Ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) of several organs results in complement activation, but the kidney is unique in that activation after I/R occurs only via the alternative pathway. We hypothesized that selective activation of this pathway after renal I/R could occur either because of a loss of complement inhibition or from increased local synthesis of complement factors. We examined the relationship between renal complement activation after I/R and the levels and localization of intrinsic membrane complement inhibitors. We found that loss of polarity of complement receptor 1–related protein y (Crry) in the tubular epithelium preceded activation of the alternative pathway along the basolateral aspect of the tubular cells. Heterozygous gene-targeted mice that expressed lower amounts of Crry were more sensitive to ischemic injury. Furthermore, inhibition of Crry expressed by proximal tubular epithelial cells in vitro resulted in alternative pathway–mediated injury to the cells. Thus, altered expression of a complement inhibitor within the tubular epithelium appears to be a critical factor permitting activation of the alternative pathway of complement after I/R. Increased C3 mRNA and decreased factor H mRNA were also detected in the outer medulla after I/R, suggesting that altered synthesis of these factors might further contribute to complement activation in this location.
Joshua M. Thurman, Danica Ljubanović, Pamela A. Royer, Damian M. Kraus, Hector Molina, Nicholas P. Barry, Gregory Proctor, Moshe Levi, V. Michael Holers
Dialysis dependency is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the world, and once end-stage renal disease develops, it cannot be reversed by currently available therapy. Although administration of large doses of bone morphogenetic protein–7 (BMP-7) has been shown to repair established renal injury and improve renal function, the pathophysiological role of endogenous BMP-7 and regulatory mechanism of its activities remain elusive. Here we show that the product of uterine sensitization-associated gene–1 (USAG1), a novel BMP antagonist abundantly expressed in the kidney, is the central negative regulator of BMP function in the kidney and that mice lacking USAG-1 (USAG1–/– mice) are resistant to renal injury. USAG1–/– mice exhibited prolonged survival and preserved renal function in acute and chronic renal injury models. Renal BMP signaling, assessed by phosphorylation of Smad proteins, was significantly enhanced in USAG1–/– mice with renal injury, indicating that the preservation of renal function is attributable to enhancement of endogenous BMP signaling. Furthermore, the administration of neutralizing antibody against BMP-7 abolished renoprotection in USAG1–/– mice, indicating that USAG-1 plays a critical role in the modulation of renoprotective action of BMP and that inhibition of USAG-1 is a promising means of development of novel treatment for renal diseases.
Motoko Yanagita, Tomohiko Okuda, Shuichiro Endo, Mari Tanaka, Katsu Takahashi, Fumihiro Sugiyama, Satoshi Kunita, Satoru Takahashi, Atsushi Fukatsu, Masashi Yanagisawa, Toru Kita, Takeshi Sakurai
Previous research on proteins that inhibit kidney stone formation has identified a relatively small number of well-characterized inhibitors. Identification of additional stone inhibitors would increase understanding of the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of nephrolithiasis. We have combined conventional biochemical methods with recent advances in mass spectrometry (MS) to identify a novel calcium oxalate (CaOx) crystal growth inhibitor in normal human urine. Anionic proteins were isolated by DEAE adsorption and separated by HiLoad 16/60 Superdex 75 gel filtration. A fraction with potent inhibitory activity against CaOx crystal growth was isolated and purified by anion exchange chromatography. The protein in 2 subfractions that retained inhibitory activity was identified by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization–time-of-flight MS and electrospray ionization–quadrupole–time-of-flight tandem MS as human trefoil factor 1 (TFF1). Western blot analysis confirmed the mass spectrometric protein identification. Functional studies of urinary TFF1 demonstrated that its inhibitory potency was similar to that of nephrocalcin. The inhibitory activity of urinary TFF1 was dose dependent and was inhibited by TFF1 antisera. Anti–C-terminal antibody was particularly effective, consistent with our proposed model in which the 4 C-terminal glutamic residues of TFF1 interact with calcium ions to prevent CaOx crystal growth. Concentrations and relative amounts of TFF1 in the urine of patients with idiopathic CaOx kidney stone were significantly less (2.5-fold for the concentrations and 5- to 22-fold for the relative amounts) than those found in controls. These data indicate that TFF1 is a novel potent CaOx crystal growth inhibitor with a potential pathophysiological role in nephrolithiasis.
Somchai Chutipongtanate, Yasushi Nakagawa, Suchai Sritippayawan, Jeeraporn Pittayamateekul, Paisal Parichatikanond, Bruce R. Westley, Felicity E.B. May, Prida Malasit, Visith Thongboonkerd
The pathogenesis of cachexia in patients with uremia is unknown. We tested the hypothesis that uremia-associated cachexia is caused by leptin signaling through the hypothalamic melanocortin receptor 4 (MC4-R). We performed either subtotal nephrectomy (N) or sham operations in WT, leptin receptor–deficient (db/db), and MC4-R knockout (MC4-RKO) mice. The animals were on 17% protein diets, and none of the uremic animals were acidotic. WT-N mice produced a classic syndrome of cachexia characterized by decreased food intake, increased metabolic rate, and loss of lean body mass. Corrected leptin levels were elevated. db/db mice and MC4-RKO mice resisted the cachexic effects of uremia on weight gain, body composition, and metabolic rate. Likewise, treatment of WT mice with intracranial agouti-related peptide reversed the cachexic effects of uremia on appetite, weight gain, body composition, and metabolic rate. Gene expression of ubiquitin C and proteasome subunits C2, C3, and C9 was not changed in the uremic animals, suggesting that other pathways are involved in this model of nonacidotic uremic cachexia. The results of this study suggest that elevated circulating levels of cytokines such as leptin may be an important cause of uremia-associated cachexia via signaling through the central melanocortin system.
Wai Cheung, Pin X. Yu, Brian M. Little, Roger D. Cone, Daniel L. Marks, Robert H. Mak
TNF is essential for the development of glomerulonephritis, an immune-mediated disorder that is a major cause of renal failure worldwide. However, TNF has proinflammatory and immunosuppressive properties that may segregate at the level of the 2 TNF receptors (TNFRs), TNFR1 and TNFR2. TNFR1-deficient mice subjected to immune complex–mediated glomerulonephritis developed less proteinuria and glomerular injury, and fewer renal leukocyte infiltrates at early time points after disease induction, and this was associated with a reduced systemic immune response to nephrotoxic rabbit IgG. However, proteinuria and renal pathology were similar to those in wild-type controls at later time points, when lack of TNFR1 resulted in excessive renal T cell accumulation and an associated reduction in apoptosis of these cells. In sharp contrast, TNFR2-deficient mice were completely protected from glomerulonephritis at all time points, despite an intact systemic immune response. TNFR2 was induced on glomerular endothelial cells of nephritic kidneys, and TNFR2 expression on intrinsic cells, but not leukocytes, was essential for glomerulonephritis and glomerular complement deposition. Thus, TNFR1 promotes systemic immune responses and renal T cell death, while intrinsic cell TNFR2 plays a critical role in complement-dependent tissue injury. Therefore, therapeutic blockade specifically of TNFR2 may be a promising strategy in the treatment of immune-mediated glomerulonephritis.
Volker Vielhauer, George Stavrakis, Tanya N. Mayadas
Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is the most common human monogenic genetic disorder and is characterized by progressive bilateral renal cysts and the development of renal insufficiency. The cystogenesis of ADPKD is believed to be a monoclonal proliferation of PKD-deficient (PKD–/–) renal tubular epithelial cells. To define the function of Pkd1, we generated chimeric mice by aggregation of Pkd1–/– ES cells and Pkd1+/+ morulae from ROSA26 mice. As occurs in humans with ADPKD, these mice developed cysts in the kidney, liver, and pancreas. Surprisingly, the cyst epithelia of the kidney were composed of both Pkd1–/– and Pkd1+/+ renal tubular epithelial cells in the early stages of cystogenesis. Pkd1–/– cyst epithelial cells changed in shape from cuboidal to flat and replaced Pkd1+/+ cyst epithelial cells lost by JNK-mediated apoptosis in intermediate stages. In late-stage cysts, Pkd1–/– cells continued immortalized proliferation with downregulation of p53. These results provide a novel understanding of the cystogenesis of ADPKD patients. Furthermore, immortalized proliferation without induction of p53 was frequently observed in 3T3-type culture of mouse embryonic fibroblasts from Pkd1–/– mice. Thus, Pkd1 plays a role in preventing immortalized proliferation of renal tubular epithelial cells through the induction of p53 and activation of JNK.
Saori Nishio, Masahiko Hatano, Michio Nagata, Shigeo Horie, Takao Koike, Takeshi Tokuhisa, Toshio Mochizuki
Veronique Chauvet, Xin Tian, Herve Husson, David H. Grimm, Tong Wang, Thomas Hieseberger, Peter Igarashi, Anton M. Bennett, Oxana Ibraghimov-Beskrovnaya, Stefan Somlo, Michael J. Caplan
Neutrophil gelatinase–associated lipocalin (Ngal), also known as siderocalin, forms a complex with iron-binding siderophores (Ngal:siderophore:Fe). This complex converts renal progenitors into epithelial tubules. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that Ngal:siderophore:Fe protects adult kidney epithelial cells or accelerates their recovery from damage. Using a mouse model of severe renal failure, ischemia-reperfusion injury, we show that a single dose of Ngal (10 μg), introduced during the initial phase of the disease, dramatically protects the kidney and mitigates azotemia. Ngal activity depends on delivery of the protein and its siderophore to the proximal tubule. Iron must also be delivered, since blockade of the siderophore with gallium inhibits the rescue from ischemia. The Ngal:siderophore:Fe complex upregulates heme oxygenase-1, a protective enzyme, preserves proximal tubule N-cadherin, and inhibits cell death. Because mouse urine contains an Ngal-dependent siderophore-like activity, endogenous Ngal might also play a protective role. Indeed, Ngal is highly accumulated in the human kidney cortical tubules and in the blood and urine after nephrotoxic and ischemic injury. We reveal what we believe to be a novel pathway of iron traffic that is activated in human and mouse renal diseases, and it provides a unique method for their treatment.
Kiyoshi Mori, H. Thomas Lee, Dana Rapoport, Ian R. Drexler, Kirk Foster, Jun Yang, Kai M. Schmidt-Ott, Xia Chen, Jau Yi Li, Stacey Weiss, Jaya Mishra, Faisal H. Cheema, Glenn Markowitz, Takayoshi Suganami, Kazutomo Sawai, Masashi Mukoyama, Cheryl Kunis, Vivette D’Agati, Prasad Devarajan, Jonathan Barasch
Jorma Wartiovaara, Lars-Göran Öfverstedt, Jamshid Khoshnoodi, Jingjing Zhang, Eetu Mäkelä, Sara Sandin, Vesas Ruotsalainen, R. Holland Cheng, Hannu Jalanko, Ulf Skoglund, Karl Tryggvason
Polycystin-1, which is encoded by a gene that is mutated in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD), is involved in cell-matrix interactions as well as in ciliary signaling. The precise mechanisms by which it functions, however, remain unclear. Here we find that polycystin-1 undergoes a proteolytic cleavage that releases its C-terminal tail (CTT), which enters the nucleus and initiates signaling processes. The cleavage occurs in vivo in association with alterations in mechanical stimuli. Polycystin-2, the product of the second gene mutated in ADPKD, modulates the signaling properties of the polycystin-1 CTT. These data reveal a novel pathway by which polycystin-1 transmits messages directly to the nucleus.
Veronique Chauvet, Xin Tian, Herve Husson, David H. Grimm, Tong Wang, Thomas Hieseberger, Peter Igarashi, Anton M. Bennett, Oxana Ibraghimov-Beskrovnaya, Stefan Somlo, Michael J. Caplan
Nephrin is a key functional component of the slit diaphragm, the structurally unresolved molecular filter in renal glomerular capillaries. Abnormal nephrin or its absence results in severe proteinuria and loss of the slit diaphragm. The diaphragm is a thin extracellular membrane spanning the approximately 40-nm-wide filtration slit between podocyte foot processes covering the capillary surface. Using electron tomography, we show that the slit diaphragm comprises a network of winding molecular strands with pores the same size as or smaller than albumin molecules, as demonstrated in humans, rats, and mice. In the network, which is occasionally stratified, immunogold-nephrin antibodies labeled individually detectable globular cross strands, about 35 nm in length, lining the lateral elongated pores. The cross strands, emanating from both sides of the slit, contacted at the slit center but had free distal endings. Shorter strands associated with the cross strands were observed at their base. Immunolabeling of recombinant nephrin molecules on transfected cells and in vitrified solution corroborated the findings in kidney. Nephrin-deficient proteinuric patients with Finnish-type congenital nephrosis and nephrin-knockout mice had only narrow filtration slits that lacked the slit diaphragm network and the 35-nm-long strands but contained shorter molecular structures. The results suggest the direct involvement of nephrin molecules in constituting the macromolecule-retaining slit diaphragm and its pores.
Jorma Wartiovaara, Lars-Göran Öfverstedt, Jamshid Khoshnoodi, Jingjing Zhang, Eetu Mäkelä, Sara Sandin, Vesa Ruotsalainen, R. Holland Cheng, Hannu Jalanko, Ulf Skoglund, Karl Tryggvason
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a progressive and fatal fibrotic disease of the lungs with unclear etiology. Prior efforts to treat idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis that focused on anti-inflammatory therapy have not proven to be effective. Recent insight suggests that the pathogenesis is mediated through foci of dysregulated fibroblasts driven by profibrotic cytokine signaling. TGF-β and PDGF are 2 of the most potent of these cytokines. In the current study, we investigated the role of TGF-β–induced fibrosis mediated by activation of the Abelson (Abl) tyrosine kinase. Our data indicate that fibroblasts respond to TGF-β by stimulating c-Abl kinase activity independently of Smad2/3 phosphorylation or PDGFR activation. Moreover, inhibition of c-Abl by imatinib prevented TGF-β–induced ECM gene expression, morphologic transformation, and cell proliferation independently of any effect on Smad signaling. Further, using a mouse model of bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis, we found a significant inhibition of lung fibrosis by imatinib. Thus, Abl family members represent common targets for the modulation of profibrotic cytokine signaling.
Craig E. Daniels, Mark C. Wilkes, Maryanne Edens, Ted J. Kottom, Stephen J. Murphy, Andrew H. Limper, Edward B. Leof
Many adult organs contain stem cells, which are pluripotent and are involved in organ maintenance and repair after injury. In situ, these cells often have a low cycling rate and locate in specialized regions (niches). To detect such cells in the kidney, we administered a pulse of the nucleotide bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) to rat and mouse pups and, after a long (more than 2-month) chase, examined whether the kidney contained a population of low-cycling cells. We found that in the adult kidney, BrdU-retaining cells were very sparse except in the renal papilla, where they were numerous. During the repair phase of transient renal ischemia, these cells entered the cell cycle and the BrdU signal quickly disappeared from the papilla, despite the absence of apoptosis in this part of the kidney. In vitro isolation of renal papillary cells showed them to have a plastic phenotype that could be modulated by oxygen tension and that when injected into the renal cortex, they incorporated into the renal parenchyma. In addition, like other stem cells, papillary cells spontaneously formed spheres. Single-cell clones of these cells coexpressed mesenchymal and epithelial proteins and gave rise to myofibroblasts, cells expressing neuronal markers, and cells of uncharacterized phenotype. These data indicate that the renal papilla is a niche for adult kidney stem cells.
Juan A. Oliver, Omar Maarouf, Faisal H. Cheema, Timothy P. Martens, Qais Al-Awqati
In collapsing focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) of HIV-associated nephropathy (HIVAN), podocytes exhibit a high proliferation rate and loss of differentiation markers. We have found previously that the nef gene of HIV-1 is responsible for these changes. Here, we investigated the signaling pathways induced by Nef and its role in the pathogenesis of HIVAN. Using conditionally immortalized podocytes after differentiation, we found that infection of podocytes with nef increased Src kinase activity and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (Stat3) phosphorylation and activated the Ras–c-Raf–MAPK1,2 pathway. A dominant negative mutant of Src abolished the Nef effect, whereas inhibition of MAPK1,2 or dominant negative Stat3 reduced Nef effects partially. Reducing the expression of Nef with small interference RNA reversed the Nef effect. Mutation of Nef in the PxxP or R105R106 motifs diminished Nef signaling and the phenotypic changes in podocytes. Both phospho-MAPK1,2 and phospho-Stat3 staining increased in podocytes of kidneys from HIV-1 transgenic mice compared with their littermates and in podocytes of kidneys from HIVAN patients compared with HIV patients with non-HIVAN kidney diseases or non-HIV patients with idiopathic FSGS, classic FSGS, or minimal-change disease. These data suggest that Nef-induced activation of Stat3 and Ras-MAPK1,2 via Src-dependent pathways is responsible for podocyte proliferation and dedifferentiation, a characteristic finding in collapsing FSGS of HIVAN.
John Cijiang He, Mohammad Husain, Masaaki Sunamoto, Vivette D. D’Agati, Mary E. Klotman, Ravi Iyengar, Paul E. Klotman
Adenosine coordinates organ metabolism and blood supply, and it modulates immune responses. In the kidney it mediates the vascular response elicited by changes in NaCl concentration in the macula densa region of the nephron, thereby serving as an important regulator of GFR. To determine whether adenosine formation depends on extracellular nucleotide hydrolysis, we studied NaCl-dependent GFR regulation (tubuloglomerular feedback) in mice with targeted deletion of ecto-5′-nucleotidase/CD73 (e-5′NT/CD73), the enzyme responsible for adenosine formation from AMP. e-5′NT/CD73–/– mice were viable and showed no gross anatomical abnormalities. Blood pressure, blood and urine chemistry, and renal blood flow were not different between e-5′NT/CD73+/+ and e-5′NT/CD73–/– mice. e-5′NT/CD73–/– mice had a significantly reduced fall in stop flow pressure and superficial nephron glomerular filtration rate in response to a saturating increase of tubular perfusion flow. Furthermore, whereas tubuloglomerular feedback responses did not change significantly during prolonged loop of Henle perfusion in e-5′NT/CD73+/+ mice, a complete disappearance of the residual feedback response was noted in e-5′NT/CD73–/– mice over 10 minutes of perfusion. The contractile response of isolated afferent arterioles to adenosine was normal in e-5′NT/CD73–/– mice. We conclude that the generation of adenosine at the glomerular pole depends to a major extent on e-5′NT/CD73–mediated dephosphorylation of 5′-AMP, presumably generated from released ATP.
Hayo Castrop, Yuning Huang, Seiji Hashimoto, Diane Mizel, Pernille Hansen, Franziska Theilig, Sebastian Bachmann, Chuxia Deng, Josie Briggs, Jurgen Schnermann
While macro- and microscopic kidney development appear to proceed normally in mice that lack Foxi1, electron microscopy reveals an altered ultrastructure of cells lining the distal nephron. Northern blot analyses, cRNA in situ hybridizations, and immunohistochemistry demonstrate a complete loss of expression of several anion transporters, proton pumps, and anion exchange proteins expressed by intercalated cells of the collecting ducts, many of which have been implicated in hereditary forms of distal renal tubular acidosis (dRTA). In Foxi1-null mutants the normal epithelium with its two major cell types — principal and intercalated cells — has been replaced by a single cell type positive for both principal and intercalated cell markers. To test the functional consequences of these alterations, Foxi1–/– mice were compared with WT littermates in their response to an acidic load. This revealed an inability to acidify the urine as well as a lowered systemic buffer capacity and overt acidosis in null mutants. Thus, Foxi1–/– mice seem to develop dRTA due to altered cellular composition of the distal nephron epithelium, thereby denying this epithelium the proper gene expression pattern needed for maintaining adequate acid-base homeostasis.
Sandra Rodrigo Blomqvist, Hilmar Vidarsson, Sharyn Fitzgerald, Bengt R. Johansson, Anna Ollerstam, Russell Brown, A. Erik G. Persson, Göran Bergström, Sven Enerbäck
Kidney podocytes and their slit diaphragms form the final barrier to urinary protein loss. This explains why podocyte injury is typically associated with nephrotic syndrome. The present study uncovered an unanticipated novel role for costimulatory molecule B7-1 in podocytes as an inducible modifier of glomerular permselectivity. B7-1 in podocytes was found in genetic, drug-induced, immune-mediated, and bacterial toxin–induced experimental kidney diseases with nephrotic syndrome. The clinical significance of our results is underscored by the observation that podocyte expression of B7-1 correlated with the severity of human lupus nephritis. In vivo, exposure to low-dose LPS rapidly upregulates B7-1 in podocytes of WT and SCID mice, leading to nephrotic-range proteinuria. Mice lacking B7-1 are protected from LPS-induced nephrotic syndrome, suggesting a link between podocyte B7-1 expression and proteinuria. LPS signaling through toll-like receptor-4 reorganized the podocyte actin cytoskeleton in vitro, and activation of B7-1 in cultured podocytes led to reorganization of vital slit diaphragm proteins. In summary, upregulation of B7-1 in podocytes may contribute to the pathogenesis of proteinuria by disrupting the glomerular filter and provides a novel molecular target to tackle proteinuric kidney diseases. Our findings suggest a novel function for B7-1 in danger signaling by nonimmune cells.
Jochen Reiser, Gero von Gersdorff, Martin Loos, Jun Oh, Katsuhiko Asanuma, Laura Giardino, Maria Pia Rastaldi, Novella Calvaresi, Haruko Watanabe, Karin Schwarz, Christian Faul, Matthias Kretzler, Anne Davidson, Hikaru Sugimoto, Raghu Kalluri, Arlene H. Sharpe, Jordan A. Kreidberg, Peter Mundel
Hepatocyte nuclear factor–1β (HNF-1β) is a Pit-1, Oct-1/2, UNC-86 (POU)/homeodomain-containing transcription factor that regulates tissue-specific gene expression in the liver, kidney, and other organs. Humans with autosomal dominant mutations of HNF-1β develop maturity-onset diabetes of the young type 5 (MODY5) and congenital cystic abnormalities of the kidney. Autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD) is an inherited cystic disorder that produces renal failure in infants and children and is caused by mutations of PKHD1. The proximal promoter of the mouse Pkhd1 gene contains an evolutionarily conserved HNF-1–binding site that is located near a region of deoxyribonuclease hypersensitivity. HNF-1β and the structurally related HNF-1α bind specifically to the Pkhd1 promoter and stimulate gene transcription. Mutations of the HNF-1 site or expression of a dominant-negative HNF-1β mutant inhibit Pkhd1 promoter activity in transfected cells. Transgenic mice expressing a dominant-negative HNF-1β mutant under the control of a kidney-specific promoter develop renal cysts, similarly to humans with MODY5. Pkhd1 transcripts are absent in the cells lining the cysts but are present in morphologically normal surrounding tubules. These studies identify a link between two cystic disease genes, HNF1β (MODY5) and PKHD1 (ARPKD). HNF-1β directly regulates the transcription of Pkhd1, and inhibition of PKHD1 gene expression may contribute to the formation of renal cysts in humans with MODY5.
Thomas Hiesberger, Yun Bai, Xinli Shao, Brian T. McNally, Angus M. Sinclair, Xin Tian, Stefan Somlo, Peter Igarashi
Yingjian Li, Junwei Yang, Chunsun Dai, Chuanyue Wu, Youhua Liu
Tubulointerstitial fibrosis is the final common result of a variety of progressive injuries leading to chronic renal failure. Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) is reportedly upregulated in response to injurious stimuli such as unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO), causing renal fibrosis associated with epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of the renal tubules and synthesis of extracellular matrix. We now show that mice lacking Smad3 (Smad3ex8/ex8), a key signaling intermediate downstream of the TGF-β receptors, are protected against tubulointerstitial fibrosis following UUO as evidenced by blocking of EMT and abrogation of monocyte influx and collagen accumulation. Culture of primary renal tubular epithelial cells from wild-type or Smad3-null mice confirms that the Smad3 pathway is essential for TGF-β1–induced EMT and autoinduction of TGF-β1. Moreover, mechanical stretch of the cultured epithelial cells, mimicking renal tubular distention due to accumulation of urine after UUO, induces EMT following Smad3-mediated upregulation of TGF-β1. Exogenous bone marrow monocytes accelerate EMT of the cultured epithelial cells and renal tubules in the obstructed kidney after UUO dependent on Smad3 signaling. Together the data demonstrate that the Smad3 pathway is central to the pathogenesis of interstitial fibrosis and suggest that inhibitors of this pathway may have clinical application in the treatment of obstructive nephropathy.
Misako Sato, Yasuteru Muragaki, Shizuya Saika, Anita B. Roberts, Akira Ooshima