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      Exogenous Bone Morphogenetic Protein-7 Fails to Attenuate Renal Fibrosis in Rats with Overload Proteinuria

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          Background: Bone morphogenetic protein-7 (BMP-7) plays a critical role in renal development, accelerates recovery from acute renal injury, and more recently it has been shown to delay progressive renal disease. The present study was designed to investigate the effect of BMP-7 on interstitial fibrosis in the rat protein-overloaded model. Methods: Renal disease was induced in 26 rats by daily intraperitoneal injections of bovine serum albumin (BSA); controls (n = 28) were injected with saline. Half of the rats in each group were treated with human recombinant BMP-7 (300 µg/kg i.p. 3 times weekly) and half with placebo. Animals were killed after 3 or 6 weeks. Results: Compared to the saline control groups, the BSA groups had evidence of chronic renal disease: significantly increased urinary protein excretion rates; total kidney collagen content, and increased fibronectin and collagen III interstitial areas. By 6 weeks the BSA + BMP-7 group compared to the BSA + placebo group had a nonsignificant decrease in blood urea nitrogen (40 ± 13 vs. 46 ± 11 mg/dl), total kidney collagen (10.8 ± 2.1 vs. 12.2 ± 3.5 µg/kidney), fibronectin interstitial area (23 ± 4 vs. 25 ± 8%) and collagen III interstitial area (22 ± 6 vs. 28 ± 7%). Despite these results, renal gene expression profiles actually predicted worse fibrosis in the BSA + BMP-7 group with significantly higher total kidney mRNA levels for α<sub>1</sub>(III) procollagen (2.8 ± 0.5 vs. 1.6 ± 0.6, p < 0.05) and fibronectin at 6 weeks (1.9 ± 0.3 vs. 1.2 ± 0.5, p < 0.05). Renal BMP-7 mRNA levels at 6 weeks were significantly increased in the BSA + placebo group compared to the saline + placebo group with no difference between the BSA + BMP-7 and the BSA + placebo groups. Both cortical and medullary tubules expressed BMP-7 protein but BMP-7 was only detected in the tubular lumina and urine of proteinuric animals. Conclusions: In rats with protein-overload proteinuria, renal tubules continue to express BMP-7 but some of the endogenous protein is secreted into the urinary space. Administration of exogenous recombinant BMP-7 had no effect on proteinuria but was associated with a nonsignificant trend towards less interstitial fibrosis at 6 weeks despite significantly higher kidney extracellular matrix gene mRNA levels. These findings suggest that BMP-7 treatment may have anti-fibrotic effects through enhancement of matrix turnover, although overall these effects are modest in proteinuric states in the absence of significant tubular epithelial cell apoptosis and epithelial-mesenchymal transition.

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          Most cited references 8

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          BMP-7 counteracts TGF-beta1-induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and reverses chronic renal injury.

          Bone morphogenic protein (BMP)-7 is a 35-kDa homodimeric protein and a member of the transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta superfamily. BMP-7 expression is highest in the kidney, and its genetic deletion in mice leads to severe impairment of eye, skeletal and kidney development. Here we report that BMP-7 reverses TGF-beta1-induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) by reinduction of E-cadherin, a key epithelial cell adhesion molecule. Additionally, we provide molecular evidence for Smad-dependent reversal of TGF-beta1-induced EMT by BMP-7 in renal tubular epithelial cells and mammary ductal epithelial cells. In the kidney, EMT-induced accumulation of myofibroblasts and subsequent tubular atrophy are considered key determinants of renal fibrosis during chronic renal injury. We therefore tested the potential of BMP-7 to reverse TGF-beta1-induced de novo EMT in a mouse model of chronic renal injury. Our results show that systemic administration of recombinant human BMP-7 leads to repair of severely damaged renal tubular epithelial cells, in association with reversal of chronic renal injury. Collectively, these results provide evidence of cross talk between BMP-7 and TGF-beta1 in the regulation of EMT in health and disease.
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            Pathophysiology of progressive nephropathies.

             T Bertani,  G. Remuzzi (1998)
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              Bone morphogenic protein-7 (BMP-7), a novel therapy for diabetic nephropathy.

              Bone morphogenic protein-7 (BMP-7), an essential developmental renal morphogen, is a secreted differentiation factor of the adult collecting duct. It activates receptors in the collecting duct, distal nephron, proximal tubule, and glomerulus. BMP-7 is therapeutic in tubulointerstitial nephritis raising the question of broader efficacy in chronic kidney disease (CKD). Diabetes was induced in 200 g rats by a single dose of streptozotocin. After 16 weeks, glomerular hypertrophy and proteinuria were established, and therapy with BMP-7 (10, 30, or 100 microg/kg intravenously twice a week), enalapril (20 mg/kg), or vehicle was begun and continued until 32 weeks. Kidney weight, glomerular filtration rate (GFR), urine albumin excretion, blood pressure, pathology, and BMP-7 expression were measured. Diabetic vehicle-treated rats developed renal insufficiency by 32 weeks (GFR, 0.34 +/- 0.02 mL/min/100 g body weight vs. 0.55 +/- 0.02 in normal). In the diabetic BMP-7 high-dose-treated rats, GFR was preserved (0.70 +/- 0.08, P < 0.01 vs. vehicle), and higher than diabetic enalapril-treated rats (0.58 +/- 0.06). Kidney weights of vehicle-treated animals were not affected, but were reduced in all of the treatment groups (P < 0.001). Proteinuria was reversed to normal by BMP-7 in a dose-dependent manner. The reduction in proteinuria by the intermediate dose of BMP-7 was similar to the effect of enalapril therapy. Glomerular area and interstitial volume were significantly decreased in the BMP-7 and enalapril-treated animals. Glomerular sclerosis was prevented by BMP-7 therapy more effectively than by enalapril. Enalapril controlled hypertension throughout the course of therapy while BMP-7 did not affect blood pressure until the final 4 weeks of therapy. Diabetic vehicle-treated rats lost BMP-7 expression in the kidney. BMP-7 and enalapril therapy restored BMP-7 expression at high levels. BMP-7 partially reversed diabetic-induced kidney hypertrophy, restoring GFR, urine albumin excretion, and glomerular histology toward normal. Restoration of BMP-7 expression was associated with a successful repair reaction and a reversal of the ill-fated injury response.

                Author and article information

                Nephron Exp Nephrol
                Cardiorenal Medicine
                S. Karger AG
                August 2004
                17 November 2004
                : 97
                : 4
                : e123-e135
                aChildren’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center, University of Washington, Seattle, Wash., bCiphergen Biosystems Inc., Fremont, Calif., and cSaint Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Mo., USA
                79177 Nephron Exp Nephrol 2004;97:e123–e135
                © 2004 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Figures: 9, References: 39, Pages: 1
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