Progressive renal papillary calcification and ureteral stone formation in mice deficient for Tamm-Horsfall protein.
ABSTRACT Mammalian urine contains a range of macromolecule proteins that play critical roles in renal stone formation, among which Tamm-Horsfall protein (THP) is by far the most abundant. While THP is a potent inhibitor of crystal aggregation in vitro and its ablation in vivo predisposes one of the two existing mouse models to spontaneous intrarenal calcium crystallization, key controversies remain regarding the role of THP in nephrolithiasis. By carrying out a long-range follow-up of more than 250 THP-null mice and their wild-type controls, we demonstrate here that renal calcification is a highly consistent phenotype of the THP-null mice that is age and partially gene dosage dependent, but is gender and genetic background independent. Renal calcification in THP-null mice is progressive, and by 15 mo over 85% of all the THP-null mice develop spontaneous intrarenal crystals. The crystals consist primarily of calcium phosphate in the form of hydroxyapatite, are located more frequently in the interstitial space of the renal papillae than intratubularly, particularly in older animals, and lack accompanying inflammatory cell infiltration. The interstitial deposits of hydroxyapatite observed in THP-null mice bear strong resemblances to the renal crystals found in human kidneys bearing idiopathic calcium oxalate stones. Compared with 24-h urine from the wild-type mice, that of THP-null mice is supersaturated with brushite (calcium phosphate), a stone precursor, and has reduced urinary excretion of citrate, a stone inhibitor. While less frequent than renal calcinosis, renal pelvic and ureteral stones and hydronephrosis occur in the aged THP-null mice. These results provide direct in vivo evidence indicating that normal THP plays an important role in defending the urinary system against calcification and suggest that reduced expression and/or decreased function of THP could contribute to nephrolithiasis.
- [show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Cell membranes have been proposed to serve as promoters for calcium oxalate monohydrate (COM) kidney stone formation. However, direct evidence to demonstrate the modulatory effects of renal tubular cell membranes on COM crystals does not currently exist. We thus examined the effects of intact MDCK cells and their fragmented membranes on COM crystal growth, aggregation and transformation. COM crystals were generated in the absence (control) or presence of intact MDCK cells or their membrane fragments. Intact MDCK cells and their membrane fragments significantly inhibited COM crystal growth (22.6% and 25.2% decreases in size, respectively) and significantly reduced COM total crystal mass (23.1% and 25.6% decreases, respectively). In contrast, both of them markedly promoted crystal aggregation (1.9-fold and 3.2-fold increases, respectively). Moreover, both intact cells and membrane fragments could transform COM to calcium oxalate dihydrate (COD) crystals. Finally, COM crystal growth inhibitory activities of both membrane forms were successfully confirmed by a spectrophotometric oxalate-depletion assay. Our data provide the first direct evidence to demonstrate the dual modulatory effects of MDCK membranes on COM crystals. Although growth of individual COM crystals was inhibited, their aggregation was promoted. These findings provide additional insights into the mechanisms of COM kidney stone formation.Chemico-biological interactions 12/2010; 188(3):421-6. · 2.46 Impact Factor
- [show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Uromodulin (Tamm-Horsfall protein) is the most abundant protein excreted in the urine under physiological conditions. It is exclusively produced in the kidney and secreted into the urine via proteolytic cleavage. Its biological function is still not fully understood. Uromodulin has been linked to water/electrolyte balance and to kidney innate immunity. Also, studies in knockout mice demonstrated that it has a protective role against urinary tract infections and renal stone formation. Mutations in the gene encoding uromodulin lead to rare autosomal dominant diseases, collectively referred to as uromodulin-associated kidney diseases. They are characterized by progressive tubulointerstitial damage, impaired urinary concentrating ability, hyperuricemia, renal cysts, and progressive renal failure. Novel in vivo studies point at intracellular accumulation of mutant uromodulin as a key primary event in the disease pathogenesis. Recently, genome-wide association studies identified uromodulin as a risk factor for chronic kidney disease (CKD) and hypertension, and suggested that the level of uromodulin in the urine could represent a useful biomarker for the development of CKD. In this review, we summarize these recent investigations, ranging from invalidation studies in mouse to Mendelian disorders and genome-wide associations, which led to a rediscovery of uromodulin and boosted the scientific and clinical interest for this long discovered molecule.Kidney International 06/2011; 80(4):338-47. · 7.92 Impact Factor
- International Journal of Refrigeration-revue Internationale Du Froid - INT J REFRIG. 01/2011; 34(2):600-600.