirtuin. Recently, it was demonstrated that Sirt1 expression decreases in proximal tubules before albuminuria in a mouse model of diabetic nephropathy, and that albuminuria is suppressed in proximal tubule-specific mice overexpressing Sirt1. These findings suggest that decreased Sirt1 expression in proximal tubular cells causes abnormal nicotine metabolism and reduces the supply of nicotinamide mononucleotide from renal tubules to glomeruli. This further decreases expression of Sirt1 in glomerular podocytes and increases expression of a tight junction protein, claudin-1, which results in albuminuria. Activators of the sirtuin family of proteins, including resveratrol, may be important in the development of new therapeutic strategies for treating metabolic kidney diseases, including diabetic nephropathy.Kidney International advance online publication, 17 June 2015; doi:10.1038/ki.2015.157.

Concepts: Protein, Kidney, Metabolism, Adenosine triphosphate, Glucose, Glomerulus, Nephron, Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide

25

The vasopressin inhibitor tolvaptan is clinically effective in slowing growth of renal cysts and reduction in estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD), but these effects are mitigated by the associated polyuria. Changes of total kidney volume, eGFR, and symptoms will guide physicians and patients in tolvaptan treatment. Guidance about when to initiate treatment in the course of ADPKD may be forthcoming. Ongoing long-term observations will inform future recommendations about tolvaptan use in ADPKD.

Concepts: Time, Renal failure, Kidney, Nephrology, Glomerulus, Renal physiology, Electrolyte, Polycystic kidney disease