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      Messenger RNA levels of podocyte-associated proteins in subjects with different degrees of glucose tolerance with or without nephropathy

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          Abstract

          Background

          To investigate gene expression of podocyte-specific proteins in urine of diabetes and prediabetes subjects and the association of these proteins with albuminuria.

          Methods

          Fifteen controls, 19 prediabetes, and 67 diabetes subjects were included. Messenger RNA of nephrin, podocin, podocalyxin, synaptopodin, TRPC6, alpha-actinin-4, and TGF-β 1 were measured using RT-PCR. Podocyte marker expression was correlated with albuminuria, glycemic control, and renal function. The diagnostic performance of the genes used to detect increased albuminuria was assessed using ROC curves and Poisson regressions.

          Results

          Podocyte marker expression was significantly higher in diabetic subjects. Urinary nephrin was correlated with increasing levels of albuminuria; risk of albuminuria increased by 20% for every one-unit increase in the log10 of nephrin mRNA. Nephrinuria was found in 53%, 71%, and 90% of normo-, micro-, and macroalbuminuric diabetes subjects, respectively (p = 0.023). Urinary nephrin, podocalyxin, TRPC6, podocin, and alpha actinin-4 were correlated with glycemic control and albuminuria but not with renal function.

          Conclusions

          Diabetes subjects had higher urinary mRNA levels of podocyte proteins than nondiabetic subjects, even the normoalbuminuric patients. Nephrinuria was correlated with diabetic nephrophathy stage and predicted pathological albuminuria. Urinary mRNA levels of podocyte markers of prediabetic subjects did not differ from controls.

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          Most cited references35

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          From the periphery of the glomerular capillary wall toward the center of disease: podocyte injury comes of age in diabetic nephropathy.

          Nephropathy is a major complication of diabetes. Alterations of mesangial cells have traditionally been the focus of research in deciphering molecular mechanisms of diabetic nephropathy. Injury of podocytes, if recognized at all, has been considered a late consequence caused by increasing proteinuria rather than an event inciting diabetic nephropathy. However, recent biopsy studies in humans have provided evidence that podocytes are functionally and structurally injured very early in the natural history of diabetic nephropathy. The diabetic milieu, represented by hyperglycemia, nonenzymatically glycated proteins, and mechanical stress associated with hypertension, causes downregulation of nephrin, an important protein of the slit diaphragm with antiapoptotic signaling properties. The loss of nephrin leads to foot process effacement of podocytes and increased proteinuria. A key mediator of nephrin suppression is angiotensin II (ANG II), which can activate other cytokine pathways such as transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) systems. TGF-beta1 causes an increase in mesangial matrix deposition and glomerular basement membrane (GBM) thickening and may promote podocyte apoptosis or detachment. As a result, the denuded GBM adheres to Bowman's capsule, initiating the development of glomerulosclerosis. VEGF is both produced by and acts upon the podocyte in an autocrine manner to modulate podocyte function, including the synthesis of GBM components. Through its effects on podocyte biology, glomerular hemodynamics, and capillary endothelial permeability, VEGF likely plays an important role in diabetic albuminuria. The mainstays of therapy, glycemic control and inhibition of ANG II, are key measures to prevent early podocyte injury and the subsequent development of diabetic nephropathy.
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            Podocyte number predicts long-term urinary albumin excretion in Pima Indians with Type II diabetes and microalbuminuria.

            The predictive value of glomerular structure on progression of renal disease was examined in patients with Type II (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes and microalbuminuria (urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio = 30-299 mg/g). Kidney biopsy specimens were obtained from 16 diabetic Pima Indians (6 men, 10 women). Progression of renal disease was assessed by measuring urinary albumin excretion 4 years after the biopsy (UAE(4 years)) and by computing the change in urinary albumin excretion during the study (Delta UAE). At baseline, the duration of diabetes averaged 13.3 years (range = 4.0-23.8 years) and the mean glomerular filtration rate was 159 ml x min(-1) x 1.73 m(-2) (range = 98 - 239 ml x min(-1) x 1.73 m(-2)). Median urinary albumin excretion was 67 mg/g (range = 25-136 mg/g) and it increased to 625 mg/g (range = 9-13471 mg/g) after 4 years; 10 subjects (63 %; 4 men, 6 women) developed macroalbuminuria (urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio >/= 300 mg/g). Neither mean arterial pressure nor HbA(1 c) changed substantially during follow-up. Among the glomerular morphologic characteristics, the number of visceral epithelial cells, or podocytes, per glomerulus was the strongest predictor of renal disease progression (UAE(4 years), r = -0.49, p = 0.05; DeltaUAE, r = -0.57, p = 0.02), with fewer cells predicting more rapid progression. Glomerular basement membrane thickness did not predict progression (UAE(4 years), r = 0.11, p = 0.67; DeltaUAE, r = 0.09, p = 0.73) and mesangial volume fraction had only a modest effect (UAE(4 years,) r = 0.42, p = 0.11; DeltaUAE, r = 0.48, p = 0.06). Whether lower epithelial cell number per glomerulus among those that progressed was due to cellular destruction, a reduced complement of epithelial cells, or both is uncertain. Nevertheless, these findings suggest that podocytes play an important part in the development and progression of diabetic renal disease. [Diabetologia (1999) 42: 1341-1344]
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              RAGE drives the development of glomerulosclerosis and implicates podocyte activation in the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy.

              Diabetic nephropathy ensues from events involving earliest changes in the glomeruli and podocytes, followed by accumulation of extracellular matrix in the mesangium. Postulated mechanisms include roles for vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), produced by podocytes and contributing to enhanced excretion of urinary albumin and recruitment/activation of inflammatory cells, and transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta), elicited largely from mesangial cells and driving production of extracellular matrix. RAGE, a receptor for advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) and S100/calgranulins, displays enhanced expression in podocytes of genetically diabetic db/db mice by age 13 weeks. RAGE-bearing podocytes express high levels of VEGF by this time, in parallel with enhanced recruitment of mononuclear phagocytes to the glomeruli; events prevented by blockade of RAGE. By age 27 weeks, soluble RAGE-treated db/db mice displayed diminished albuminuria and glomerulosclerosis, and improved renal function. Diabetic homozygous RAGE null mice failed to develop significantly increased mesangial matrix expansion or thickening of the glomerular basement membrane. We propose that activation of RAGE contributes to expression of VEGF and enhanced attraction/activation of inflammatory cells in the diabetic glomerulus, thereby setting the stage for mesangial activation and TGF-beta production; processes which converge to cause albuminuria and glomerulosclerosis.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                BMC Nephrol
                BMC Nephrol
                BMC Nephrology
                BioMed Central
                1471-2369
                2013
                8 October 2013
                : 14
                : 214
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Post Graduate Program in Medicine: Medical Sciences, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil
                [2 ]Division of Endocrinology, Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil
                [3 ]Division of Nephrology, Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre, Ramiro Barcelos 2350, Porto Alegre, RS ZIP 90035-003, Brazil
                Article
                1471-2369-14-214
                10.1186/1471-2369-14-214
                3853360
                24103534
                66caf4b9-849e-49bd-9767-41f651c0349e
                Copyright © 2013 do Nascimento et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                History
                : 29 July 2013
                : 4 October 2013
                Categories
                Research Article

                Nephrology
                diabetic nephropathy,prediabetes,podocyte,nephrin,trpc6
                Nephrology
                diabetic nephropathy, prediabetes, podocyte, nephrin, trpc6

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