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      Podocyte Injury and Glomerulosclerosis in Hyperhomocysteinemic Rats


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          Background/Aims: We previously reported that increase in plasma homocysteine (Hcys) levels by a 6-week methionine treatment produced remarkable glomerular injury. However, the mechanism by which hyperhomocysteinemia (hHcys) produces glomerular injury remains unknown. The present study was to observe when glomerular injury happens during hHcys and to explore the possible role of podocyte injury in the progression of glomerulosclerosis associated with hHcys. Methods: Uninephrectomized Sprague-Dawley rats treated with methionine were used to examine the time course of glomerular injury induced by hHcys. Results: Creatinine clearance was not different until rats were treated with methionine for 6 weeks, although plasma Hcys levels significantly increased at the 1st week of methionine treatment. However, urinary albumin excretion increased at the 2nd week of methionine treatment. Morphological examinations showed that mesangial expansion occurred at the 2nd week and podocyte effacement was also observed as processed glomerular damage during hHcys. Immunofluorescence analyses demonstrated that podocin and nephrin expressions were reduced, while α-actinin-4 increased during hHcys. Conclusions: Increased plasma Hcys level is an important pathogenic factor resulting in glomerular injury even in the very early time of hHcys. These pathogenic effects of Hcys are associated with podocyte injury and changed expression and distribution of podocyte-associated proteins.

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          Most cited references20

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          NPHS2, encoding the glomerular protein podocin, is mutated in autosomal recessive steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome.

          Familial idiopathic nephrotic syndromes represent a heterogeneous group of kidney disorders, and include autosomal recessive steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome, which is characterized by early childhood onset of proteinuria, rapid progression to end-stage renal disease and focal segmental glomerulosclerosis. A causative gene for this disease, NPHS2, was mapped to 1q25-31 and we report here its identification by positional cloning. NPHS2 is almost exclusively expressed in the podocytes of fetal and mature kidney glomeruli, and encodes a new integral membrane protein, podocin, belonging to the stomatin protein family. We found ten different NPHS2 mutations, comprising nonsense, frameshift and missense mutations, to segregate with the disease, demonstrating a crucial role for podocin in the function of the glomerular filtration barrier.
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            Mutations in ACTN4, encoding alpha-actinin-4, cause familial focal segmental glomerulosclerosis.

            Focal and segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) is a common, non-specific renal lesion. Although it is often secondary to other disorders, including HIV infection, obesity, hypertension and diabetes, FSGS also appears as an isolated, idiopathic condition. FSGS is characterized by increased urinary protein excretion and decreasing kidney function. Often, renal insufficiency in affected patients progresses to end-stage renal failure, a highly morbid state requiring either dialysis therapy or kidney transplantation. Here we present evidence implicating mutations in the gene encoding alpha-actinin-4 (ACTN4; ref. 2), an actin-filament crosslinking protein, as the cause of disease in three families with an autosomal dominant form of FSGS. In vitro, mutant alpha-actinin-4 binds filamentous actin (F-actin) more strongly than does wild-type alpha-actinin-4. Regulation of the actin cytoskeleton of glomerular podocytes may be altered in this group of patients. Our results have implications for understanding the role of the cytoskeleton in the pathophysiology of kidney disease and may lead to a better understanding of the genetic basis of susceptibility to kidney damage.
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              Podocyte biology and response to injury.


                Author and article information

                Am J Nephrol
                American Journal of Nephrology
                S. Karger AG
                May 2007
                30 March 2007
                : 27
                : 3
                : 262-268
                Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Va., USA
                101471 Am J Nephrol 2007;27:262–268
                © 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                : 08 January 2007
                : 02 March 2007
                Page count
                Figures: 4, References: 30, Pages: 7
                Original Report: Laboratory Investigation

                Cardiovascular Medicine,Nephrology
                Proteinuria,Cytoskeleton,Glomerulosclerosis,Hyperhomocysteinemia,End-stage renal disease


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