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      Enhanced Expression of ANGPTL2 in the Microvascular Lesions of Diabetic Glomerulopathy

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          Background: Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is one of the most important microvascular complications of diabetes mellitus. However, the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. We studied the expression characteristics of angiopoietin-like 2 (ANGPTL2), a novel DN-associated growth factor identified in our previous gene chip screening. Methods: Glomeruli were microdissected from renal biopsies from 24 patients with DN and 8 donor controls. The expression of ANGPTL2 was assessed by RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry, and then correlated with clinical and pathological indices of glomerular injury. Results: Consistent with the results of the gene chip experiment, abundant expression of ANGPTL2 was found more frequently in diabetic glomeruli as compared to donor controls (95 vs. 38%, χ<sup>2</sup> = 15.9, p < 0.01). ANGPTL2 mRNA upregulation was more prominent in glomeruli with less microaneurysm (22 vs. 66%, p < 0.05), inflammatory influx (6 vs. 50%, p < 0.05) or endothelial foam cell formation (11 vs. 53%, p < 0.05). Immunostaining revealed an upregulation of ANGPTL2 protein in hypertrophied diabetic glomeruli, mainly distributed in podocytes, which were supposed to be the origin of ANGPTL2. Conclusion: The upregulation of ANGPTL2 in diabetic glomerulopathy shows a close relationship to abnormal microvasculature and endothelial inflammation. ANGPTL2 may play an important role in the pathogenesis of diabetic glomerulopathy.

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          Most cited references 10

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          From hyperglycemia to diabetic kidney disease: the role of metabolic, hemodynamic, intracellular factors and growth factors/cytokines.

          At present, diabetic kidney disease affects about 15-25% of type 1 and 30-40% of type 2 diabetic patients. Several decades of extensive research has elucidated various pathways to be implicated in the development of diabetic kidney disease. This review focuses on the metabolic factors beyond blood glucose that are involved in the pathogenesis of diabetic kidney disease, i.e., advanced glycation end-products and the aldose reductase system. Furthermore, the contribution of hemodynamic factors, the renin-angiotensin system, the endothelin system, and the nitric oxide system, as well as the prominent role of the intracellular signaling molecule protein kinase C are discussed. Finally, the respective roles of TGF-beta, GH and IGFs, vascular endothelial growth factor, and platelet-derived growth factor are covered. The complex interplay between these different pathways will be highlighted. A brief introduction to each system and description of its expression in the normal kidney is followed by in vitro, experimental, and clinical evidence addressing the role of the system in diabetic kidney disease. Finally, well-known and potential therapeutic strategies targeting each system are discussed, ending with an overall conclusion.
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            Angiopoietin 1 and vascular endothelial growth factor modulate human glomerular endothelial cell barrier properties.

            Normal glomerular filtration depends on the combined properties of the three layers of glomerular capillary wall: glomerular endothelial cells (GEnC), basement membrane, and podocytes. Podocytes produce endothelial factors, including angiopoietin 1 (ang1), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), whereas GEnC express their respective receptors Tie2 and VEGFR2 in vivo. As ang1 acts to maintain the endothelium in other vascular beds, regulating some actions of VEGF, these observations suggest a mechanism whereby podocytes may direct the unique properties of the glomerular endothelium. This interaction was investigated by studies on the barrier properties of human GEnC in vitro. GEnC were examined for expression of endothelium-specific markers by immunofluorescence and Western blotting and for typical responses to TNF-alpha by a cell-based immunoassay. Expression of angiopoietin and VEGF receptors was examined similarly. Barrier properties of GEnC monolayers cultured on porous supports were investigated by measurement of transendothelial electrical resistance (TEER) and passage of labeled albumin. Responses to a cAMP analogue and thrombin were examined before those to ang1 and VEGF. Results confirmed the endothelial origin of GEnC and their expression of Tie2 and VEGFR2. GEnC formed monolayers with a mean TEER of 30 to 40 Omega/cm(2). The cAMP analogue and thrombin increased and decreased TEER by 34.4 and 14.8 Omega/cm(2), respectively, with corresponding effects on protein passage. Ang1 increased TEER by 11.4 Omega/cm(2) and reduced protein passage by 45.2%, whereas VEGF reduced TEER by 12.5 Omega/cm(2) but had no effect on protein passage. Both ang1 and VEGF modulate GEnC barrier properties, consistent with potential in vivo roles; ang1 stabilizing the endothelium and resisting angiogenesis while VEGF induces the high permeability to water, characteristic of the glomerular endothelium.
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              Tumstatin peptide, an inhibitor of angiogenesis, prevents glomerular hypertrophy in the early stage of diabetic nephropathy.

              In the early stage of diabetic nephropathy (one of the major microvascular complications of diabetes) glomerular hyperfiltration and hypertrophy are observed. It is clinically important to regulate glomerular hypertrophy for preventing glomerulosclerosis. The number of glomerular endothelial cells is known to be increased in diabetic nephropathy associated with enlarged glomerular tufts, suggesting that the mechanism is similar to that of angiogenesis. Tumstatin peptide is an angiogenesis inhibitor derived from type IV collagen and inhibits in vivo neovascularization induced by vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), one of the mediators of glomerular hypertrophy in diabetic nephropathy. Here, we show the effect of tumstatin peptide in inhibiting alterations in early diabetic nephropathy. Glomerular hypertrophy, hyperfiltration, and albuminuria were suppressed by tumstatin peptide (1 mg/kg) in streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice. Glomerular matrix expansion, the increase of total glomerular cell number and glomerular endothelial cells (CD31 positive), and monocyte/macrophage accumulation was inhibited by tumstatin peptide. Increase in renal expression of VEGF, flk-1, and angiopoietin-2, an antagonist of angiopoietin-1, was inhibited by tumstatin treatment in diabetic mice. Alteration of glomerular nephrin expression, a podocyte protein crucial for maintaining glomerular filtration barrier, was recovered by tumstatin in diabetic mice. Taken together, these results demonstrate the potential use of antiangiogenic tumstatin peptide as a novel therapeutic agent in early diabetic nephropathy.

                Author and article information

                Nephron Exp Nephrol
                Cardiorenal Medicine
                S. Karger AG
                March 2007
                07 March 2007
                : 105
                : 4
                : e117-e123
                Nanjing University, School of Medicine, Research Institute of Nephrology, Jinling Hospital, Nanjing, China
                100493 Nephron Exp Nephrol 2007;105:e117–e123
                © 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 4, Tables: 1, References: 19, Pages: 1
                Original Paper


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