Improvement of endothelial nitric oxide synthase activity retards the progression of diabetic nephropathy in db/db mice.

Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, George M. O'Brien Kidney and Urologic Diseases Center, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville Veterans Affairs Hospital, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.
Kidney International (Impact Factor: 8.52). 07/2012; DOI: 10.1038/ki.2012.248
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Impaired endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) activity may be involved in the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy. To test this, we used the type 2 diabetic db/db mouse (BKS background) model and found impaired eNOS dimerization and phosphorylation along with moderate glomerular mesangial expansion and increased glomerular basement membrane (GBM) thickness at 34 weeks of age. Cultured murine glomerular endothelial cells exposed to high glucose had similar alterations in eNOS dimerization and phosphorylation. Treatment with sepiapterin, a stable precursor of the eNOS cofactor tetrahydrobiopterin, or the nitric oxide precursor L-arginine corrected changes in eNOS dimerization and phosphorylation, corrected permeability defects, and reduced apoptosis. Sepiapterin or L-arginine, administered to db/db mice from weeks 26 to 34, did not significantly alter hyperfiltration or affect mesangial expansion, but reduced albuminuria and GBM thickness, and decreased urinary isoprostane and nitrotyrosine excretion (markers of oxidative stress). Although there was no change in glomerular eNOS monomer expression, both sepiapterin and L-arginine partially reversed the defect in eNOS dimerization and phosphorylation. Hence, our results support an important role for eNOS dysfunction in diabetes and suggest that sepiapterin supplementation might have therapeutic potential in diabetic nephropathy.Kidney International advance online publication, 11 July 2012; doi:10.1038/ki.2012.248.

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    ABSTRACT: Krüppel-like factor 2 (KLF2), a shear stress-inducible transcription factor, has endoprotective effects. In streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats, we found that glomerular Klf2 expression was reduced in comparison with nondiabetic rats. However, normalization of hyperglycemia by insulin treatment increased Klf2 expression to a level higher than that of nondiabetic rats. Consistent with this, we found that Klf2 expression was suppressed by high glucose but increased by insulin in cultured endothelial cells. To determine the role of KLF2 in streptozotocin-induced diabetic nephropathy, we used endothelial cell-specific Klf2 heterozygous knockout mice and found that diabetic knockout mice developed more kidney/glomerular hypertrophy and proteinuria than diabetic wild-type mice. Glomerular expression of Vegfa, Flk1, and angiopoietin 2 increased, but expression of Flt1, Tie2, and angiopoietin 1 decreased, in diabetic knockout mice compared with diabetic wild-type mice. Glomerular expression of ZO-1, glycocalyx, and eNOS was also decreased in diabetic knockout compared with diabetic wild-type mice. These data suggest knockdown of Klf2 expression in the endothelial cells induced more endothelial cell injury. Interestingly, podocyte injury was also more prominent in diabetic knockout compared with diabetic wild-type mice, indicating a cross talk between these two cell types. Thus, KLF2 may play a role in glomerular endothelial cell injury in early diabetic nephropathy.Kidney International advance online publication, 3 September 2014; doi:10.1038/ki.2014.286.
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