Podocyte and endothelial-specific elimination of BAMBI identifies differential transforming growth factor-β pathways contributing to diabetic glomerulopathy

Han Lai, Anqun Chen, Hong Cai, Jia Fu, Fadi Salem, Yu Li, John C. He, Detlef Schlondorff, Kyung Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) is a central mediator of diabetic nephropathy. The effect of TGF-β, mediated by the type I TGF-β receptor, ALK5, and subsequent Smad2/3 activation results in podocyte apoptosis and loss. Previously, we demonstrated that the genetic deletion of the BMP and Activin Membrane-Bound Inhibitor (BAMBI), a negative modulator TGF-β signaling, accelerates diabetic nephropathy in mice. This was associated with heightened ALK1-mediated activation of Smad1/5 in the glomerular endothelial cells (ECs). Therefore, to evaluate the glomerular cell-specific effects of TGF-β in diabetic nephropathy we examined the effects of the podocyte- or EC-specific loss of Bambi (Pod-Bambi-/- or EC-Bambi-/-) in streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice with endothelial nitric oxide synthase deficiency. Interestingly, although hyperglycemia and body weight loss were similar in all groups of diabetic mice, significant hypertension was present only in the diabetic EC-Bambi-/- mice. While the podocyte or EC-specific loss of BAMBI both accelerated the progression of diabetic nephropathy, the worsened podocyte injury and loss observed in the diabetic Pod-Bambi-/- mice were associated with enhanced Smad3 activation. Increased Smad1/5 activation and EC proliferation were apparent only in the glomeruli of diabetic EC-Bambi-/- mice. The enhanced Smad1/5 activation in diabetic EC-Bambi-/- mice was associated with increased glomerular expression of plasmalemma vesicle-associated protein, pointing to the involvement of immature or dedifferentiated glomerular ECs in diabetic nephropathy. Notably, diabetic EC-Bambi-/- mice displayed podocyte injury and loss that were comparable to diabetic Pod-Bambi-/- mice. Thus, our results highlight the glomerular cell-specific contribution of TGF-β signaling and the intricate cross-talk between injured glomerular cells in the progression of diabetic nephropathy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)601-614
Number of pages14
JournalKidney International
Volume98
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2020

Keywords

  • PLVAP
  • TGF-β
  • diabetic nephropathy
  • glomerular endothelial cells
  • podocyte

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