Publications by authors named "Nicolas Da Silva"

33 Publications

Cell-assembled extracellular matrix (CAM) sheet production: Translation from using human to large animal cells.

J Tissue Eng 2021 Jan-Dec;12:2041731420978327. Epub 2021 Feb 12.

University of Bordeaux, INSERM, BIOTIS, Bordeaux, France.

We have created entirely biological tissue-engineered vascular grafts (TEVGs) using sheets of cell-assembled extracellular matrix (CAM) produced by human fibroblasts . A large animal TEVG would allow long-term pre-clinical studies in a clinically relevant setting (graft size and allogeneic setting). Therefore, canine, porcine, ovine, and human skin fibroblasts were compared for their ability to form CAM sheets. Serum sourcing greatly influenced CAM production in a species-dependent manner. Ovine cells produced the most homogenous and strongest animal CAM sheets but remained ≈3-fold weaker than human sheets despite variations of serum, ascorbate, insulin, or growth factor supplementations. Key differences in cell growth dynamics, tissue development, and tissue architecture and composition were observed between human and ovine. This study demonstrates critical species-to-species differences in fibroblast behavior and how they pose a challenge when attempting to substitute animal cells for human cells during the development of tissue-engineered constructs that require long-term cultures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2041731420978327DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7887678PMC
February 2021

Macrophages Facilitate Electrical Conduction in the Heart.

Cell 2017 04;169(3):510-522.e20

Center for Systems Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA; Cardiovascular Research Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA. Electronic address:

Organ-specific functions of tissue-resident macrophages in the steady-state heart are unknown. Here, we show that cardiac macrophages facilitate electrical conduction through the distal atrioventricular node, where conducting cells densely intersperse with elongated macrophages expressing connexin 43. When coupled to spontaneously beating cardiomyocytes via connexin-43-containing gap junctions, cardiac macrophages have a negative resting membrane potential and depolarize in synchrony with cardiomyocytes. Conversely, macrophages render the resting membrane potential of cardiomyocytes more positive and, according to computational modeling, accelerate their repolarization. Photostimulation of channelrhodopsin-2-expressing macrophages improves atrioventricular conduction, whereas conditional deletion of connexin 43 in macrophages and congenital lack of macrophages delay atrioventricular conduction. In the Cd11b mouse, macrophage ablation induces progressive atrioventricular block. These observations implicate macrophages in normal and aberrant cardiac conduction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2017.03.050DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5474950PMC
April 2017

Macrophages and dendritic cells in the post-testicular environment.

Cell Tissue Res 2016 Jan 4;363(1):97-104. Epub 2015 Sep 4.

Division of Nephrology, Center for Systems Biology and Program in Membrane Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital Research Institute and Harvard Medical School, 185 Cambridge Street, CPZN 8.218, Boston, MA 02114-2790, USA.

Macrophages (MΦ) and dendritic cells (DCs) are heterogeneous families of functionally and developmentally related immune cells that play crucial roles in tissue homeostasis and the regulation of immune responses. During the past 5 years, immunologists have generated a considerable amount of data that challenge dogmas about the ontogeny and functions of these highly versatile cells. The male excurrent duct system plays a critical role in the establishment of fertility by allowing sperm maturation, transport and storage. In addition, it is challenged by pathogens and must establish a protective and tolerogenic environment for a continuous flow of autoantigenic spermatozoa. The post-testicular environment and, in particular, the epididymis contain an intricate network of DCs and MΦ; however, the immunophysiology of this intriguing and highly specialized mucosal system is poorly understood. This review summarizes the current trends in mouse MΦ and DC biology and speculates about their roles in the steady-state epididymis. Unraveling immune cell functions in the male reproductive tract is an essential prerequisite for the design of innovative strategies aimed at controlling male fertility and treating infertility.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00441-015-2270-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4703462PMC
January 2016

Exploring the role of mononuclear phagocytes in the epididymis.

Asian J Androl 2015 Jul-Aug;17(4):591-6

Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Division of Nephrology, Center for Systems Biology, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

The onslaught of foreign antigens carried by spermatozoa into the epididymis, an organ that has not demonstrated immune privilege, a decade or more after the establishment of central immune tolerance presents a unique biological challenge. Historically, the physical confinement of spermatozoa to the epididymal tubule enforced by a tightly interwoven wall of epithelial cells was considered sufficient enough to prevent cross talk between gametes and the immune system and, ultimately, autoimmune destruction. The discovery of an intricate arrangement of mononuclear phagocytes (MPs) comprising dendritic cells and macrophages in the murine epididymis suggests that we may have underestimated the existence of a sophisticated mucosal immune system in the posttesticular environment. This review consolidates our current knowledge of the physiology of MPs in the steady state epididymis and speculates on possible interactions between auto-antigenic spermatozoa, pathogens and the immune system by drawing on what is known about the immune system in the intestinal mucosa. Ultimately, further investigation will provide valuable information regarding the origins of pathologies arising as a result of autoimmune or inflammatory responses in the epididymis, including epididymitis and infertility.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/1008-682X.153540DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4492049PMC
March 2016

Macrophages retain hematopoietic stem cells in the spleen via VCAM-1.

J Exp Med 2015 Apr 23;212(4):497-512. Epub 2015 Mar 23.

Center for Systems Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114

Splenic myelopoiesis provides a steady flow of leukocytes to inflamed tissues, and leukocytosis correlates with cardiovascular mortality. Yet regulation of hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) activity in the spleen is incompletely understood. Here, we show that red pulp vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1)(+) macrophages are essential to extramedullary myelopoiesis because these macrophages use the adhesion molecule VCAM-1 to retain HSCs in the spleen. Nanoparticle-enabled in vivo RNAi silencing of the receptor for macrophage colony stimulation factor (M-CSFR) blocked splenic macrophage maturation, reduced splenic VCAM-1 expression and compromised splenic HSC retention. Both, depleting macrophages in CD169 iDTR mice or silencing VCAM-1 in macrophages released HSCs from the spleen. When we silenced either VCAM-1 or M-CSFR in mice with myocardial infarction or in ApoE(-/-) mice with atherosclerosis, nanoparticle-enabled in vivo RNAi mitigated blood leukocytosis, limited inflammation in the ischemic heart, and reduced myeloid cell numbers in atherosclerotic plaques.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1084/jem.20141642DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4387283PMC
April 2015

Role of testicular luminal factors on Basal cell elongation and proliferation in the mouse epididymis.

Biol Reprod 2015 Jan 19;92(1). Epub 2014 Nov 19.

Center for Systems Biology, Program in Membrane Biology and Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts

A subset of basal cells (BCs) in the initial segment (IS) of the mouse epididymis has a slender body projection between adjacent epithelial cells. We show here that these projections occasionally cross the apical tight junctions and are in contact with the luminal environment. Luminal testicular factors are critical for the establishment of the IS epithelium, and we investigated their role in the regulation of this luminal sensing property. Efferent duct ligation (EDL) was performed to block luminal flow from the testis without affecting blood flow. Cytokeratin 5 (KRT5) labeling showed a time-dependent reduction of the percentage of BCs with intercellular projections from 1 to 5 days after EDL, compared to controls. Double labeling for caspase-3 and KRT5 showed that a subset of BCs undergoes apoptosis 1 day after EDL. Ki67/KRT5 double labeling showed a low rate of BC proliferation under basal conditions. However, EDL induced a marked increase in the proliferation rate of a subset of BCs 2 days after EDL. A 2-wk treatment with the androgen receptor antagonist flutamide did not affect the number of BCs with intercellular projections, but reduced BC proliferation. Flutamide treatment also reduced the increase in BC proliferation induced 2 days after EDL. We conclude that, in the adult mouse IS, 1) luminal testicular factors play an important role in the ability of BCs to extend their body projection towards the lumen, and are essential for the survival of a subset of BCs; 2) androgens play an important role in the proliferation of some of the BCs that survive the initial insult induced by EDL; and 3) the formation and elongation of BC intercellular projections do not depend on androgens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1095/biolreprod.114.123943DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4434934PMC
January 2015

CFTR interacts with ZO-1 to regulate tight junction assembly and epithelial differentiation through the ZONAB pathway.

J Cell Sci 2014 Oct 8;127(Pt 20):4396-408. Epub 2014 Aug 8.

Center for Systems Biology, Program in Membrane Biology, Nephrology Division, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA

Mutations in CFTR lead to dysfunction of tubular organs, which is currently attributed to impairment of its conductive properties. We now show that CFTR regulates tight junction assembly and epithelial cell differentiation through modulation of the ZO-1-ZONAB pathway. CFTR colocalizes with ZO-1 at the tight junctions of trachea and epididymis, and is expressed before ZO-1 in Wolffian ducts. CFTR interacts with ZO-1 through the CTFR PDZ-binding domain. In a three-dimensional (3D) epithelial cell culture model, CFTR regulates tight junction assembly and is required for tubulogenesis. CFTR inhibition or knockdown reduces ZO-1 expression and induces the translocation of the transcription factor ZONAB (also known as YBX3) from tight junctions to the nucleus, followed by upregulation of the transcription of CCND1 and downregulation of ErbB2 transcription. The epididymal tubules of cftr(-/-) and cftr(ΔF508) mice have reduced ZO-1 levels, increased ZONAB nuclear expression, and decreased epithelial cell differentiation, illustrated by the reduced expression of apical AQP9 and V-ATPase. This study provides a new paradigm for the etiology of diseases associated with CFTR mutations, including cystic fibrosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jcs.148098DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4197086PMC
October 2014

Differential contribution of monocytes to heart macrophages in steady-state and after myocardial infarction.

Circ Res 2014 Jul 1;115(2):284-95. Epub 2014 May 1.

From the Center for Systems Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston (T.H., G.C., P.D., H.B.S., M.S., Y.I., Y.S., N.D.S., F.K.S., R.W., M.N.); Department of Drug Discovery and Development, Harrison School of Pharmacy, Auburn University, AL (P.P.); Department of Cardiology, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (A.M.v.d.L.); and Department of Systems Biology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA (R.W.).

Rationale: Macrophages populate the steady-state myocardium. Previously, all macrophages were thought to arise from monocytes; however, it emerged that, in several organs, tissue-resident macrophages may self-maintain through local proliferation.

Objective: Our aim was to study the contribution of monocytes to cardiac-resident macrophages in steady state, after macrophage depletion in CD11b(DTR/+) mice and in myocardial infarction.

Methods And Results: Using in vivo fate mapping and flow cytometry, we estimated that during steady state the heart macrophage population turns over in ≈1 month. To explore the source of cardiac-resident macrophages, we joined the circulation of mice using parabiosis. After 6 weeks, we observed blood monocyte chimerism of 35.3±3.4%, whereas heart macrophages showed a much lower chimerism of 2.7±0.5% (P<0.01). Macrophages self-renewed locally through proliferation: 2.1±0.3% incorporated bromodeoxyuridine 2 hours after a single injection, and 13.7±1.4% heart macrophages stained positive for the cell cycle marker Ki-67. The cells likely participate in defense against infection, because we found them to ingest fluorescently labeled bacteria. In ischemic myocardium, we observed that tissue-resident macrophages died locally, whereas some also migrated to hematopoietic organs. If the steady state was perturbed by coronary ligation or diphtheria toxin-induced macrophage depletion in CD11b(DTR/+) mice, blood monocytes replenished heart macrophages. However, in the chronic phase after myocardial infarction, macrophages residing in the infarct were again independent from the blood monocyte pool, returning to the steady-state situation.

Conclusions: In this study, we show differential contribution of monocytes to heart macrophages during steady state, after macrophage depletion or in the acute and chronic phase after myocardial infarction. We found that macrophages participate in the immunosurveillance of myocardial tissue. These data correspond with previous studies on tissue-resident macrophages and raise important questions on the fate and function of macrophages during the development of heart failure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.115.303567DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4082439PMC
July 2014

Epithelial basal cells are distinct from dendritic cells and macrophages in the mouse epididymis.

Biol Reprod 2014 May 1;90(5):90. Epub 2014 May 1.

Division of Nephrology/Program in Membrane Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

The epithelium that lines the epididymal duct establishes the optimal milieu in which spermatozoa mature, acquire motility, and are stored. This finely tuned environment also protects antigenic sperm against pathogens and autoimmunity, which are potential causes of transient or permanent infertility. The epididymal epithelium is pseudostratified and contains basal cells (BCs) that are located beneath other epithelial cells. Previous studies showed that in the mouse epididymis, BCs possess macrophage-like characteristics. However, we previously identified a dense population of cells belonging to the mononuclear phagocyte (MP) system (comprised of macrophages and dendritic cells) in the basal compartment of the mouse epididymis and showed that a subset of MPs express the macrophage marker F4/80. In the present study, we evaluate the distribution of BCs and MPs in the epididymis of transgenic CD11c-EYFP mice, in which EYFP is expressed exclusively in MPs, using antibodies against the BC marker keratin 5 (KRT5) and the macrophage marker F4/80. Immunofluorescence labeling for laminin, a basement membrane marker, showed that BCs and most MPs are located in the basal region of the epithelium. Confocal microscopy showed that in the initial segment, both BCs and MPs project intraepithelial extensions and establish a very intricate network. Flow cytometry experiments demonstrated that epididymal MPs and BCs are phenotypically distinct. BCs do not express F4/80, and MPs do not express KRT5. Therefore, despite their proximity and some morphological similarities with peritubular macrophages and dendritic cells, BCs do not belong to the MP system.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1095/biolreprod.113.116681DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4076373PMC
May 2014

ATP secretion in the male reproductive tract: essential role of CFTR.

J Physiol 2012 Sep 18;590(17):4209-22. Epub 2012 Jun 18.

Center for Systems Biology/Program in Membrane Biology/Nephrology Division, Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA.

Extracellular ATP is essential for the function of the epididymis and spermatozoa, but ATP release in the epididymis remains uncharacterized. We investigated here whether epithelial cells release ATP into the lumen of the epididymis, and we examined the role of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR), a Cl(-) and HCO(3)(-) conducting ion channel known to be associated with male fertility, in this process. Immunofluorescence labelling of mouse cauda epididymidis showed expression of CFTR in principal cells but not in other epithelial cells. CFTR mRNA was not detectable in clear cells isolated by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) from B1-EGFP mice, which express enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) exclusively in these cells in the epididymis. ATP release was detected from the mouse epididymal principal cell line (DC2) and increased by adrenaline and forskolin. Inhibition of CFTR with CFTR(inh172) and transfection with CFTR-specific siRNAs in DC2 cells reduced basal and forskolin-activated ATP release. CFTR-dependent ATP release was also observed in primary cultures of mouse epididymal epithelial cells. In addition, steady-state ATP release was detected in vivo in mice, by measuring ATP concentration in a solution perfused through the lumen of the cauda epididymidis tubule and collected by cannulation of the vas deferens. Luminal CFTR(inh172) reduced the ATP concentration detected in the perfusate. This study shows that CFTR is involved in the regulation of ATP release from principal cells in the cauda epididymidis. Given that mutations in CFTR are a leading cause of male infertility, we propose that defective ATP signalling in the epididymis might contribute to dysfunction of the male reproductive tract associated with these mutations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1113/jphysiol.2012.230581DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3473280PMC
September 2012

Establishment of cell-cell cross talk in the epididymis: control of luminal acidification.

J Androl 2011 Nov-Dec;32(6):576-86. Epub 2011 Mar 25.

Program in Membrane Biology, MGH Simches Research Center, 185 Cambridge Street, Boston, MA 02114, USA.

Male infertility is often caused by sperm that have low motility and interact poorly with the oocyte. Spermatozoa acquire these crucial functions in the epididymis. A low luminal bicarbonate (HCO(3)(-)) concentration and low pH keep sperm quiescent during their maturation and storage in this organ. This review describes how epididymal epithelial cells work in a concerted manner, together with spermatozoa, to establish and maintain this acidic luminal environment. Clear cells express the proton-pumping ATPase (V-ATPase) in their apical membrane and actively secrete protons. HCO(3)(-) induces V-ATPase accumulation in apical microvilli in clear cells via HCO(3)(-)-sensitive adenylyl cyclase-dependent cAMP production. HCO(3)(-) is secreted from principal cells following basolateral stimulation, to transiently "prime" spermatozoa before ejaculation. Luminal ATP and adenosine also induce V-ATPase apical accumulation in clear cells via activation of P2 and P1 receptors, respectively. ATP is released into the lumen from sperm and principal cells and is then metabolized into adenosine by local nucleotidases. In addition, the V-ATPase is regulated by luminal angiotensin II via activation of basal cells, which can extend narrow body projections that cross the tight junction barrier. Basal cells then secrete nitric oxide, which diffuses out to stimulate proton secretion in clear cells via activation of the cGMP pathway. Thus, an elaborate communication network is present between principal cells and clear cells, and between basal cells and clear cells, to control luminal acidification. Monitoring and decoding these "intercellular conversations" will help define pathophysiologic mechanisms underlying male infertility.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2164/jandrol.111.012971DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3753098PMC
February 2012

Regulation of V-ATPase recycling via a RhoA- and ROCKII-dependent pathway in epididymal clear cells.

Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 2011 Jul 16;301(1):C31-43. Epub 2011 Mar 16.

Center for Systems Biology, Program in Membrane Biology/Nephrology Division, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.

Luminal acidification in the epididymis is critical for sperm maturation and storage. Clear cells express the vacuolar H(+)-ATPase (V-ATPase) in their apical membrane and are major contributors to proton secretion. We showed that this process is regulated via recycling of V-ATPase-containing vesicles. We now report that RhoA and its effector ROCKII are enriched in rat epididymal clear cells. In addition, cortical F-actin was detected beneath the apical membrane and along the lateral membrane of "resting" clear cells using a pan-actin antibody or phalloidin-TRITC. In vivo luminal perfusion of the cauda epididymal tubule with the ROCK inhibitors Y27632 (10-30 μM) and HA1077 (30 μM) or with the cell-permeable Rho inhibitor Clostridium botulinum C3 transferase (3.75 μg/ml) induced the apical membrane accumulation of V-ATPase and extension of V-ATPase-labeled microvilli in clear cells. However, these newly formed microvilli were devoid of ROCKII. In addition, Y27632 (30 μM) or HA1077 (30 μM) decreased the ratio of F-actin to G-actin detected by Western blot analysis in epididymal epithelial cells, and Y27632 also decreased the ratio of F-actin to G-actin in clear cells isolated by fluorescence activated cell sorting from B1-enhanced green fluorescence protein (EGFP) transgenic mice. These results provide evidence that depolymerization of the cortical actin cytoskeleton via inhibition of RhoA or its effector ROCKII favors the recruitment of V-ATPase from the cytosolic compartment into the apical membrane in clear cells. In addition, our data suggest that the RhoA-ROCKII pathway is not locally involved in the elongation of apical microvilli. We propose that inhibition of RhoA-ROCKII might be part of the intracellular signaling cascade that is triggered upon agonist-induced apical membrane V-ATPase accumulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajpcell.00198.2010DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3129830PMC
July 2011

A dense network of dendritic cells populates the murine epididymis.

Reproduction 2011 May 10;141(5):653-63. Epub 2011 Feb 10.

Program in Membrane Biology and Division of Nephrology, Center for Systems Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 185 Cambridge Street, CPZN 8.206, Boston, Massachusetts 02114-2790, USA.

One of the most intriguing aspects of male reproductive physiology is the ability to generate spermatogenic cells - which are 'foreign' to the host - without triggering immune activation. After leaving the testis, spermatozoa enter the epididymis where they mature and are stored. In this study, we report a previously unrecognized dense network of dendritic cells (DCs) located at the base of the epididymal epithelium. This network was detected in transgenic mice expressing CD11c-EYFP and CX3CR1-GFP reporters. Epididymal DCs (eDCs) establish intimate interactions with the epithelium and project long dendrites between epithelial cells toward the lumen. We show that isolated eDCs express numerous leukocyte markers described previously in other organs that are in contact with the external environment, and present and cross-present ovalbumin to T cells in vitro. eDCs are, therefore, strategically positioned to regulate the complex interplay between immune tolerance and activation, a balance that is fundamental to male fertility.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1530/REP-10-0493DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3657760PMC
May 2011

Calcitonin has a vasopressin-like effect on aquaporin-2 trafficking and urinary concentration.

J Am Soc Nephrol 2011 Jan 11;22(1):59-72. Epub 2010 Nov 11.

Massachusetts General Hospital, Center for Systems Biology, Program in Membrane Biology and Division of Nephrology, Simches Research Center, Room 8202, 185 Cambridge Street, Boston, MA 02114, USA.

The most common cause of hereditary nephrogenic diabetes insipidus is a nonfunctional vasopressin (VP) receptor type 2 (V2R). Calcitonin, another ligand of G-protein-coupled receptors, has a VP-like effect on electrolytes and water reabsorption, suggesting that it may affect AQP2 trafficking. Here, calcitonin increased intracellular cAMP and stimulated the membrane accumulation of AQP2 in LLC-PK1 cells. Pharmacologic inhibition of protein kinase A (PKA) and deficiency of a critical PKA phosphorylation site on AQP2 both prevented calcitonin-induced membrane accumulation of AQP2. Fluorescence assays showed that calcitonin led to a 70% increase in exocytosis and a 20% decrease in endocytosis of AQP2. Immunostaining of rat kidney slices demonstrated that calcitonin induced a significant redistribution of AQP2 to the apical membrane of principal cells in cortical collecting ducts and connecting segments but not in the inner stripe or inner medulla. Calcitonin-treated VP-deficient Brattleboro rats had a reduced urine flow and two-fold higher urine osmolality during the first 12 hours of treatment compared with control groups. Although this VP-like effect of calcitonin diminished over the following 72 hours, the tachyphylaxis was reversible. Taken together, these data show that calcitonin induces cAMP-dependent AQP2 trafficking in cortical collecting and connecting tubules in parallel with an increase in urine concentration. This suggests that calcitonin has a potential therapeutic use in nephrogenic diabetes insipidus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1681/ASN.2009121267DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3014035PMC
January 2011

Nucleic acids within urinary exosomes/microvesicles are potential biomarkers for renal disease.

Kidney Int 2010 Jul 28;78(2):191-9. Epub 2010 Apr 28.

Division of Nephrology, Center for Systems Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.

Urinary exosomes or microvesicles are being studied intensively to identify potential new biomarkers for renal disease. We sought to identify whether these microvesicles contain nucleic acids. We isolated microvesicles from human urine in the same density range as that previously described for urinary exosomes and found them to have an RNA integrity profile similar to that of kidney tissue, including 18S and 28S rRNA. This profile was better preserved in urinary microvesicles compared with whole cells isolated from urine, suggesting that microvesicles may protect RNA during urine passage. We were able to detect mRNA in the human urinary microvesicles encoding proteins from all regions of the nephron and the collecting duct. Further, to provide a proof of principle, we found that microvesicles isolated from the urine of the V-ATPase B1 subunit knockout mice lacked mRNA of this subunit while containing a normal amount of the B2 subunit and aquaporin 2. The microvesicles were found to be contaminated with extraneous DNA potentially on their surface; therefore, we developed a rapid and reliable means to isolate nucleic acids from within urine microvesicles devoid of this extraneous contamination. Our study provides an experimental strategy for the routine isolation and use of urinary microvesicles as a novel and non-invasive source of nucleic acids to further renal disease biomarker discovery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ki.2010.106DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4451567PMC
July 2010

Proteomic analysis of V-ATPase-rich cells harvested from the kidney and epididymis by fluorescence-activated cell sorting.

Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 2010 Jun 24;298(6):C1326-42. Epub 2010 Feb 24.

Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Proton-transporting cells are located in several tissues where they acidify the extracellular environment. These cells express the vacuolar H(+)-ATPase (V-ATPase) B1 subunit (ATP6V1B1) in their plasma membrane. We provide here a comprehensive catalog of the proteins that are expressed in these cells, after their isolation by enzymatic digestion and fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) from transgenic B1-enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) mice. In these mice, type A and B intercalated cells and connecting segment cells of the kidney, and narrow and clear cells of the epididymis, which all express ATP6V1B1, also express EGFP, while all other cell types are negative. The proteome of renal and epididymal EGFP-positive (EGFP(+)) cells was identified by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) and compared with their respective EGFP-negative (EGFP(-)) cell populations. A total of 2,297 and 1,564 proteins were detected in EGFP(+) cells from the kidney and epididymis, respectively. Out of these proteins, 202 and 178 were enriched by a factor greater than 1.5 in EGFP(+) cells compared with EGFP(-) cells, in the kidney and epididymis respectively, and included subunits of the V-ATPase (B1, a4, and A). In addition, several proteins involved in intracellular trafficking, signaling, and cytoskeletal dynamics were identified. A novel common protein that was enriched in renal and epididymal EGFP(+) cells is the progesterone receptor, which might be a potential candidate for the regulation of V-ATPase-dependent proton transport. These proteomic databases provide a framework for comprehensive future analysis of the common and distinct functions of V-ATPase-B1-expressing cells in the kidney and epididymis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajpcell.00552.2009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2889637PMC
June 2010

Dragon enhances BMP signaling and increases transepithelial resistance in kidney epithelial cells.

J Am Soc Nephrol 2010 Apr 18;21(4):666-77. Epub 2010 Feb 18.

Center for Systems Biology, Program in Membrane Biology and Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

The neuronal adhesion protein Dragon acts as a bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) coreceptor that enhances BMP signaling. Given the importance of BMP signaling in nephrogenesis and its putative role in the response to injury in the adult kidney, we studied the localization and function of Dragon in the kidney. We observed that Dragon localized predominantly to the apical surfaces of tubular epithelial cells in the thick ascending limbs, distal convoluted tubules, and collecting ducts of mice. Dragon expression was weak in the proximal tubules and glomeruli. In mouse inner medullary collecting duct (mIMCD3) cells, Dragon generated BMP signals in a ligand-dependent manner, and BMP4 is the predominant endogenous ligand for the Dragon coreceptor. In mIMCD3 cells, BMP4 normally signaled through BMPRII, but Dragon enhanced its signaling through the BMP type II receptor ActRIIA. Dragon and BMP4 increased transepithelial resistance (TER) through the Smad1/5/8 pathway. In epithelial cells isolated from the proximal tubule and intercalated cells of collecting ducts, we observed coexpression of ActRIIA, Dragon, and BMP4 but not BMPRII. Taken together, these results suggest that Dragon may enhance BMP signaling in renal tubular epithelial cells and maintain normal renal physiology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1681/ASN.2009050511DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2844302PMC
April 2010

Role of purinergic signaling pathways in V-ATPase recruitment to apical membrane of acidifying epididymal clear cells.

Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 2010 Apr 13;298(4):C817-30. Epub 2010 Jan 13.

Center for Systems Biology, Program in Membrane Biology/Nephrology Division, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.

Extracellular purinergic agonists regulate a broad range of physiological functions via P1 and P2 receptors. Using the epididymis as a model system in which luminal acidification is essential for sperm maturation and storage, we show here that extracellular ATP and its hydrolysis product adenosine trigger the apical accumulation of vacuolar H(+)-ATPase (V-ATPase) in acidifying clear cells. We demonstrate that the epididymis can hydrolyze luminal ATP into other purinergic agonists such as ADP via the activity of nucleotidases located in the epididymal fluid and in the apical membrane of epithelial cells. Alkaline phosphatase activity and abundant ecto-5'-nucleotidase protein were detected in the apical pole of principal cells. In addition, we show that nine nucleotidase genes (Nt5e, Alpl, Alpp, Enpp1, 2, and 3, and Entpd 2, 4, and 5), seven ATP P2 receptor genes (P2X1, P2X2, P2X3, P2X4, P2X6, P2Y2, P2Y5), and three adenosine P1 receptor genes (A1, A2B, and A3) are expressed in epithelial cells isolated by laser cut microdissection (LCM). The calcium chelator BAPTA-AM abolished the apical V-ATPase accumulation induced by ATP, supporting the contribution of P2X or P2Y in this response. The PKA inhibitor myristoylated protein kinase inhibitor (mPKI) inhibited adenosine-dependent V-ATPase apical accumulation, indicating the participation of the P1 A2B receptor. Altogether, these results suggest that the activation of P1 and P2 purinergic receptors by ATP and adenosine might play a significant role in luminal acidification in the epididymis, a process that is crucial for the establishment of male fertility.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajpcell.00460.2009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2853219PMC
April 2010

Regulation of luminal acidification in the male reproductive tract via cell-cell crosstalk.

J Exp Biol 2009 Jun;212(Pt 11):1753-61

Center for Systems Biology, Program in Membrane Biology, Nephrology Division, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA.

In the epididymis, spermatozoa acquire their ability to become motile and to fertilize an egg. A luminal acidic pH and a low bicarbonate concentration help keep spermatozoa in a quiescent state during their maturation and storage in this organ. Net proton secretion is crucial to maintain the acidity of the luminal fluid in the epididymis. A sub-population of epithelial cells, the clear cells, express high levels of the proton-pumping V-ATPase in their apical membrane and are important contributors to luminal acidification. This review describes selected aspects of V-ATPase regulation in clear cells. The assembly of a particular set of V-ATPase subunit isoforms governs the targeting of the pump to the apical plasma membrane. Regulation of V-ATPase-dependent proton secretion occurs via recycling mechanisms. The bicarbonate-activated adenylyl cyclase is involved in the non-hormonal regulation of V-ATPase recycling, following activation of bicarbonate secretion by principal cells. The V-ATPase is also regulated in a paracrine manner by luminal angiotensin II by activation of the angiotensin II type 2 receptor (AGTR2), which is located in basal cells. Basal cells have the remarkable property of extending long and slender cytoplasmic projections that cross the tight junction barrier to monitor the luminal environment. Clear cells are activated by a nitric oxide signal that originates from basal cells. Thus, a complex interplay between the different cell types present in the epithelium leads to activation of the luminal acidifying capacity of the epididymis, a process that is crucial for sperm maturation and storage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jeb.027284DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2683015PMC
June 2009

Transepithelial projections from basal cells are luminal sensors in pseudostratified epithelia.

Cell 2008 Dec;135(6):1108-17

Center for Systems Biology, Program in Membrane Biology/Nephrology Division, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA.

Basal cells are by definition located on the basolateral side of several epithelia, and they have never been observed reaching the lumen. Using high-resolution 3D confocal imaging, we report that basal cells extend long and slender cytoplasmic projections that not only reach toward the lumen but can cross the tight junction barrier in some epithelia of the male reproductive and respiratory tracts. In this way, the basal cell plasma membrane is exposed to the luminal environment. In the epididymis, in which luminal acidification is crucial for sperm maturation and storage, these projections contain the angiotensin II type 2 receptor (AGTR2). Activation of AGTR2 by luminal angiotensin II, increases proton secretion by adjacent clear cells, which are devoid of AGTR2. We propose a paradigm in which basal cells scan and sense the luminal environment of pseudostratified epithelia and modulate epithelial function by a mechanism involving crosstalk with other epithelial cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2008.10.020DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2646085PMC
December 2008

Role of NHERF1, cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator, and cAMP in the regulation of aquaporin 9.

J Biol Chem 2008 Feb 30;283(5):2986-96. Epub 2007 Nov 30.

Center for Systems Biology, Program in Membrane Biology/Nephrology Division, Simches Research Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, 185 Cambridge Street, Boston, MA 02114, USA.

Water and solute transport across the plasma membrane of cells is a crucial biological function that is mediated mainly by aquaporins and aquaglyceroporins. The regulation of these membrane proteins is still incompletely understood. Using the male reproductive tract as a model system in which water and glycerol transport are critical for the establishment of fertility, we now report a novel pathway for the regulation of aquaporin 9 (AQP9) permeability. AQP9 is the major aquaglyceroporin of the epididymis, liver, and peripheral leukocytes, and its COOH-terminal portion contains a putative PDZ binding motif (SVIM). Here we show that NHERF1, cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR), and AQP9 co-localize in the apical membrane of principal cells of the epididymis and the vas deferens, and that both NHERF1 and CFTR co-immunoprecipitate with AQP9. Overlay assays revealed that AQP9 binds to both the PDZ1 and PDZ2 domains of NHERF1, with an apparently higher affinity for PDZ1 versus PDZ2. Pull-down assays showed that the AQP9 COOH-terminal SVIM motif is essential for interaction with NHERF1. Functional assays on isolated tubules perfused in vitro showed a high permeability of the apical membrane to glycerol, which is inhibited by the AQP9 inhibitor, phloretin, and is markedly activated by cAMP. The CFTR inhibitors DPC, GlyH-101 and CFTRinh-172 all significantly reduced the cAMP-activated glycerol-induced cell swelling. We propose that CFTR is an important regulator of AQP9 and that the interaction between AQP9, NHERF1, and CFTR may facilitate the activation of AQP9 by cAMP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M704678200DOI Listing
February 2008

Association of soluble adenylyl cyclase with the V-ATPase in renal epithelial cells.

Am J Physiol Renal Physiol 2008 Jan 24;294(1):F130-8. Epub 2007 Oct 24.

Center for Systems Biology, Program in Membrane Biology and Division of Nephrology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA.

Activation of soluble adenylyl cyclase (sAC) by bicarbonate causes local cAMP generation, indicating that sAC might act as a pH and/or bicarbonate sensor in kidney cells involved in acid-base homeostasis. Therefore, we examined the expression of sAC in renal acid-base transporting intercalated cells (IC) and compared its distribution to that of the vacuolar proton pumping ATPase (V-ATPase) under different conditions. In all IC, sAC and V-ATPase showed considerable overlap under basal conditions, but sAC staining was also found in other cellular locations in the absence of V-ATPase. In type A-IC, both sAC and V-ATPase were apically and subapically located, whereas in type B-IC, significant basolateral colocalization of sAC and the V-ATPase was seen. When apical membrane insertion of the V-ATPase was stimulated by treatment of rats with acetazolamide, sAC was also concentrated in the apical membrane of A-IC. In mice that lack a functional B1 subunit of the V-ATPase, sAC was colocalized apically in A-IC along with V-ATPase containing the alternative B2 subunit isoform. The close association between these two enzymes was confirmed by coimmunoprecipitation of sAC from kidney homogenates using anti-V-ATPase antibodies. Our data show that sAC and the V-ATPase colocalize in IC, that they are concentrated in the IC plasma membrane under conditions that "activate" these proton secretory cells, and that they are both present in an immunoprecipitated complex. This suggests that these enzymes have a close association and could be part of a protein complex that is involved in regulating renal distal proton secretion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajprenal.00406.2007DOI Listing
January 2008

Compensatory membrane expression of the V-ATPase B2 subunit isoform in renal medullary intercalated cells of B1-deficient mice.

Am J Physiol Renal Physiol 2007 Dec 26;293(6):F1915-26. Epub 2007 Sep 26.

Div. of Nephrology, Massachusetts General Hospital, 185 Cambridge St., CPZN 8150, Boston, MA 02114, USA.

Mice deficient in the ATP6V1B1 ("B1") subunit of the vacuolar proton-pumping ATPase (V-ATPase) maintain body acid-base homeostasis under normal conditions, but not when exposed to an acid load. Here, compensatory mechanisms involving the alternate ATP6V1B2 ("B2") isoform were examined to explain the persistence of baseline pH regulation in these animals. By immunocytochemistry, the mean pixel intensity of apical B2 immunostaining in medullary A intercalated cells (A-ICs) was twofold greater in B1-/- mice than in B1+/+ animals, and B2 was colocalized with other V-ATPase subunits. No significant upregulation of B2 mRNA or protein expression was detected in B1-/- mice compared with wild-type controls. We conclude that increased apical B2 staining is due to relocalization of B2-containing V-ATPase complexes from the cytosol to the plasma membrane. Recycling of B2-containing holoenzymes between these domains was confirmed by the intracellular accumulation of B1-deficient V-ATPases in response to the microtubule-disrupting drug colchicine. V-ATPase membrane expression is further supported by the presence of "rod-shaped" intramembranous particles seen by freeze fracture microscopy in apical membranes of normal and B1-deficient A-ICs. Intracellular pH recovery assays show that significant (28-40% of normal) V-ATPase function is preserved in medullary ICs from B1-/- mice. We conclude that the activity of apical B2-containing V-ATPase holoenzymes in A-ICs is sufficient to maintain baseline acid-base homeostasis in B1-deficient mice. However, our results show no increase in cell surface V-ATPase activity in response to metabolic acidosis in ICs from these animals, consistent with their inability to appropriately acidify their urine under these conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajprenal.00160.2007DOI Listing
December 2007

Regulation of vacuolar proton pumping ATPase-dependent luminal acidification in the epididymis.

Asian J Androl 2007 Jul;9(4):476-82

Program in Membrane Biology/Nephrology Division, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA.

Luminal acidification in the epididymis is an important process for the regulation of male fertility. Low pH and low bicarbonate concentration are among key factors that keep spermatozoa in a dormant state while they mature and are stored in this organ. Although significant bicarbonate reabsorption is achieved by principal cells in the proximal regions of the epididymis, clear and narrow cells are specialized for net proton secretion. Clear cells express very high levels of the vacuolar proton pumping ATPase (V-ATPase) in their apical membrane and are responsible for the bulk of proton secretion. In the present paper, selected aspects of V-ATPase regulation in clear cells are described and potential pathologies associated with mutations of some of the V-ATPase subunits are discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-7262.2007.00299.xDOI Listing
July 2007

Relocalization of the V-ATPase B2 subunit to the apical membrane of epididymal clear cells of mice deficient in the B1 subunit.

Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 2007 Jul 28;293(1):C199-210. Epub 2007 Mar 28.

Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Program in Membrane Biology, Nephrology Div., 185 Cambridge St., CPZN 8150, Boston, MA 02114-2790, USA.

An acidic luminal pH in the epididymis contributes to maintaining sperm quiescent during their maturation and storage. The vacuolar H(+)ATPase (V-ATPase), located in narrow and clear cells, is a major contributor to luminal acidification. Mutations in one of the V-ATPase subunits, ATP6v1B1 (B1), cause distal renal tubular acidosis in humans but surprisingly, B1(-/-) mice do not develop metabolic acidosis and are fertile. While B1 is located in the apical membrane of narrow and clear cells, the B2 subunit localizes to subapical vesicles in wild-type mouse, rat and human epididymis. However, a marked increase (84%) in the mean pixel intensity of B2 staining was observed in the apical pole of clear cells by conventional immunofluorescence, and relocalization into their apical membrane was detected by confocal microscopy in B1(-/-) mice compared with B1(+/+). Immunogold electron microscopy showed abundant B2 in the apical microvilli of clear cells in B1(-/-) mice. B2 mRNA expression, determined by real time RT-PCR using laser-microdissected epithelial cells, was identical in both groups. Semiquantitative Western blots from whole epididymis and cauda epididymidis showed no variation of B2 expression. Finally, the luminal pH of the cauda epididymidis was the same in B1(-/-) mice as in B1(+/+) (pH 6.7). These data indicate that whereas overall expression of B2 is not affected in B1(-/-) mice, significant redistribution of B2-containing complexes occurs from intracellular compartments into the apical membrane of clear cells in B1(-/-) mice. This relocation compensates for the absence of functional B1 and maintains the luminal pH in an acidic range that is compatible with fertility.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajpcell.00596.2006DOI Listing
July 2007

Segmental and cellular expression of aquaporins in the male excurrent duct.

Biochim Biophys Acta 2006 Aug 21;1758(8):1025-33. Epub 2006 Jul 21.

Program in Membrane Biology-Nephrology Division, Massachusetts General Hospital, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114-2790, USA.

The male reproductive tract and accessory glands comprise a complex but interrelated system of tissues that are composed of many distinct cell types, all of which contribute to the ability of spermatozoa to carry out their ultimate function of fertilizing an oocyte. Spermatozoa undergo their final steps of maturation as they pass through the male excurrent duct, which includes efferent ducts, the epididymis and the vas deferens. The composition of the luminal environment in these organs is tightly regulated. Major fluid reabsorption occurs in efferent ducts and in the epididymis, and leads to a significant increase in sperm concentration. In the distal epididymis and vas deferens, fluid secretion controls the final fluidity of the luminal content. Therefore, the process of water movement in the excurrent duct is a crucial step for the establishment of male fertility. Aquaporins contribute to transepithelial water transport in many tissues, including the kidney, the brain, the eye and the respiratory tract. The present article reviews our current knowledge regarding the distribution and function of aquaporins in the male excurrent duct.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbamem.2006.06.026DOI Listing
August 2006

Postnatal expression of aquaporins in epithelial cells of the rat epididymis.

Biol Reprod 2006 Feb 12;74(2):427-38. Epub 2005 Oct 12.

Massachusetts General Hospital, Program in Membrane Biology-Nephrology Division, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.

The mammalian aquaporins (AQPs) are a family of 13 transmembrane channel proteins that are involved in the transport of water in numerous organs. In the male excurrent duct, the movement of fluid and solutes across the epithelium is essential for establishing the proper luminal environment in which sperm mature and are stored. AQP9 is abundantly expressed in the efferent ducts, the epididymis, and the vas deferens, where it could represent an important apical pathway for transmembrane water and solute movement. However, other organs in which water transport is critical, including the kidney, the lung, or the eye, express several different AQPs with a cell-specific pattern. To undertake a systematic analysis of the expression of known AQPs in the postnatal and adult rat epididymis, we examined the expression of their respective mRNAs in epithelial cells isolated by laser capture microdissection (LCM), and we determined their corresponding protein expression pattern by immunofluorescence and Western blotting. Our data show that, whereas AQP9 is the main AQP of the epididymis, the mRNA specific for Aqp2, 5, 7, and 11 are also expressed in epididymal epithelial cells. AQP5 protein colocalizes with AQP9 in the apical membrane of a subpopulation of principal cells in the corpus and cauda regions. Aqp2 mRNA was detected in epithelial cells after the second postnatal week and the amount significantly increased up to adulthood. However, AQP2 protein was detected only in the distal cauda of young rats (between the second and fourth postnatal week). No AQP2 protein was detected in the adult epididymis, indicating that posttranscriptional mechanisms are involved in the regulation of AQP2 expression. In addition, epididymal epithelial cells express significant amounts of the mRNAs coding for AQP7 and 11. No mRNA or protein for AQPs 0, 4, 6, and 8 were detectable in epithelial cells, and Aqp1 was detected in whole epididymal samples, but not in epithelial cells. Thanks to the recent development of microdissection technologies, our observations suggest that epididymal epithelial cells express several members of the AQP family with a region-specific pattern. AQPs may be involved not only in the transepithelial transport of water in the epididymis but also in the postnatal development of this organ, as suggested by the differential expression of AQP2.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1095/biolreprod.105.044735DOI Listing
February 2006

Modulation of the actin cytoskeleton via gelsolin regulates vacuolar H+-ATPase recycling.

J Biol Chem 2005 Mar 9;280(9):8452-63. Epub 2004 Dec 9.

Program in Membrane Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, Massachusetts 02129, USA.

The role of the actin cytoskeleton in regulating membrane protein trafficking is complex and depends on the cell type and protein being examined. Using the epididymis as a model system in which luminal acidification is crucial for sperm maturation and storage, we now report that modulation of the actin cytoskeleton by the calcium-activated actin-capping and -severing protein gelsolin plays a key role in regulating vacuolar H(+)-ATPase (V-ATPase) recycling. Epididymal clear cells contain abundant V-ATPase in their apical pole, and an increase in their cell-surface V-ATPase expression correlates with an increase in luminal proton secretion. We have shown that apical membrane accumulation of V-ATPase is triggered by an elevation in cAMP following activation of bicarbonate-regulated soluble adenylyl cyclase in response to alkaline luminal pH (Pastor-Soler, N., Beaulieu, V., Litvin, T. N., Da Silva, N., Chen, Y., Brown, D., Buck, J., Levin, L. R., and Breton, S. (2003) J. Biol. Chem. 278, 49523-49529). Here, we show that clear cells express high levels of gelsolin, indicating a potential role in the functional activity of these cells. When jasplakinolide was used to overcome the severing action of gelsolin by polymerizing actin, complete inhibition of the alkaline pH- and cAMP-induced apical membrane accumulation of V-ATPase was observed. Conversely, when gelsolin-mediated actin filament elongation was inhibited using a 10-residue peptide (PBP10) derived from the phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate-binding region (phosphoinositide-binding domain 2) of gelsolin, significant V-ATPase apical membrane mobilization was induced, even at acidic luminal pH. In contrast, the calcium chelator 1,2-bis(2-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid tetrakis(acetoxymethyl ester) and the phospholipase C inhibitor U-73122 inhibited the alkaline pH-induced V-ATPase apical accumulation. Thus, maintenance of the actin cytoskeleton in a depolymerized state by gelsolin facilitates calcium-dependent apical accumulation of V-ATPase in response to luminal pH alkalinization. Gelsolin is present in other cell types that express the V-ATPase in their plasma membrane and recycling vesicles, including kidney intercalated cells and osteoclasts. Therefore, modulation of the actin cortex by this severing and capping protein may represent a common mechanism by which these cells regulate their rate of proton secretion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M412750200DOI Listing
March 2005

Expression of the 56-kDa B2 subunit isoform of the vacuolar H(+)-ATPase in proton-secreting cells of the kidney and epididymis.

Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 2004 Jul 10;287(1):C149-62. Epub 2004 Mar 10.

Program in Membrane Biology/Renal Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, MA 02129, USA.

B1 and B2 are two highly homologous isoforms of the vacuolar H(+)-ATPase (V-ATPase) 56-kDa B subunit. We investigated whether the B2 subunit is expressed alongside B1 in proton-secreting cells of the rodent kidney collecting duct (intercalated cells, IC) and epididymis (clear cells) by using antibodies against distinct COOH-terminal peptides from the two B isoforms. B2 was detected not only in the kidney proximal tubule, thick ascending limb, distal convoluted tubule, and connecting segment but also in A- and B-type IC of collecting ducts (CD) in both rat and mouse. B2 had a predominant cytoplasmic localization in most IC but was clearly located in a tighter apical band together with the V-ATPase 31-kDa E subunit in some A-IC, especially in the medulla. Apical membrane staining was confirmed by immunogold electron microscopy. B2 was very weakly expressed on the basolateral membranes of B-IC in control kidney CD, but some connecting segment B-IC had more distinct basolateral staining. In response to chronic carbonic anhydrase inhibition by acetazolamide, many A-IC showed a strong apical membrane localization of B2, where it colocalized with E and B1. In rat and mouse epididymis, B2 isoform expression was detected in clear cells, where it was concentrated in subapical vesicles. Unlike B1, B2 did not colocalize with the E subunit in the apical microvilli. These findings indicate that in addition to its role in the acidification of intracellular organelles, the B2 isoform could also contribute to transepithelial proton secretion and the maintenance of acid-base homeostasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajpcell.00464.2003DOI Listing
July 2004

Bicarbonate-regulated adenylyl cyclase (sAC) is a sensor that regulates pH-dependent V-ATPase recycling.

J Biol Chem 2003 Dec 25;278(49):49523-9. Epub 2003 Sep 25.

Program in Membrane Biology and Renal Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, Massachusetts 02129, USA.

Modulation of environmental pH is critical for the function of many biological systems. However, the molecular identity of the pH sensor and its interaction with downstream effector proteins remain poorly understood. Using the male reproductive tract as a model system in which luminal acidification is critical for sperm maturation and storage, we now report a novel pathway for pH regulation linking the bicarbonate activated soluble adenylyl cyclase (sAC) to the vacuolar H+ATPase (V-ATPase). Clear cells of the epididymis and vas deferens contain abundant V-ATPase in their apical pole and are responsible for acidifying the lumen. Proton secretion is regulated via active recycling of V-ATPase. Here we demonstrate that this recycling is regulated by luminal pH and bicarbonate. sAC is highly expressed in clear cells, and apical membrane accumulation of V-ATPase is triggered by a sAC-dependent rise in cAMP in response to alkaline luminal pH. As sAC is expressed in other acid/base transporting epithelia, including kidney and choroid plexus, this cAMP-dependent signal transduction pathway may be a widespread mechanism that allows cells to sense and modulate extracellular pH.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M309543200DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3652382PMC
December 2003