Publications by authors named "Jill T Norman"

16 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Selective deletion of connective tissue growth factor attenuates experimentally-induced pulmonary fibrosis and pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Int J Biochem Cell Biol 2021 Mar 1;134:105961. Epub 2021 Mar 1.

Centre for Rheumatology and Connective Tissue Disease, Department of Inflammation, Division of Medicine, University College London, London, NW3 2PF, UK.

Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF, CCN2) is a matricellular protein which plays key roles in normal mammalian development and in tissue homeostasis and repair. In pathological conditions, dysregulated CCN2 has been associated with cancer, cardiovascular disease, and tissue fibrosis. In this study, genetic manipulation of the CCN2 gene was employed to investigate the role of CCN2 expression in vitro and in experimentally-induced models of pulmonary fibrosis and pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Knocking down CCN2 using siRNA reduced expression of pro-fibrotic markers (fibronectin p < 0.01, collagen type I p < 0.05, α-SMA p < 0.0001, TIMP-1 p < 0.05 and IL-6 p < 0.05) in TGF-β-treated lung fibroblasts derived from systemic sclerosis patients. In vivo studies were performed in mice using a conditional gene deletion strategy targeting CCN2 in a fibroblast-specific and time-dependent manner in two models of lung disease. CCN2 deletion significantly reduced pulmonary interstitial scarring and fibrosis following bleomycin-instillation, as assessed by fibrotic scores (wildtype bleomycin 3.733 ± 0.2667 vs CCN2 knockout (KO) bleomycin 4.917 ± 0.3436, p < 0.05) and micro-CT. In the well-established chronic hypoxia/Sugen model of pulmonary hypertension, CCN2 gene deletion resulted in a significant decrease in pulmonary vessel remodelling, less right ventricular hypertrophy and a reduction in the haemodynamic measurements characteristic of PAH (RVSP and RV/LV + S were significantly reduced (p < 0.05) in CCN2 KO compared to WT mice in hypoxic/SU5416 conditions). These results support a prominent role for CCN2 in pulmonary fibrosis and in vessel remodelling associated with PAH. Therefore, therapeutics aimed at blocking CCN2 function are likely to benefit several forms of severe lung disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocel.2021.105961DOI Listing
March 2021

Hyperglycemia-induced Renal P2X7 Receptor Activation Enhances Diabetes-related Injury.

EBioMedicine 2017 May 20;19:73-83. Epub 2017 Apr 20.

UCL Centre for Nephrology, University College London, London, UK; Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases (CVMD) iMed, AstraZeneca, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Diabetes is a leading cause of renal disease. Glomerular mesangial expansion and fibrosis are hallmarks of diabetic nephropathy and this is thought to be promoted by infiltration of circulating macrophages. Monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) has been shown to attract macrophages in kidney diseases. P2X7 receptors (P2X7R) are highly expressed on macrophages and are essential components of pro-inflammatory signaling in multiple tissues. Here we show that in diabetic patients, renal P2X7R expression is associated with severe mesangial expansion, impaired glomerular filtration (≤40ml/min/1.73sq.m.), and increased interstitial fibrosis. P2X7R activation enhanced the release of MCP-1 in human mesangial cells cultured under high glucose conditions. In mice, P2X7R-deficiency prevented glomerular macrophage attraction and collagen IV deposition; however, the more severe interstitial inflammation and fibrosis often seen in human diabetic kidney diseases was not modelled. Finally, we demonstrate that a P2X7R inhibitor (AZ11657312) can reduce renal macrophage accrual following the establishment of hyperglycemia in a model of diabetic nephropathy. Collectively these data suggest that P2X7R activation may contribute to the high prevalence of kidney disease found in diabetics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ebiom.2017.04.011DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5440600PMC
May 2017

The binding of the bone morphogenetic protein antagonist gremlin to kidney heparan sulfate: Such binding is not essential for BMP antagonism.

Int J Biochem Cell Biol 2017 02 12;83:39-46. Epub 2016 Dec 12.

Centre for Biomedical Sciences, Royal Holloway University of London, Egham Hill, Egham, Surrey, TW20 0EX, UK. Electronic address:

Gremlin-1, a bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) antagonist, has essential roles in kidney and limb bone development, and is important in chronic diseases including tissue fibrosis. It also functions as an activating ligand of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor 2 (VEGFR2), and binds strongly to the sulfated polysaccharide, heparin. Here we investigated the extent to which gremlin binds to the related polysaccharide heparan sulfate (HS), which unlike heparin is widely distributed spread within tissues. We determined that both highly sulfated HS and kidney HS are able to partially compete for the binding of heparin to gremlin, whereas low sulfated HS is a poor competitor. In further investigations of the interaction between gremlin and HS, we found that wild-type gremlin is able to bind broadly across the various regions of kidney in an HS-dependent manner, with particularly intense binding to tubular structures in the renal cortex. In a model of chronic kidney disease, fibrotic changes in the kidney result in a loss of gremlin binding sites. Gremlin mutants with reduced affinity for heparin showed negligible binding under the same conditions. These mutants nonetheless remain functional as BMP antagonists on C2C12 myoblastic cells transfected with a Smad 1 reporter gene construct. Overall our findings indicate that on secretion, gremlin will bind to HS structures on the cell surface and in the extracellular matrix, thus providing for a localised reservoir which can modulate BMP activity in a temporospatially restricted manner. Although binding of heparin/HS to gremlin has been shown elsewhere to be necessary for gremlin activation of VEGFR2, this does not appear to be essential for BMP antagonism by gremlin. Thus these sulfated polysaccharides differentially regulate the activities of gremlin.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocel.2016.12.006DOI Listing
February 2017

Aldehyde dehydrogenase inhibition blocks mucosal fibrosis in human and mouse ocular scarring.

JCI Insight 2016 08 4;1(12):e87001. Epub 2016 Aug 4.

NIH Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre at Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, London, United Kingdom.

Mucous membrane pemphigoid (MMP) is a systemic mucosal scarring disease, commonly causing blindness, for which there is no antifibrotic therapy. Aldehyde dehydrogenase family 1 (ALDH1) is upregulated in both ocular MMP (OMMP) conjunctiva and cultured fibroblasts. Application of the ALDH metabolite, retinoic acid (RA), to normal human conjunctival fibroblasts in vitro induced a diseased phenotype. Conversely, application of ALDH inhibitors, including disulfiram, to OMMP fibroblasts in vitro restored their functionality to that of normal controls. ALDH1 is also upregulated in the mucosa of the mouse model of scarring allergic eye disease (AED), used here as a surrogate for OMMP, in which topical application of disulfiram decreased fibrosis in vivo. These data suggest that progressive scarring in OMMP results from ALDH/RA fibroblast autoregulation, that the ALDH1 subfamily has a central role in immune-mediated ocular mucosal scarring, and that ALDH inhibition with disulfiram is a potential and readily translatable antifibrotic therapy.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5033866PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/jci.insight.87001DOI Listing
August 2016

Reduced Renal Methylarginine Metabolism Protects against Progressive Kidney Damage.

J Am Soc Nephrol 2015 Dec 8;26(12):3045-59. Epub 2015 Apr 8.

Medical Research Council Clinical Sciences Centre, Imperial College, London, United Kingdom;

Nitric oxide (NO) production is diminished in many patients with cardiovascular and renal disease. Asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) is an endogenous inhibitor of NO synthesis, and elevated plasma levels of ADMA are associated with poor outcomes. Dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase-1 (DDAH1) is a methylarginine-metabolizing enzyme that reduces ADMA levels. We reported previously that a DDAH1 gene variant associated with increased renal DDAH1 mRNA transcription and lower plasma ADMA levels, but counterintuitively, a steeper rate of renal function decline. Here, we test the hypothesis that reduced renal-specific ADMA metabolism protects against progressive renal damage. Renal DDAH1 is expressed predominately within the proximal tubule. A novel proximal tubule-specific Ddah1 knockout (Ddah1(PT-/-)) mouse demonstrated tubular cell accumulation of ADMA and lower NO concentrations, but unaltered plasma ADMA concentrations. Ddah1(PT-/-) mice were protected from reduced kidney tissue mass, collagen deposition, and profibrotic cytokine expression in two independent renal injury models: folate nephropathy and unilateral ureteric obstruction. Furthermore, a study of two independent kidney transplant cohorts revealed higher levels of human renal allograft methylarginine-metabolizing enzyme gene expression associated with steeper function decline. We also report an association among DDAH1 expression, NO activity, and uromodulin expression supported by data from both animal and human studies, raising the possibility that kidney DDAH1 expression exacerbates renal injury through uromodulin-related mechanisms. Together, these data demonstrate that reduced renal tubular ADMA metabolism protects against progressive kidney function decline. Thus, circulating ADMA may be an imprecise marker of renal methylarginine metabolism, and therapeutic ADMA reduction may even be deleterious to kidney function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1681/ASN.2014030280DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4657823PMC
December 2015

Retinoic acid receptor-dependent, cell-autonomous, endogenous retinoic acid signaling and its target genes in mouse collecting duct cells.

PLoS One 2012 26;7(9):e45725. Epub 2012 Sep 26.

Department of Renal Medicine, King's College London, London, United Kingdom.

Background: Vitamin A is necessary for kidney development and has also been linked to regulation of solute and water homeostasis and to protection against kidney stone disease, infection, inflammation, and scarring. Most functions of vitamin A are mediated by its main active form, all-trans retinoic acid (tRA), which binds retinoic acid receptors (RARs) to modulate gene expression. We and others have recently reported that renal tRA/RAR activity is confined to the ureteric bud (UB) and collecting duct (CD) cell lineage, suggesting that endogenous tRA/RARs primarily act through regulating gene expression in these cells in embryonic and adult kidney, respectively.

Methodology/principal Findings: To explore target genes of endogenous tRA/RARs, we employed the mIMCD-3 mouse inner medullary CD cell line, which is a model of CD principal cells and exhibits constitutive tRA/RAR activity as CD principal cells do in vivo. Combining antagonism of RARs, inhibition of tRA synthesis, exposure to exogenous tRA, and gene expression profiling techniques, we have identified 125 genes as candidate targets and validated 20 genes that were highly regulated (Dhrs3, Sprr1a, and Ppbp were the top three). Endogenous tRA/RARs were more important in maintaining, rather than suppressing, constitutive gene expression. Although many identified genes were expressed in UBs and/or CDs, their exact functions in this cell lineage are still poorly defined. Nevertheless, gene ontology analysis suggests that these genes are involved in kidney development, renal functioning, and regulation of tRA signaling.

Conclusions/significance: A rigorous approach to defining target genes for endogenous tRA/RARs has been established. At the pan-genomic level, genes regulated by endogenous tRA/RARs in a CD cell line have been catalogued for the first time. Such a catalogue will guide further studies on molecular mediators of endogenous tRA/RARs during kidney development and in relation to renal defects associated with vitamin A deficiency.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0045725PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3458940PMC
May 2013

Restoring the renal microvasculature to treat chronic kidney disease.

Nat Rev Nephrol 2012 02 7;8(4):244-50. Epub 2012 Feb 7.

Nephro-Urology Unit, UCL Institute of Child Health, 30 Guilford Street, London WC1N 1EH, UK.

Chronic kidney disease is characterized by progressive loss of the renal microvasculature, which leads to local areas of hypoxia and induction of profibrotic responses, scarring and deterioration of renal function. Revascularization alone might be sufficient to restore kidney function and regenerate the structure of the diseased kidney. For revascularization to be successful, however, the underlying disease process needs to be halted or alleviated and there must remain a sufficient number of surviving nephron units that can serve as a scaffold for kidney regeneration. This Perspectives article describes how revascularization might be achieved using vascular growth factors or adoptive transfer of endothelial progenitor cells and provides a brief outline of the studies performed to date. An overview of how therapeutic strategies targeting the microvasculature could be enhanced in the future is also presented.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nrneph.2011.219DOI Listing
February 2012

Chronic hypoxia as a mechanism of progression of chronic kidney diseases: from hypothesis to novel therapeutics.

Kidney Int 2008 Oct 16;74(7):867-72. Epub 2008 Jul 16.

Department of Biomedical Sciences, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, USA.

In chronic kidney disease, functional impairment correlates with tubulointerstitial fibrosis characterised by inflammation, accumulation of extracellular matrix, tubular atrophy and rarefaction of peritubular capillaries. Loss of the microvasculature implies a hypoxic milieu and suggested an important role for hypoxia when the "chronic hypoxia hypothesis" was proposed a decade ago as an explanation for the progressive nature of fibrosis. Recent data in man provide evidence of decreased renal oxygenation in chronic kidney disease while more direct support for a causal role comes from data in rodent models showing that the decline in renal oxygenation precedes matrix accumulation, suggesting hypoxia may both initiate and promote the fibrotic response. Indeed, in vitro studies show that hypoxia can induce pro-fibrotic changes in tubulointerstitial cells. Additional postulated roles for hypoxia in chronic kidney disease are the sustaining of the inflammatory response, the recruitment, retention and differentiation towards a pro-fibrotic phenotype of circulating progenitor cells and the alteration of the function of intrinsic stem cell populations. Given that accumulating data suggests that chronic hypoxia is a final common pathway to end-stage renal disease, therapeutic strategies that target hypoxia may be of benefit in retarding progression. Normalisation of microvascular tone, administration of pro-angiogenic factors to restore microvasculature integrity, activation of hypoxia-inducible transcription factors and hypoxia-mediated targeting and mobilisation of progenitor cells are all potential targets for future therapy. The limited success of existing strategies in retarding chronic kidney disease mandates that these new avenues of treatment be explored.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ki.2008.350DOI Listing
October 2008

In vitro models of TGF-beta-induced fibrosis suitable for high-throughput screening of antifibrotic agents.

Am J Physiol Renal Physiol 2007 Aug 9;293(2):F631-40. Epub 2007 May 9.

Kidney Disease Section, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-1268, USA.

Progressive fibrosis is a cause of progressive organ dysfunction. Lack of quantitative in vitro models of fibrosis accounts, at least partially, for the slow progress in developing effective antifibrotic drugs. Here, we report two complementary in vitro models of fibrosis suitable for high-throughput screening. We found that, in mesangial cells and renal fibroblasts grown in eight-well chamber slides, transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-beta1) disrupted the cell monolayer and induced cell migration into nodules in a dose-, time- and Smad3-dependent manner. The nodules contained increased interstitial collagens and showed an increased collagen I:IV ratio. Nodules are likely a biological consequence of TGF-beta1-induced matrix overexpression since they were mimicked by addition of collagen I to the cell culture medium. TGF-beta1-induced nodule formation was inhibited by vacuum ionized gas treatment of the plate surface. This blockage was further enhanced by precoating plates with matrix proteins but was prevented, at least in part, by poly-l-lysine (PLL). We have established two cell-based models of TGF-beta-induced fibrogenesis, using mesangial cells or fibroblasts cultured in matrix protein or PLL-coated 96-well plates, on which TGF-beta1-induced two-dimensional matrix accumulation, three-dimensional nodule formation, and monolayer disruption can be quantitated either spectrophotometrically or by using a colony counter, respectively. As a proof of principle, chemical inhibitors of Alk5 and the antifibrotic compound tranilast were shown to have inhibitory activities in both assays.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajprenal.00379.2006DOI Listing
August 2007

Intrarenal oxygenation in chronic renal failure.

Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol 2006 Oct;33(10):989-96

Centre for Nephrology, Division of Medicine, Royal Free and University College Medical School, University College London, London, UK.

In chronic renal failure (CRF), renal impairment correlates with tubulointerstitial fibrosis characterized by inflammation, interstitial expansion with accumulation of extracellular matrix (ECM), tubular atrophy and vascular obliteration. Tubulointerstitial injury subsequent to glomerular sclerosis may be induced by proteinuria, leakage of glomerular filtrate or injury to the post-glomerular peritubular capillaries (hypoxia). In vivo data in animal models suggest that CRF is associated with hypoxia, with the decline in renal Po2 preceding ECM accumulation. Chronic renal failure is characterized by loss of microvascular profiles but, in the absence of microvascular obliteration, hypoxia can occur by a variety of complementary mechanisms, including anaemia, decreased capillary flow, increased vasoconstriction, increased metabolic demand and increased diffusion distances due to ECM deposition. Hypoxia regulates a wide array of genes, including many fibrogenic factors. Hypoxia-inducible factors (HIF) are the major, but not the sole, transcriptional regulators in the hypoxic response. In CRF, hypoxia may play a role in the sustained inflammatory response. In vitro studies in tubulointerstitial cells suggest that hypoxia can induce profibrogenic changes in proximal tubular epithelial cells and interstitial fibroblasts consistent with changes observed in CRF in vivo. The effect of hypoxia on renal microvascular cells warrants investigation. Hypoxia may play a role in the recruitment, retention and differentiation of circulating progenitor cells to the kidney contributing to the disease process and may also affect intrinsic stem cell populations. Chronic hypoxia in CRF fails to induce a sustained angiogenic response. Therapeutic manipulation of the hypoxic response may be of benefit in slowing progression of CRF. Potential therapies include correction of anaemia, inhibition of the renin-angiotensin system, administration of exogenous pro-angiogenic factors to protect the microvasculature, activation of HIF and hypoxia-mediated targeting of engineered progenitor cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1440-1681.2006.04476.xDOI Listing
October 2006

Protecting the microvasculature: a Tie-ght connection to ameliorating chronic kidney disease?

Authors:
Jill T Norman

J Am Soc Nephrol 2006 Sep 9;17(9):2353-5. Epub 2006 Aug 9.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1681/ASN.2006070741DOI Listing
September 2006

Proteomics profiling of nuclear proteins for kidney fibroblasts suggests hypoxia, meiosis, and cancer may meet in the nucleus.

Proteomics 2005 Jul;5(11):2819-38

Department of Medicine, Rayne Institute, University College London, London, UK.

Proteomics methods were used to characterize proteins that change their form or abundance in the nucleus of NRK49F rat kidney fibroblasts during prolonged hypoxia (1% O(2), 12 h). Of the 791 proteins that were monitored, about 20% showed detectable changes. The 51 most abundant proteins were identified by mass spectrometry. Changes in nuclear receptor transcription factors (THRalpha1, RORalpha4, HNF4alpha, NUR77), other transcription factors (GATA1, AP-2alpha, OCT1, ATF6alpha, ZFP161, ZNF354A, PDCD2), and transcription cofactors (PC4, PCAF, MTA1, TCEA1, JMY) are indicative of major, co-ordinated changes in transcription. Proteins involved in DNA repair/recombination, ribosomal RNA synthesis, RNA processing, nuclear transport, nuclear organization, protein translation, glycolysis, lipid metabolism, several protein kinases (PKCdelta, MAP3K4, GRK3), as well as proteins with no established functional role were also observed. The observed proteins suggest nuclear regulatory roles for proteins involved in cytosolic processes such as glycolysis and fatty acid metabolism, and roles in overall nuclear structure/organization for proteins previously associated with meiosis and/or spermatogenesis (synaptonemal complex proteins 1 and 2 (SYCP1, SYCP2), meiosis-specific nuclear structural protein 1 (MNS1), LMNC2, zinc finger protein 99 (ZFP99)). Proteins associated with cytoplasmic membrane functions (ACTN4, hyaluronan mediated motility receptor (RHAMM), VLDLR, GRK3) and/or endocytosis (DNM2) were also seen. For 30% of the identified proteins, new isoforms indicative of alternative transcription were detected (e.g., GATA1, ATF6alpha, MTA1, MLH1, MYO1C, UBF, SYCP2, EIF3S10, MAP3K4, ZFP99). Comparison with proteins involved in cell death, cancer, and testis/meiosis/spermatogenesis suggests commonalities, which may reflect fundamental mechanisms for down-regulation of cellular function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pmic.200401108DOI Listing
July 2005

Retinoids in nephrology: promises and pitfalls.

Kidney Int 2004 Dec;66(6):2119-31

Department of Medicine, Royal Free and University College Medical School, University College London, London, UK.

Background: Retinoids, a family of vitamin A metabolites or analogs, play an important role in regulating cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis.

Methods: The biological importance of retinoids in the kidney and the potential of retinoids in the treatment of renal diseases are reviewed.

Results: Vitamin A deficiency and mutations of retinoid nuclear receptors cause abnormalities in fetal kidneys, which might predispose to adult diseases such as hypertension. Further, the therapeutic value of retinoids in animal models of kidney diseases, such as lupus nephritis, puromycin aminonucleoside nephrosis, anti-glomerular basement membrane nephritis, mesangioproliferative nephritis, and acute renal allograft rejection has been unveiled recently. Retinoids target mesangial cells, podocytes, tubular epithelial cells, interstitial fibroblasts, as well as lymphocytes and macrophages. The anti-inflammation, anti-coagulation effects, and the proliferation- and immunity-modulating actions of retinoids, have been widely appreciated. Our recent in vitro data revealed a direct antifibrotic effect and a cytoprotective effect of retinoids in various renal cell types. In animal studies, the adverse effects of retinoids are generally minimal; however, the clinical use of retinoids in other diseases points to some major side effects. In addition, in vitro, retinoids can induce lipid accumulation in smooth muscle cells and macrophages and increase expression of some proinflammatory molecules, indicating that their clinical toxicity profile in the setting of renal diseases needs to be better understood.

Conclusion: Retinoids not only are important in renal development, but also show promise as a new generation of renal medication and deserve to be tested in clinical trials to clarify their full potential.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1523-1755.2004.66002.xDOI Listing
December 2004

AlphaV integrins play an important role in myofibroblast differentiation.

Wound Repair Regen 2004 Jul-Aug;12(4):461-70

Eastman Dental Institute, University College London, 256 Grays Inn Road, London WC1 X8LD, United Kingdom.

Transforming growth factor-beta1 is a potent mediator of the differentiation of fibroblasts into myofibroblasts, which is characterized by the appearance of the cytoskeletal protein alpha-smooth muscle actin. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of integrin extracellular matrix receptors in transforming growth factor-beta1-induced myofibroblast differentiation. We show that blockade of the alphav and/or beta1 integrins prevents the transforming growth factor-beta1-induced myofibroblast differentiation, seen by the increased expression of alpha-smooth muscle actin and enhanced collagen gel contraction in three human fibroblast cell lines (from the mouth, skin, and kidney). Further, blockade of alphav specific integrins alphavbeta5 and alphavbeta3 suppressed myofibroblast differentiation in fibroblasts from the mouth and skin; however, in the kidney cells, the prevention of differentiation was seen only with blockade of alphavbeta5 integrin but not alphavbeta3. A possible reason for this result may be different degrees of responsiveness to transforming growth factor-beta1 treatment seen from different anatomical origins of the cell lines. These data indicate a novel role for alphav integrins in the differentiation of human fibroblasts from the mouth, skin, and kidney into myofibroblasts and suggest that there is a common differentiation pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1067-1927.2004.12402.xDOI Listing
November 2004

Angiotensin II blockade augments renal cortical microvascular pO2 indicating a novel, potentially renoprotective action.

Nephron Physiol 2003 ;94(2):p39-46

Centre for Nephrology, Department of Medicine, Royal Free and University College Medical School, London, UK.

Background: The existence of tubulointerstitial damage in most cases of progressive human glomerular disease suggests that this compartment of the kidney is likely to be targeted by renoprotective agents which slow the progression of disease. Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors have become the cornerstone of renal protection. Since we have proposed that perturbation of the interstitial capillary circulation with consequent chronic hypoxia could be critical to the progressive nature of many renal diseases, we developed a dynamic method of measuring renal cortical pO(2) and sought to determine whether agents which block the renal effects of angiotensin II (AII) could affect interstitial microvascular oxygenation in the normal rat kidney.

Methods: Instrumented, anaesthetised adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were studied. Cortical microvascular pO(2 )was measured on the surface of the exposed kidney using protoporphyrin phosphorescence. Blood pressure and renal artery blood flow (Doppler flowmetry) were measured concurrently over a 180-min experimental period. Animals received non-hypotensive doses of enalaprilat (100 microg/kg i.v.) or candesartan (40 microg/kg i.v.) either at the beginning of the experimental period or after an initial decline in cortical microvascular pO(2).

Results: After a 30-min stabilisation period there was a slow decline in pO(2 )from 48.6 +/- 4.1 to 38.5 +/- 6.9 mm Hg in control animals over the 180-min experimental period. Administration of the ACE inhibitor, enalaprilat at the beginning of the experimental period, completely abrogated this decline and protected pO(2) levels throughout this period with no effect on blood pressure or renal blood flow. In separate experiments, administration of enalaprilat after microvascular pO(2) had fallen by 5 mm Hg, resulted in a rise in RBF and pO(2 )within 15 min with pO(2) remaining elevated for up to 60 min post-injection. The angiotensin II AT(1) receptor antagonist, candesartan, had a similar effect to enalaprilat, inducing a rapid and sustained elevation in cortical pO(2).

Conclusions: These studies indicate that blockade of AII raises pO(2 )in the interstitial microvascular compartment of the normal rat kidney. This effect may contribute to the renoprotective action of ACE inhibitors and AII receptor antagonists in slowing the progression of chronic renal diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000071289DOI Listing
August 2003

The breathing kidney.

J Am Soc Nephrol 2002 Jul;13(7):1974-6

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/01.asn.0000024380.91444.c8DOI Listing
July 2002