Acute kidney injury predisposes patients to the development of both chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal failure, but the molecular details underlying this important clinical association remain obscure. We report that kidney injury molecule-1 (KIM-1), an epithelial phosphatidylserine receptor expressed transiently after acute injury and chronically in fibrotic renal disease, promotes kidney fibrosis. Conditional expression of KIM-1 in renal epithelial cells (Kim1RECtg) in the absence of an injury stimulus resulted in focal epithelial vacuolization at birth, but otherwise normal tubule histology and kidney function. By 4 weeks of age, Kim1RECtg mice developed spontaneous and progressive interstitial kidney inflammation with fibrosis, leading to renal failure with anemia, proteinuria, hyperphosphatemia, hypertension, cardiac hypertrophy, and death, analogous to progressive kidney disease in humans. Kim1RECtg kidneys had elevated expression of proinflammatory monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1) at early time points. Heterologous expression of KIM-1 in an immortalized proximal tubule cell line triggered MCP-1 secretion and increased MCP-1-dependent macrophage chemotaxis. In mice expressing a mutant, truncated KIM-1 polypeptide, experimental kidney fibrosis was ameliorated with reduced levels of MCP-1, consistent with a profibrotic role for native KIM-1. Thus, sustained KIM-1 expression promotes kidney fibrosis and provides a link between acute and recurrent injury with progressive chronic kidney disease.
"Kim-1 expression also co-localizes with dedifferentiation and proliferation markers (Ichimura et al. 1998), consistent with this model of kidney repair dedifferentiation, migration, and proliferation (Bonventre 2003). Chronic upregulation of Kim-1 can be associated with tubulointerstitial inflammation and fibrosis, however (Humphreys et al. 2013); thus, Kim-1 expression in renal injury can have both adaptive and deleterious effects. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Kidney injury molecule-1 (KIM-1)/T cell Ig and mucin domain-containing protein-1 (TIM-1) is upregulated more than other proteins after AKI, and it is highly expressed in renal damage of various etiologies. In this capacity, KIM-1/TIM-1 acts as a phosphatidylserine receptor on the surface of injured proximal tubular epithelial cells, mediating phagocytosis of apoptotic cells, and it may also act as a costimulatory molecule for immune cells. Despite recognition of KIM-1 as an important therapeutic target for kidney disease, the regulators of KIM-1 transcription in the kidney remain unknown. Using a bioinformatics approach, we identified upstream regulators of KIM-1 after AKI. In response to tubular injury in rat and human kidneys or oxidant stress in human proximal tubular epithelial cells (HPTECs), KIM-1 expression increased significantly in a manner that corresponded temporally and regionally with increased phosphorylation of checkpoint kinase 1 (Chk1) and STAT3. Both ischemic and oxidant stress resulted in a dramatic increase in reactive oxygen species that phosphorylated and activated Chk1, which subsequently bound to STAT3, phosphorylating it at S727. Furthermore, STAT3 bound to the KIM-1 promoter after ischemic and oxidant stress, and pharmacological or genetic induction of STAT3 in HPTECs increased KIM-1 mRNA and protein levels. Conversely, inhibition of STAT3 using siRNAs or dominant negative mutants reduced KIM-1 expression in a kidney cancer cell line (769-P) that expresses high basal levels of KIM-1. These observations highlight Chk1 and STAT3 as critical upstream regulators of KIM-1 expression after AKI and may suggest novel approaches for therapeutic intervention.
Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 10/2013; 25(1). DOI:10.1681/ASN.2013020161 · 9.34 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The kidney possesses the capacity to repair after an acute insult, even one that causes complete organ failure. This regenerative response is characterized by robust proliferation of epithelial cells, principally those located in the proximal tubule. Because defining the origin of these reparative cells has important consequences for stem cell and regenerative approaches to treating kidney injury, this area has been the subject of intense investigation and debate. While progress has been made in narrowing the possible origin of these cells to an intratubular source, there has been no consensus between the possibility of a pre-existing intratubular stem or progenitor cell versus the possibility that fully differentiated epithelial cells re-enter the cell cycle after injury and generate new proximal tubule cells through self-duplication. This review will summarize the evidence on both sides of this active controversy and provide support for the notion that no pre-existing proximal tubule stem cell population exists, but rather all differentiated proximal tubule epithelia have the capacity to proliferate during repair by a mechanism of dedifferentiation and self-duplication.
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