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Juxtaglomerular (JG) cells, major sources of renin, differentiate from metanephric mesenchymal cells that give rise to JG cells or a subset of smooth muscle cells of the renal afferent arteriole. During periods of dehydration and salt deprivation, renal mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) differentiate from JG cells. JG cells undergo expansion and smooth muscle cells redifferentiate to express renin along the afferent arteriole. Gene expression profiling comparing resident renal MSCs with JG cells indicates that the transcription factor Sox6 is highly expressed in JG cells in the adult kidney. In vitro, loss of Sox6 expression reduces differentiation of renal MSCs to renin-producing cells. In vivo, Sox6 expression is upregulated after a low-Na diet and furosemide. Importantly, knockout of Sox6 in Ren1d+ cells halts the increase in renin-expressing cells normally seen during a low-Na diet and furosemide as well as the typical increase in renin. Furthermore, Sox6 ablation in renin-expressing cells halts the recruitment of smooth muscle cells along the afferent arteriole, which normally express renin under these conditions. These results support a previously undefined role for Sox6 in renin expression.
RATIONALE - Pulmonary arterial hypertension is a deadly disease of the pulmonary vasculature for which no disease-modifying therapies exist. Small-vessel stiffening and remodeling are fundamental pathological features of pulmonary arterial hypertension that occur early and drive further endovascular cell dysfunction. Bone marrow (BM)-derived proangiogenic cells (PACs), a specialized heterogeneous subpopulation of myeloid lineage cells, are thought to play an important role in pathogenesis.
OBJECTIVE - To determine whether BM-derived PACs directly contributed to experimental pulmonary hypertension (PH) by promoting small-vessel stiffening through 5-HT (serotonin 2B receptor)-mediated signaling.
METHODS AND RESULTS - We performed BM transplants using transgenic donor animals expressing diphtheria toxin secondary to activation of an endothelial-specific tamoxifen-inducible Cre and induced experimental PH using hypoxia with SU5416 to enhance endovascular injury and ablated BM-derived PACs, after which we measured right ventricular systolic pressures in a closed-chest procedure. BM-derived PAC lineage tracing was accomplished by transplanting BM from transgenic donor animals with fluorescently labeled hematopoietic cells and treating mice with a 5-HT antagonist. BM-derived PAC ablation both prevented and reversed experimental PH with SU5416-enhanced endovascular injury, reducing the number of muscularized pulmonary arterioles and normalizing arteriole stiffness as measured by atomic force microscopy. Similarly, treatment with a pharmacological antagonist of 5-HT also prevented experimental PH, reducing the number and stiffness of muscularized pulmonary arterioles. PACs accelerated pulmonary microvascular endothelial cell injury response in vitro, and the presence of BM-derived PACs significantly correlated with stiffer pulmonary arterioles in pulmonary arterial hypertension patients and mice with experimental PH. RNA sequencing of BM-derived PACs showed that 5-HT antagonism significantly altered biologic pathways regulating cell proliferation, locomotion and migration, and cytokine production and response to cytokine stimulus.
CONCLUSIONS - Together, our findings illustrate that BM-derived PACs directly contribute to experimental PH with SU5416-enhanced endovascular injury by mediating small-vessel stiffening and remodeling in a 5-HT signaling-dependent manner.
BACKGROUND - Two-dimensional measures of vascular architecture provide incomplete information about vascular structure. This study applied a novel rigorous method for 3D microCT-based analysis of total and cortical renal vasculature combined with a novel method to isolate and quantify the number of perfused glomeruli to assess vascular changes in eNOS-/- mice.
METHODS - Two month old male wildtype and eNOS-/- mice were perfused with heparinized saline followed by radiopaque Microfil. The Microfil-perfused vasculature of excised kidneys was imaged by μCT with an isotropic voxel-size of 5.0 μm. For analysis of renal cortical vasculature, a custom algorithm was created to define the cortical volume of interest (VOI) as the entire volume within 600 μm of the renal surface. Vessel thickness in the whole kidney or renal cortex was analyzed by plotting the distribution of vascular volume at each measured thickness and examining differences between the genotypes at individual thicknesses. A second image processing algorithm was created to isolate, identify, and extract contrast perfused glomeruli from the cortical vessels.
RESULTS - Fractional vascular volume (vascular volume/kidney volume; VV/KV) and Vessel Number/mm (V.N) were significantly lower in eNOS-/- mice vs. WT (p < 0.05). eNOS-/- kidneys had significantly fewer perfusable vessels vs. WT in the range of 20-40 μm in thickness. The cortex of eNOS-/- kidneys had significantly lower VV, VV/cortical volume, and V.N, with an increase in the distance between vessels (all p < 0.05). The total volume of vessels in the range of 20-30 μm was significantly lower in the cortex of eNOS-/- mice compared to WT (p < 0.05). Moreover, the total number of perfused glomeruli was significantly decreased in eNOS-/- mice (p < 0.01).
CONCLUSIONS - The methods presented here demonstrate a new method to analyze contrast enhanced μCT images for vascular phenotyping of the murine kidney. These data also demonstrate that kidneys in eNOS-/- mice have severe defects in vascular perfusion/structure in the renal cortex.
RATIONALE - Myocardial infarction causes irreversible tissue damage, leading to heart failure. We recently discovered that canonical Wnt signaling and the Wnt10b ligand are strongly induced in mouse hearts after infarction. Wnt10b regulates cell fate in various organs, but its role in the heart is unknown.
OBJECTIVE - To investigate the effect of Wnt10b gain-of-function on cardiac repair mechanisms and to assess its potential to improve ventricular function after injury.
METHODS AND RESULTS - Histological and molecular analyses showed that Wnt10b is expressed in cardiomyocytes and localized in the intercalated discs of mouse and human hearts. After coronary artery ligation or cryoinjury in mice, Wnt10b is strongly and transiently induced in peri-infarct cardiomyocytes during granulation tissue formation. To determine the effect of Wnt10b on neovascularization and fibrosis, we generated a mouse line to increase endogenous Wnt10b levels in cardiomyocytes. We found that gain of Wnt10b function orchestrated a recovery phenotype characterized by robust neovascularization of the injury zone, less myofibroblasts, reduced scar size, and improved ventricular function compared with wild-type mice. Wnt10b stimulated expression of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 in endothelial cells and angiopoietin-1 in vascular smooth muscle cells through nuclear factor-κB activation. These effects coordinated endothelial growth and smooth muscle cell recruitment, promoting robust formation of large, coronary-like blood vessels.
CONCLUSION - Wnt10b gain-of-function coordinates arterial formation and attenuates fibrosis in cardiac tissue after injury. Because generation of mature blood vessels is necessary for efficient perfusion, our findings could lead to novel strategies to optimize the inherent repair capacity of the heart and prevent the onset of heart failure.
© 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.
Patients undergoing glucocorticoid therapy for a variety of disorders, including autoimmune diseases and hematological malignancies, are at risk of developing osteonecrosis. Despite extensive research in both patients and animal models, the underlying pathogenesis remains unclear. Proposed inciting mechanisms include intravascular thrombotic occlusion, marrow fat hypertrophy, osteocyte and/or endothelial cell apoptosis, hypercoagulability, and vasoconstriction of specific arteries and arterioles supplying bone. Our laboratory has developed a model of steroid-induced osteonecrosis in BALBcJ mice which reflects clinically relevant exposures to glucocorticoids in which treated mice develop osteonecrosis of the distal femoral epiphysis when administered 4 to 8 mg/L dexamethasone in drinking water for 6 weeks. We identified lesions in arterioles supplying this area, with the mildest occurring in knees without any evidence of osteonecrosis. However, arteriopathy was more common among mice that did versus did not develop osteonecrosis (P < 0.0001); in mice with osteonecrosis, the associated vessels showed transmural necrosis and thickening of the vessel wall progressing to the point of luminal obstruction. In the most severe cases of osteonecrosis, end-stage lesions consisted of fully occluded vessels with marrow and bone necrosis involving the entire epiphysis. We propose that a primary arteriopathy is the initiating event in the genesis of steroid-induced osteonecrosis and provides a basis for future investigation of this disease process.
Copyright © 2013 American Society for Investigative Pathology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND/AIMS - Disrupting the enzyme Cyp4a14 in mice leads to hypertension, which is more severe in the male mice and appears to be due to androgen excess. Because the Cyp4a14 enzyme is located in the proximal tubule of the kidney, we hypothesized that there could be dysregulation of transport in this segment that could contribute to the hypertension.
METHODS - Wild-type (SV/129) mice and mice that had targeted disruption of the Cyp4a14 gene were studied. Proximal convoluted tubules (PCT) from knockout and wild-type mice were dissected and perfused in vitrofor measurement of volume absorption (J(V)). Expression of the sodium-hydrogen exchanger 3 (NHE3), the predominant transporter responsible for sodium transport in this segment, was measured by immunoblot. Renal vascular (afferent arteriole) responses to angiotensin and endothelin were also measured.
RESULTS - PCT volume absorption was elevated in tubules from the Cyp4a14 knockout mice as compared to the wild-type mice. Brush border membrane NHE3 expression was almost 2-fold higher in Cyp4a14 knockout mice than in wild-type mice. No difference was found in the afferent arteriolar response.
CONCLUSION - Thus, hypertension in the Cyp4a14 knockout mice appears to be driven by excessive fluid reabsorption in the proximal tubule, which is secondary to overexpression of NHE3.
2009 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Our purpose was to determine whether smooth muscle cell membrane properties are altered in small pulmonary arteries (SPA) of piglets at an early stage of pulmonary hypertension. Piglets were raised in either room air (control) or hypoxia for 3 days. A microelectrode technique was used to measure smooth muscle cell membrane potential (E(m)) in cannulated, pressurized SPA (100- to 300-microm diameter). SPA responses to the voltage-gated K(+) (K(V)) channel antagonist 4-aminopyridine (4-AP) and the K(V)1 family channel antagonist correolide were measured. Other SPA were used to assess amounts of K(V)1.2, K(V)1.5, and K(V)2.1 (immunoblot technique). E(m) was more positive in SPA of chronically hypoxic piglets than in SPA of comparable-age control piglets. The magnitude of constriction elicited by either 4-AP or correolide was diminished in SPA from hypoxic piglets. Abundances of K(V)1.2 were reduced, whereas abundances of both K(V)1.5 and K(V)2.1 were unaltered, in SPA from hypoxic piglets. At least partly because of reduced amounts of K(V)1.2, smooth muscle cell membrane properties are altered such that E(m) is depolarized and K(V) channel family function is impaired in SPA of piglets at an early stage of chronic hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension.
The present studies were performed to determine the contribution of EP(2) receptors to renal hemodynamics by examining afferent arteriolar responses to PGE(2), butaprost, sulprostone, and endothelin-1 in EP(2) receptor-deficient male mice (EP(2)-/-). Afferent arteriolar diameters averaged 17.8 +/- 0.8 microm in wild-type (EP(2)+/+) mice and 16.7 +/- 0.7 microm in EP(2)-/- mice at a renal perfusion pressure of 100 mmHg. Vessels from both groups of mice responded to norepinephrine (0.5 microM) with similar 17-19% decreases in diameter. Diameters of norepinephrine-preconstricted afferent arterioles increased by 7 +/- 2 and 20 +/- 6% in EP(2)+/+ mice in response to 1 microM PGE(2) and 1 microM butaprost, respectively. In contrast, afferent arteriolar diameter of EP(2)-/- mice decreased by 13 +/- 3 and 16 +/- 6% in response to PGE(2) and butaprost. The afferent arteriolar vasoconstriction to butaprost in EP(2)-/- mice was eliminated by angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition. Sulprostone, an EP(1) and EP(3) receptor ligand, decreased afferent arteriolar diameter in both groups; however, the vasoconstriction in the EP(2)-/- mice was greater than in the EP(2)+/+ mice. Endothelin-1-mediated afferent arteriolar diameter responses were enhanced in EP(2)-/- mice. Afferent arteriolar diameter decreased by 29 +/- 7% in EP(2)-/- and 12 +/- 7% in EP(2)+/+ mice after administration of 1 nM endothelin-1. These results demonstrate that the EP(2) receptor mediates a portion of the PGE(2) afferent arteriolar vasodilation and buffers the renal vasoconstrictor responses elicited by EP(1) and EP(3) receptor activation as well as endothelin-1.
In the kidney, epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) have been suggested to be endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factors (EDHFs). The aim of the present study was to determine the contribution of EETs to the preglomerular vasodilation elicited by bradykinin. Sprague-Dawley rats were studied utilizing an in vitro perfused juxtamedullary nephron preparation. The afferent arteriolar diameter was determined and the diameter averaged 19 +/- 1 microm (n = 26) at a renal perfusion pressure of 100 mm Hg. Addition of 1, 10 and 100 nM bradykinin to the perfusate dose-dependently increased afferent arteriolar diameter by 5 +/- 1, 12 +/- 2 and 17 +/- 2%, respectively. The nitric oxide inhibitor N(omega)-nitro-L-arginine reduced bradykinin-induced afferent arteriolar vasodilation by 50%, and the diameter increased by 9 +/- 2% in response to 100 nM bradykinin. Epoxygenase inhibitors N-methylsulphonyl-6-(2-propargyloxyphenyl)hexanamide or miconazole greatly attenuated the nitric oxide-independent component of the vasodilation elicited by bradykinin. Cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibition attenuated the nitric oxide-independent vasodilation elicited by 1 nM bradykinin but did not significantly affect the vascular response to 100 nM bradykinin. Combined inhibition of nitric oxide, COX and epoxygenase pathways completely abolished bradykinin-mediated afferent arteriolar vasodilation. In additional studies, renal microvessels were isolated and incubated with bradykinin and samples were analyzed by NICI/GC/MS. Under control conditions, renal microvascular EET levels averaged 49 +/- 9 pg/mg/20 min (n = 7). In the presence of bradykinin, EET levels were significantly higher and averaged 81 +/- 11 pg/mg/20 min (n = 7). These data support the concept that EETs are EDHFs and contribute to the nitric oxide-independent afferent arteriolar vasodilation elicited by bradykinin.
Copyright 2001 S. Karger AG, Basel
OBJECTIVES - Epoxygenase metabolites produced by the kidney affect renal blood flow and tubular transport function and 11,12-epoxyeicosatrienoic acid (11,12-EET) has been putatively identified as an endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor. The current studies were performed to determine the influence of 11,12-EET on the regulation of afferent arteriolar diameter in angiotensin II-infused hypertensive rats.
MATERIALS AND METHODS - Male Sprague-Dawley rats received angiotensin II (60 ng/min) or vehicle via an osmotic minipump. Angiotensin II-infused hypertensive and vehicle-infused normotensive rats were studied for 2 weeks following implantation of the minipump. Renal microvascular responses to the sulfonimide analog of 11,12-EET (11,12-EET-SI) and angiotensin II were observed utilizing the in-vitro juxtamedullary nephron preparation. Renal cortical epoxygenase enzyme protein levels were quantified by Western blot analysis. Renal microvessels were also isolated and epoxygenase metabolite levels measured by negative ion chemical ionization (NICI)/gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy.
RESULTS - Systolic blood pressure averaged 118 +/- 2 mmHg prior to pump implantation and increased to 185 +/- 7 mmHg in rats infused with angiotensin II for 2 weeks. Afferent arteriolar diameters of 2-week normotensive animals averaged 22 +/- 1 microm. Diameters of the afferent arterioles were 17% smaller in hypertensive rats (P< 0.05); however, arterioles from both groups responded to 11,12-EET-SI (100 nmol) with similar 15-17% increases in diameter. As we previously demonstrated, the afferent arteriolar reactivity to angiotensin II was enhanced in angiotensin II-infused animals. Interestingly, elevation of 11,12-EET-SI levels to 100 nmol reversed the enhanced vascular reactivity to angiotensin II associated with angiotensin II hypertension. Renal microvascular EET levels were not different between groups and averaged 81 +/- 9 and 87 +/- 13 pg/mg per 30 min in normotensive and hypertensive animals, respectively. Renal cortical microsomal levels of the epoxygenase CYP2C23 and CYP2C11 proteins were also similar in normotensive and angiotensin II hypertensive rats.
CONCLUSIONS - Taken together, these data support the concept that renal microvascular 11,12-EET activity and levels may not properly offset the enhanced angiotensin II renal vasoconstriction during angiotensin II hypertension.