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BACKGROUND - The cardiac sodium channel (SCN5A) mutation R222Q neutralizes a positive charge in the domain I voltage sensor. Mutation carriers display very frequent ectopy and dilated cardiomyopathy.
OBJECTIVES - To describe the effect of SCN5A R222Q on murine myocyte and Purkinje fiber electrophysiology, and identify underlying mechanisms.
METHODS - We generated mice carrying humanized wild-type (H) and mutant (RQ) SCN5A channels. We characterized whole-heart and isolated ventricular and Purkinje myocyte properties.
RESULTS - RQ/RQ mice were not viable. I from RQ/H ventricular myocytes displayed increased "window current" and hyperpolarizing shifts in both inactivation and activation compared to H/H, as previously reported in heterologous expression systems. Surprisingly, action potentials were markedly abbreviated in RQ/H myocytes (action potential durations at 90% repolarization: 12.6 ± 1.3 ms vs 29.1 ± 1.0 ms in H/H, P < .01, n = 10 each). We identified a large [K]-dependent outward gating pore current in RQ/H but not H/H myocytes, and decreasing [K] elicited early afterdepolarizations (EADs) and triggered activity in isolated myocytes and ectopic beats in whole hearts. Further, RQ/H Purkinje cells displayed striking, consistent low-voltage EADs. In vivo, however, RQ/H mice displayed little ectopy and contractile function was normal.
CONCLUSION - While SCN5A R222Q increases plateau inward sodium current, action potentials were unexpectedly shortened, likely reflecting an outward gating-pore current. Low extracellular potassium increased this pore current, and was arrhythmogenic in vitro and ex vivo.
Copyright © 2019 Heart Rhythm Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
COX (cyclooxygenase)-derived prostaglandins regulate renal hemodynamics and salt and water homeostasis. Inhibition of COX activity causes blood pressure elevation. In addition, chronic analgesic abuse can induce renal injury, including papillary necrosis. COX-2 is highly expressed in the kidney papilla in renal medullary interstitial cells (RMICs). However, its role in blood pressure and papillary integrity in vivo has not been definitively studied. In mice with selective, inducible RMIC COX-2 deletion, a high-salt diet led to an increase in blood pressure that peaked at 4 to 5 weeks and was associated with increased papillary expression of AQP2 (aquaporin 2) and ENac (epithelial sodium channel) and decreased expression of cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator. With continued high-salt feeding, the mice with RMIC COX-2 deletion had progressive decreases in blood pressure from its peak. After return to a normal-salt diet for 3 weeks, blood pressure remained low and was associated with a persistent urinary concentrating defect. Within 2 weeks of institution of a high-salt diet, increased apoptotic RMICs and collecting duct cells could be detected in papillae with RMIC deletion of COX-2, and by 9 weeks of high salt, there was a striking loss of the papillae. Therefore, RMIC COX-2 expression plays a crucial role in renal handling water and sodium homeostasis, preventing salt-sensitive hypertension and maintaining structural integrity of papilla.
UNC-8 and MEC-4 are two members of the degenerin/epithelial Na channel (DEG/ENaC) family of voltage-independent Na channels that share a high degree of sequence homology and functional similarity. For example, both can be hyperactivated by genetic mutations [UNC-8(d) and MEC-4(d)] that induce neuronal death by necrosis. Both depend in vivo on chaperone protein MEC-6 for function, as demonstrated by the finding that neuronal death induced by hyperactive UNC-8 and MEC-4 channels is prevented by null mutations in mec-6. UNC-8 and MEC-4 differ functionally in three major ways: 1) MEC-4 is calcium permeable, whereas UNC-8 is not; 2) UNC-8, but not MEC-4, is blocked by extracellular calcium and magnesium in the micromolar range; and 3) MEC-6 increases the number of MEC-4 channels at the cell surface in oocytes but does not have this effect on UNC-8. We previously reported that Capermeability of MEC-4 is conferred by the second transmembrane domain. We show here that the extracellular "finger" domain of UNC-8 is sufficient to mediate inhibition by divalent cations and that regulation by MEC-6 also depends on this region. Thus, our work confirms that the finger domain houses residues involved in gating of this channel class and shows for the first time that the finger domain also mediates regulation by chaperone protein MEC-6. Given that the finger domain is the most divergent region across the DEG/ENaC family, we speculate that it influences channel trafficking and function in a unique manner depending on the channel subunit.
Sodium accumulates in the interstitium and promotes inflammation through poorly defined mechanisms. We describe a pathway by which sodium enters dendritic cells (DCs) through amiloride-sensitive channels including the alpha and gamma subunits of the epithelial sodium channel and the sodium hydrogen exchanger 1. This leads to calcium influx via the sodium calcium exchanger, activation of protein kinase C (PKC), phosphorylation of p47, and association of p47 with gp91. The assembled NADPH oxidase produces superoxide with subsequent formation of immunogenic isolevuglandin (IsoLG)-protein adducts. DCs activated by excess sodium produce increased interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and promote T cell production of cytokines IL-17A and interferon gamma (IFN-γ). When adoptively transferred into naive mice, these DCs prime hypertension in response to a sub-pressor dose of angiotensin II. These findings provide a mechanistic link between salt, inflammation, and hypertension involving increased oxidative stress and IsoLG production in DCs.
Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
AIM - Rare variants of genes encoding the cardiac sodium channel and associated compounds have been linked with atrial fibrillation (AF). Nevertheless, current expert consensus does not support genetic testing in AF, which is in part based on the fact that "there is no therapeutic impact derived from AF genetic test results". However, there are no studies available supporting this recommendation. Consequently, this study analyzed the impact of rare variants affecting the cardiac sodium channel on rhythm outcome of AF catheter ablation.
METHODS AND RESULTS - In 137 consecutive patients with lone AF enrolled in the Leipzig Heart Center AF ablation registry, screening for mutations in SCN5A, SCN1B - 4B, CAV3, GPD1L, SNTA1 and MOG1 was performed. We identified 3 rare non-synonymous variants in SCN5A, 5 in SCN1B, 1 in SCN4B, 1 in CAV3, 6 in GPD1L, 3 in SNTA1 and 3 in MOG1 (16%). Variant carriers were otherwise comparable with non-variant carriers. Analysis of AF recurrence rates after radiofrequency AF catheter ablation by serial 7-day Holter ECG monitoring between 3 and 12 months revealed no difference between groups, i.e. 45% in variant carriers vs. 49% in non-variant carriers.
CONCLUSIONS - Rare variants in genes encoding the cardiac sodium channel and associated compounds are frequently found in lone AF but were not found to impact the outcome of AF catheter ablation. This finding supports current recommendations not to screen for rare variants for the ablation outcome in AF. Nevertheless, it may at least be helpful for understanding AF mechanisms and larger studies are needed to further explore the possible association between genotype and response to AF therapies.
Aberrant activation of with no lysine (WNK) kinases causes familial hyperkalemic hypertension (FHHt). Thiazide diuretics treat the disease, fostering the view that hyperactivation of the thiazide-sensitive sodium-chloride cotransporter (NCC) in the distal convoluted tubule (DCT) is solely responsible. However, aberrant signaling in the aldosterone-sensitive distal nephron (ASDN) and inhibition of the potassium-excretory renal outer medullary potassium (ROMK) channel have also been implicated. To test these ideas, we introduced kinase-activating mutations after Lox-P sites in the mouse gene, which encodes the terminal kinase in the WNK signaling pathway, Ste20-related proline-alanine-rich kinase (SPAK). Renal expression of the constitutively active (CA)-SPAK mutant was specifically targeted to the early DCT using a DCT-driven Cre recombinase. CA-SPAK mice displayed thiazide-treatable hypertension and hyperkalemia, concurrent with NCC hyperphosphorylation. However, thiazide-mediated inhibition of NCC and consequent restoration of sodium excretion did not immediately restore urinary potassium excretion in CA-SPAK mice. Notably, CA-SPAK mice exhibited ASDN remodeling, involving a reduction in connecting tubule mass and attenuation of epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) and ROMK expression and apical localization. Blocking hyperactive NCC in the DCT gradually restored ASDN structure and ENaC and ROMK expression, concurrent with the restoration of urinary potassium excretion. These findings verify that NCC hyperactivity underlies FHHt but also reveal that NCC-dependent changes in the driving force for potassium secretion are not sufficient to explain hyperkalemia. Instead, a DCT-ASDN coupling process controls potassium balance in health and becomes aberrantly activated in FHHt.
Copyright © 2017 by the American Society of Nephrology.
Hypertension is growing in epidemic proportions worldwide and is now the leading preventable cause of premature death. For over a century, we have known that the kidney plays a critical role in blood pressure regulation. Specifically, abnormalities in renal sodium transport appear to be a final common pathway that gives rise to elevated blood pressure regardless of the nature of the initial hypertensive stimulus. However, it is only in the past decade that we have come to realize that inflammatory cytokines secreted by innate and adaptive immune cells, as well as renal epithelial cells, can modulate the expression and activity of sodium transporters all along the nephron, leading to alterations in pressure natriuresis, sodium and water balance, and ultimately hypertension. This mini-review highlights specific cytokines and the transporters that they regulate and discusses why inflammatory cytokines may have evolved to serve this function.
Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society.
Prostate enlargement leading to clinical benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is associated with metabolic dysregulation and obesity. The genetic basis of this association is unclear. Our objective was to evaluate whether single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) previously associated with metabolic disorders are also associated with prostate volume (PV). Participants included 876 men referred for prostate biopsy and found to be prostate cancer free. PV was measured by transrectal ultrasound. Samples were genotyped using the Illumina Cardio-MetaboChip platform. Multivariable adjusted linear regression models were used to evaluate SNPs (additive coding) in relation to natural-log transformed (log) PV. We compared SNP-PV results from biopsy-negative men to 442 men with low-grade prostate cancer with similar levels of obesity and PV. Beta-coefficients from the discovery and replication samples were then aggregated with fixed effects inverse variance weighted meta-analysis. SNP rs11736129 (near the pseudo-gene LOC100131429) was significantly associated with log-PV (beta: 0.16, p-value 1.16x10(-8)) after adjusting for multiple testing. Other noteworthy SNPs that were nominally associated (p-value < 1x10(-4)) with log-PV included rs9583484 (intronic SNP in COL4A2), rs10146527 (intronic SNP in NRXN3), rs9909466 (SNP near RPL32P31), and rs2241606 (synonymous SNP in SLC12A7). We found several SNPs in metabolic loci associated with PV. Further studies are needed to confirm our results and elucidate the mechanism between these genetic loci, PV, and clinical BPH.
Urinary exosomes secreted by multiple cell types in the kidney may participate in intercellular signaling and provide an enriched source of kidney-specific proteins for biomarker discovery. Factors that alter the exosomal protein content remain unknown. To determine whether endogenous and exogenous hormones modify urinary exosomal protein content, we analyzed samples from 14 mildly hypertensive patients in a crossover study during a high-sodium (HS, 160 mmol/d) diet and low-sodium (LS, 20 mmol/d) diet to activate the endogenous renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. We further analyzed selected exosomal protein content in a separate cohort of healthy persons receiving intravenous aldosterone (0.7 μg/kg per hour for 10 hours) versus vehicle infusion. The LS diet increased plasma renin activity and aldosterone concentration, whereas aldosterone infusion increased only aldosterone concentration. Protein analysis of paired urine exosome samples by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry-based multidimensional protein identification technology detected 2775 unique proteins, of which 316 exhibited significantly altered abundance during LS diet. Sodium chloride cotransporter (NCC) and α- and γ-epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) subunits from the discovery set were verified using targeted multiple reaction monitoring mass spectrometry quantified with isotope-labeled peptide standards. Dietary sodium restriction or acute aldosterone infusion similarly increased urine exosomal γENaC[112-122] peptide concentrations nearly 20-fold, which correlated with plasma aldosterone concentration and urinary Na/K ratio. Urine exosomal NCC and αENaC concentrations were relatively unchanged during these interventions. We conclude that urinary exosome content is altered by renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system activation. Urinary measurement of exosomal γENaC[112-122] concentration may provide a useful biomarker of ENaC activation in future clinical studies.
Copyright © 2016 by the American Society of Nephrology.
Thiazide diuretics are used to treat hypertension; however, compensatory processes in the kidney can limit antihypertensive responses to this class of drugs. Here, we evaluated compensatory pathways in SPAK kinase-deficient mice, which are unable to activate the thiazide-sensitive sodium chloride cotransporter NCC (encoded by Slc12a3). Global transcriptional profiling, combined with biochemical, cell biological, and physiological phenotyping, identified the gene expression signature of the response and revealed how it establishes an adaptive physiology. Salt reabsorption pathways were created by the coordinate induction of a multigene transport system, involving solute carriers (encoded by Slc26a4, Slc4a8, and Slc4a9), carbonic anhydrase isoforms, and V-type H⁺-ATPase subunits in pendrin-positive intercalated cells (PP-ICs) and ENaC subunits in principal cells (PCs). A distal nephron remodeling process and induction of jagged 1/NOTCH signaling, which expands the cortical connecting tubule with PCs and replaces acid-secreting α-ICs with PP-ICs, were partly responsible for the compensation. Salt reabsorption was also activated by induction of an α-ketoglutarate (α-KG) paracrine signaling system. Coordinate regulation of a multigene α-KG synthesis and transport pathway resulted in α-KG secretion into pro-urine, as the α-KG-activated GPCR (Oxgr1) increased on the PP-IC apical surface, allowing paracrine delivery of α-KG to stimulate salt transport. Identification of the integrated compensatory NaCl reabsorption mechanisms provides insight into thiazide diuretic efficacy.