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#25777062   2015/04/24 Save this To Up

Characterization of the intrarenal renin-angiotensin system in experimental alport syndrome.

Blockade of the renin-angiotensin system attenuates the progression of experimental and clinical Alport syndrome (AS); however, the underlying mechanism(s) remains largely unknown. We evaluated the renin-angiotensin system in 4- and 7-week-old homozygous for collagen, type IV, α3 gene (Col4A3(-/-)) and wild-type mice, a model of AS characterized by proteinuria and progressive renal injury. Renal angiotensin (Ang) II levels increased, whereas renal Ang-(1-7) levels decreased in 7-week-old Col4a3(-/-) mice compared with age-matched controls; these changes were partially reversed by recombinant angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) treatment. The expression of both the angiotensinogen and renin protein increased in Col4a3(-/-) compared with wild-type mice. Consistent with the Ang-(1-7) levels, the expression and activity of kidney ACE2 decreased in 7-week-old Col4a3(-/-) mice. The urinary excretion rate of ACE2 paralleled the decline in tissue expression. Expression of an Ang II-induced gene, heme oxygenase-1, was up-regulated in the kidneys of 7-week-old Col4a3(-/-) mice compared with wild-type mice by microarray analysis. Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) protein expression was increased in kidneys of Col4a3(-/-) mice and normalized by treatment with ACE inhibitor. Urinary HO-1 excretion paralleled renal HO-1 expression. In conclusion, progressive kidney injury in AS is associated with changes in expression of intrarenal renin Ang system components and Ang peptides. HO-1 and ACE2 may represent novel markers of AS-associated kidney injury, whereas administration of recombinant ACE2 and/or Ang-(1-7) may represent novel therapeutic approaches in AS.

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#25633161   2015/10/06 Save this To Up

A case of subepidermal blistering disease with autoantibodies to multiple laminin subunits who developed later autoantibodies to alpha-5 chain of type IV collagen associated with membranous glomerulonephropathy.

We report a 68-year-old Japanese female patient with subepidermal blistering disease with autoantibodies to multiple laminins, who subsequently developed membranous glomerulonephropathy. At skin disease stage, immunofluorescence demonstrated IgG anti-basement membrane zone antibodies reactive with dermal side of NaCl-split skin. Immunoblotting of human dermal extract, purified laminin-332, hemidesmosome-rich fraction and laminin-521 trimer recombinant protein (RP) detected laminin γ-1 and α-3 and γ-2 subunits of laminin-332. Three years after skin lesions disappeared, nephrotic symptoms developed. Antibodies to α-3 chain of type IV collagen (COL4A3) were negative, thus excluding the diagnosis of Goodpasture syndrome. All anti-laminin antibodies disappeared. Additional IB and ELISA studies of RPs of various COL4 chains revealed reactivity with COL4A5, but not with COL4A6 or COL4A3. Although diagnosis of anti-laminin γ-1 (p200) pemphigoid or anti-laminin-332-type mucous membrane pemphigoid could not be made, this case was similar to previous cases with autoantibodies to COL4A5 and/or COL4A6.

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#24522496   2014/05/30 Save this To Up

A mouse Col4a4 mutation causing Alport glomerulosclerosis with abnormal collagen α3α4α5(IV) trimers.

A spontaneous mutation termed bilateral wasting kidneys (bwk) was identified in a colony of NONcNZO recombinant inbred mice. These mice exhibit a rapid increase of urinary albumin at an early age associated with glomerulosclerosis, interstitial nephritis, and tubular atrophy. The mutation was mapped to a location on chromosome 1 containing the Col4a3 and Col4a4 genes, for which mutations in the human orthologs cause the hereditary nephritis Alport syndrome. DNA sequencing identified a G-to-A mutation in the conserved GT splice donor of Col4a4 intron 30, resulting in skipping of exon 30 but maintaining the mRNA reading frame. Protein analyses showed that mutant collagen α3α4α5(IV) trimers were secreted and incorporated into the glomerular basement membrane (GBM), but levels were low, and GBM lesions typical of Alport syndrome were observed. Moving the mutation into the more renal damage-prone DBA/2J and 129S1/SvImJ backgrounds revealed differences in albuminuria and its rate of increase, suggesting an interaction between the Col4a4 mutation and modifier genes. This novel mouse model of Alport syndrome is the only one shown to accumulate abnormal collagen α3α4α5(IV) in the GBM, as also found in a subset of Alport patients. These mice will be valuable for testing potential therapies, for understanding abnormal collagen IV structure and assembly, and for gaining better insights into the mechanisms leading to Alport syndrome, and to the variability in the age of onset and associated phenotypes.

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#24262798   2014/02/03 Save this To Up

Evidence for activation of the unfolded protein response in collagen IV nephropathies.

Thin-basement-membrane nephropathy (TBMN) and Alport syndrome (AS) are progressive collagen IV nephropathies caused by mutations in COL4A3/A4/A5 genes. These nephropathies invariably present with microscopic hematuria and frequently progress to proteinuria and CKD or ESRD during long-term follow-up. Nonetheless, the exact molecular mechanisms by which these mutations exert their deleterious effects on the glomerulus remain elusive. We hypothesized that defective trafficking of the COL4A3 chain causes a strong intracellular effect on the cell responsible for COL4A3 expression, the podocyte. To this end, we overexpressed normal and mutant COL4A3 chains (G1334E mutation) in human undifferentiated podocytes and tested their effects in various intracellular pathways using a microarray approach. COL4A3 overexpression in the podocyte caused chain retention in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) that was associated with activation of unfolded protein response (UPR)-related markers of ER stress. Notably, the overexpression of normal or mutant COL4A3 chains differentially activated the UPR pathway. Similar results were observed in a novel knockin mouse carrying the Col4a3-G1332E mutation, which produced a phenotype consistent with AS, and in biopsy specimens from patients with TBMN carrying a heterozygous COL4A3-G1334E mutation. These results suggest that ER stress arising from defective localization of collagen IV chains in human podocytes contributes to the pathogenesis of TBMN and AS through activation of the UPR, a finding that may pave the way for novel therapeutic interventions for a variety of collagenopathies.

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#22553158   2014/11/03 Save this To Up

Plasma leakage through glomerular basement membrane ruptures triggers the proliferation of parietal epithelial cells and crescent formation in non-inflammatory glomerular injury.

Glomerular crescents are most common in rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis but also occur in non-inflammatory chronic glomerulopathies; thus, factors other than inflammation should trigger crescent formation, eg vascular damage and plasma leakage. Here we report that Alport nephropathy in Col4A3-deficient Sv129 mice is complicated by diffuse and global crescent formation in which proliferating parietal epithelial cells are the predominant cell type. Laminin staining and transmission and acellular scanning electron microscopy of acellular glomeruli documented disruptions and progressive disintegration of the glomerular basement membrane in Col4A3-deficient mice. FITC-dextran perfusion further revealed vascular leakage from glomerular capillaries into Bowman's space, further documented by fibrin deposits in the segmental crescents. Its pathogenic role was validated by showing that the fibrinolytic activity of recombinant urokinase partially prevented crescent formation. In addition, in vitro studies confirmed an additional mitogenic potential of serum on murine and human parietal epithelial cells. Furthermore, loss of parietal cell polarity and unpolarized secretion of extracellular matrix components were evident within fibrocellular crescents. Among 665 human Alport nephropathy biopsies, crescent formation was noted in 0.4%. We conclude that glomerular vascular injury and GBM breaks cause plasma leakage which triggers a wound healing programme involving the proliferation of parietal cells and their loss of polarity. This process can trigger cellular and fibrocellular crescent formation even in the absence of cellular inflammation and rupture of the Bowman's capsule.

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#17200187   2007/01/03 Save this To Up

Alphav beta6 integrin regulates renal fibrosis and inflammation in Alport mouse.

The transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta-inducible integrin alpha v beta6 is preferentially expressed at sites of epithelial remodeling and has been shown to bind and activate latent precursor TGF-beta. Herein, we show that alpha v beta6 is overexpressed in human kidney epithelium in membranous glomerulonephritis, diabetes mellitus, IgA nephropathy, Goodpasture's syndrome, and Alport syndrome renal epithelium. To assess the potential regulatory role of alpha v beta6 in renal disease, we studied the effects of function-blocking alpha v beta6 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and genetic ablation of the beta6 subunit on kidney fibrosis in Col4A3-/- mice, a mouse model of Alport syndrome. Expression of alpha v beta6 in Alport mouse kidneys was observed primarily in cortical tubular epithelial cells and in correlation with the progression of fibrosis. Treatment with alpha v beta6-blocking mAbs inhibited accumulation of activated fibroblasts and deposition of interstitial collagen matrix. Similar inhibition of renal fibrosis was observed in beta6-deficient Alport mice. Transcript profiling of kidney tissues showed that alpha v beta6-blocking mAbs significantly inhibited disease-associated changes in expression of fibrotic and inflammatory mediators. Similar patterns of transcript modulation were produced with recombinant soluble TGF-beta RII treatment, suggesting shared regulatory functions of alpha v beta6 and TGF-beta. These findings demonstrate that alpha v beta6 can contribute to the regulation of renal fibrosis and suggest this integrin as a potential therapeutic target.

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#16014809   2005/11/21 Save this To Up

Evaluation of canine COL4A3 and COL4A4 as candidates for familial renal disease in the Norwegian elkhound.

The collagen type IV alpha3 and alpha4 chains (COL4A3 and COL4A4) are part of the specialized glomerular basement membrane in the kidney. In human these genes are responsible for Alport syndrome (a type of hereditary nephritis). Histopathological similarities between kidneys of Norwegian elkhound dogs affected with familial renal disease and human Alport syndrome were the basis for a candidate gene approach in Norwegian elkhounds. Three microsatellites-tightly linked to canine COL4A3 and COL4A4--were developed. The microsatellites were used to analyze linkage between COL4A3 and COL4A4 and familial renal disease in a Norwegian elkhound pedigree segregating this disease. Presence of one recombinant between familial renal disease and COL4A3/COL4A4 suggests that these genes are not likely candidates for familial renal disease in this breed.

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#11044206   2000/11/13 Save this To Up

Autosomal dominant Alport syndrome caused by a COL4A3 splice site mutation.

Alport syndrome (AS) is a clinically and genetically heterogeneous renal disorder, predominantly affecting the type IV collagen alpha 3/alpha 4/alpha 5 network of the glomerular basement membrane (GBM). AS can be caused by mutations in any of the three genes encoding these type IV collagen chains. The majority of AS families (85%) are X-linked (XL-AS) involving mutations in the COL4A5 gene. Mutations in the COL4A3 and COL4A4 genes cause autosomal recessive AS (AR-AS), accounting for approximately 14% of the cases. Recently, autosomal dominant AS (AD-AS) was linked to the COL4A3/COL4A4 locus in a large family.

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#10854213   2000/06/28 Save this To Up

Glomerular expression of type IV collagen chains in normal and X-linked Alport syndrome kidneys.

Alport syndrome is an inherited nephropathy characterized by alterations of the glomerular basement membrane because of mutations in type IV collagen genes. COL4A5 mutations, causing X-linked Alport syndrome, frequently result in the loss of the alpha5 chains of type IV collagen in basement membranes. This is associated with the absence of the alpha3(IV) and alpha4(IV) chains and increased amounts of alpha1(IV) and alpha2(IV) in glomerular basement membranes. The mechanisms resulting in such a configuration are still controversial and are of fundamental importance for understanding the pathology of the disease and for considering gene therapy. In this article we studied, for the first time, type IV collagen expression in kidneys from X-linked Alport syndrome patients, using in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry. We show that, independent of the type of mutation and of the level of COL4A5 transcription, both COL4A3 and COL4A4 genes are actively transcribed in podocytes. Moreover, using immunofluorescence amplification, we were able to demonstrate that the alpha3 chain of type IV collagen was present in the podocytes of all patients. Finally, the alpha1(IV) chain, which accumulates within glomerular basement membranes, was found to be synthesized by mesangial/endothelial cells. These results strongly suggest that, contrary to what has been found in dogs affected with X-linked Alport syndrome, there is no transcriptional co-regulation of COL4A3, COL4A4, and COL4A5 genes in humans, and that the absence of alpha3(IV) to alpha5(IV) in glomerular basement membranes in the patients results from events downstream of transcription, RNA processing, and protein synthesis.

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#9809157   1998/12/02 Save this To Up

[What's new in pediatric nephrology?].

Advances in pediatric nephrology has been mainly characterized during the last years by a burst of knowledge in the area of genetic renal diseases: 1/almost complete understanding of Alport syndrome related to mutations of COL4A5 or COL4A3/A4 genes of collagene; 2/the mapping and cloning of the nephronophthisis gene which is deleted in 75% of cases; 3/the mapping and cloning of the cystinosis gene coding for a protein of the lysosomal membrane; 4/the mapping and cloning of the Finnish-type congenital nephrotic syndrome gene; 5/the linkage to the SNR 1 gene on chromosome 1 of a large number of familial corticoresistant nephrotic syndromes, and the disclosure of mutations of the WT1 gene in diffuse mesangial sclerosis and in Frazier syndrome. The understanding of Bartter syndrome has been also enlightened by the discovery of mutations in several ionic channels located in the distal tubule. It has been also shown that a corticoresistant nephrotic syndrome or a chronic tubular interstitial nephropathy are possible phenotypes for mitochondrial cytopathies. In the area of therapeutics, recombinant growth hormone was shown to improve statural growth of children with chronic renal failure; in addition, renal transplantation benefits from new immunosuppressants as tacrolimus and mycophenolate mofetil.

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