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      TGF-β Inhibits Ang II-Induced MAPK p44/42 Signaling in Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells by Ang II Type 1 Receptor Downregulation

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          Vascular changes in diabetes are characterized by reduced vasoconstriction and vascular remodeling. Previously, we demonstrated that TGF-β1 impairs Ang II-induced contraction through reduced calcium mobilization. However, the effect of TGF-β1 on Ang II-induced vascular remodeling is unknown. Therefore, we investigated the effect of TGF-β1 on Ang II-induced activation of the MAPK p44/42 pathway in cultured rat aortic smooth muscle cells (RASMC). Activation of MAPK p44/42 was determined with a phospho-specific antibody. Angiotensin type 1 receptor (AT<sub>1</sub>) and AT<sub>1</sub> mRNA levels were measured by [<sup>3</sup>H]candesartan-binding and real-time PCR, respectively. AT<sub>1</sub> gene transcription activity was assessed using AT<sub>1</sub> promoter-reporter constructs and by a nuclear runoff assay. In TGF-β1-pretreated cells, Ang II-induced phosphorylation of MAPK p44/42 was inhibited by 29 and 46% for p42 and p44, respectively, and AT<sub>1</sub> density was reduced by 31%. Furthermore, pretreatment with TGF-β1 resulted in a 64% reduction in AT<sub>1</sub> mRNA levels and decreased AT<sub>1</sub> mRNA transcription rate by 42%. Pretreatment with TGF-β1 blocked Ang II-induced proliferation of RASMC, while stimulating Ang II-induced upregulation of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1. In conclusion, TGF-β1 attenuates Ang II-mediated MAPK p44/42 kinase signaling in RASMC through downregulation of AT<sub>1</sub> levels, which is mainly caused by the inhibition of transcription of the AT<sub>1</sub> gene.

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          Most cited references 16

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          Apoptosis and acute kidney injury.

          Improved mechanistic understanding of renal cell death in acute kidney injury (AKI) has generated new therapeutic targets. Clearly, the classic lesion of acute tubular necrosis is not adequate to describe the consequences of renal ischemia, nephrotoxin exposure, or sepsis on glomerular filtration rate. Experimental evidence supports a pathogenic role for apoptosis in AKI. Interestingly, proximal tubule epithelial cells are highly susceptible to apoptosis, and injury at this site contributes to organ failure. During apoptosis, well-orchestrated events converge at the mitochondrion, the organelle that integrates life and death signals generated by the BCL2 (B-cell lymphoma 2) protein family. Death requires the 'perfect storm' for outer mitochondrial membrane injury to release its cellular 'executioners'. The complexity of this process affords new targets for effective interventions, both before and after renal insults. Inhibiting apoptosis appears to be critical, because circulating factors released by the injured kidney induce apoptosis and inflammation in distant organs including the heart, lung, liver, and brain, potentially contributing to the high morbidity and mortality associated with AKI. Manipulation of known stress kinases upstream of mitochondrial injury, induction of endogenous, anti-apoptotic proteins, and improved understanding of the timing and consequences of renal cell apoptosis will inevitably improve the outcome of human AKI.
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            Mechanisms of cardiac and renal dysfunction in patients dying of sepsis.

            The mechanistic basis for cardiac and renal dysfunction in sepsis is unknown. In particular, the degree and type of cell death is undefined. To evaluate the degree of sepsis-induced cardiomyocyte and renal tubular cell injury and death. Light and electron microscopy and immunohistochemical staining for markers of cellular injury and stress, including connexin-43 and kidney-injury-molecule-1 (Kim-1), were used in this study. Rapid postmortem cardiac and renal harvest was performed in 44 septic patients. Control hearts were obtained from 12 transplant and 13 brain-dead patients. Control kidneys were obtained from 20 trauma patients and eight patients with cancer. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated low levels of apoptotic cardiomyocytes (<1-2 cells per thousand) in septic and control subjects and revealed redistribution of connexin-43 to lateral membranes in sepsis (P < 0.020). Electron microscopy showed hydropic mitochondria only in septic specimens, whereas mitochondrial membrane injury and autophagolysosomes were present equally in control and septic specimens. Control kidneys appeared relatively normal by light microscopy; 3 of 20 specimens showed focal injury in approximately 1% of renal cortical tubules. Conversely, focal acute tubular injury was present in 78% of septic kidneys, occurring in 10.3 ± 9.5% and 32.3 ± 17.8% of corticomedullary-junction tubules by conventional light microscopy and Kim-1 immunostains, respectively (P < 0.01). Electron microscopy revealed increased tubular injury in sepsis, including hydropic mitochondria and increased autophagosomes. Cell death is rare in sepsis-induced cardiac dysfunction, but cardiomyocyte injury occurs. Renal tubular injury is common in sepsis but presents focally; most renal tubular cells appear normal. The degree of cell injury and death does not account for severity of sepsis-induced organ dysfunction.
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              Targeted proximal tubule injury triggers interstitial fibrosis and glomerulosclerosis

              Chronic kidney disease (CKD) remains one of the leading causes of death in the developed world and acute kidney injury (AKI) is now recognized as a major risk factor in its development. Understanding the factors leading to CKD after acute injury are limited by current animal models of AKI which concurrently target various kidney cell types such as epithelial, endothelial and inflammatory cells. Here we developed a mouse model of kidney injury using the Six2-Cre-LoxP technology to selectively activate expression of the simian diphtheria toxin receptor in renal epithelia derived from the metanephric mesenchyme. By adjusting the timing and dose of diphtheria toxin a highly selective model of tubular injury was created to define the acute and chronic consequences of isolated epithelial injury. The diphtheria toxin-induced sublethal tubular epithelial injury was confined to the S1 and S2 segments of the proximal tubule rather than being widespread in the metanephric mesenchyme derived epithelial lineage. Acute injury was promptly followed by inflammatory cell infiltration and robust tubular cell proliferation leading to complete recovery after a single toxin insult. In striking contrast, three insults to renal epithelial cells at one week intervals resulted in maladaptive repair with interstitial capillary loss, fibrosis and glomerulosclerosis which was highly correlated with the degree of interstitial fibrosis. Thus, selective epithelial injury can drive the formation of interstitial fibrosis, capillary rarefaction and potentially glomerulosclerosis, substantiating a direct role for damaged tubule epithelium in the pathogenesis of CKD.

                Author and article information

                J Vasc Res
                Journal of Vascular Research
                S. Karger AG
                August 2009
                10 February 2009
                : 46
                : 5
                : 459-468
                aDepartment of Clinical Pharmacology, Groningen University Institute for Drug Exploration (GUIDE), University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, and bInteruniversity Cardiology Institute Netherlands, Utrecht, The Netherlands; cCenter for Renal Translational Medicine, University of California at San Diego/VA San Diego Health System, La Jolla, Calif., USA
                200961 J Vasc Res 2009;46:459–468
                © 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 7, References: 30, Pages: 10
                Research Paper


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