177 research outputs found

    AQP5 is expressed in type-B intercalated cells in the collecting duct system of the rat, mouse and human kidney.

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    We screened human kidney-derived multipotent CD133+/CD24+ ARPCs for the possible expression of all 13 aquaporin isoforms cloned in humans. Interestingly, we found that ARPCs expressed both AQP5 mRNA and mature protein. This novel finding prompted us to investigate the presence of AQP5 in situ in kidney. We report here the novel finding that AQP5 is expressed in human, rat and mouse kidney at the apical membrane of type-B intercalated cells. AQP5 is expressed in the renal cortex and completely absent from the medulla. Immunocytochemical analysis using segment- and cell type-specific markers unambiguously indicated that AQP5 is expressed throughout the collecting system at the apical membrane of type-B intercalated cells, where it co-localizes with pendrin. No basolateral AQPs were detected in type-B intercalated cells, suggesting that AQP5 is unlikely to be involved in the net trans-epithelial water reabsorption occurring in the distal tubule. An intriguing hypothesis is that AQP5 may serve an osmosensor for the composition of the fluid coming from the thick ascending limb. Future studies will unravel the physiological role of AQP5 in the kidney

    Calcium-Sensing Receptor and Aquaporin 2 Interplay in Hypercalciuria-Associated Renal Concentrating Defect in Humans. An In Vivo and In Vitro Study

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    One mechanism proposed for reducing the risk of calcium renal stones is activation of the calcium-sensing receptor (CaR) on the apical membranes of collecting duct principal cells by high luminal calcium. This would reduce the abundance of aquaporin-2 (AQP2) and in turn the rate of water reabsorption. While evidence in cells and in hypercalciuric animal models supports this hypothesis, the relevance of the interplay between the CaR and AQP2 in humans is not clear. This paper reports for the first time a detailed correlation between urinary AQP2 excretion under acute vasopressin action (DDAVP treatment) in hypercalciuric subjects and in parallel analyzes AQP2-CaR crosstalk in a mouse collecting duct cell line (MCD4) expressing endogenous and functional CaR. In normocalciurics, DDAVP administration resulted in a significant increase in AQP2 excretion paralleled by an increase in urinary osmolality indicating a physiological response to DDAVP. In contrast, in hypercalciurics, baseline AQP2 excretion was high and did not significantly increase after DDAVP. Moreover DDAVP treatment was accompanied by a less pronounced increase in urinary osmolality. These data indicate reduced urinary concentrating ability in response to vasopressin in hypercalciurics. Consistent with these results, biotinylation experiments in MCD4 cells revealed that membrane AQP2 expression in unstimulated cells exposed to CaR agonists was higher than in control cells and did not increase significantly in response to short term exposure to forskolin (FK). Interestingly, we found that CaR activation by specific agonists reduced the increase in cAMP and prevented any reduction in Rho activity in response to FK, two crucial pathways for AQP2 translocation. These data support the hypothesis that CaR–AQP2 interplay represents an internal renal defense to mitigate the effects of hypercalciuria on the risk of calcium precipitation during antidiuresis. This mechanism and possibly reduced medulla tonicity may explain the lower concentrating ability observed in hypercalciuric patients

    A mm-Wave 2D Ultra-Wideband Imaging Radar for Breast Cancer Detection

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    This paper presents the preliminary design of a mm-wave ultra-wideband (UWB) radar for breast cancer detection. A mass screening of women for breast cancer is essential, as the early diagnosis of the tumour allows best treatment outcomes. A mm-wave UWB radar could be an innovative solution to achieve the high imaging resolution required without risks for the patient. The 20–40 GHz frequency band used in the system proposed in this work guarantees high cross/range resolution performances. The developed preliminary architecture employs two monomodal truncated double-ridge waveguides that act as antennas; these radiators are shifted by microstep actuators to form a synthetic linear aperture. The minimum antenna-to-antenna distance achievable, the width of the synthetic aperture, and the minimum frequency step determine the performance of the 2D imaging system. Measures are performed with a mm-wave vector network analyzer driven by an automatic routine, which controls also the antennas shifts. The scattering matrix is then calibrated and the delay-multiply-and-sum (DMAS) algorithm is applied to elaborate a high-resolution 2D image of the targets. Experimental results show that 3 mm cross and 8 mm range resolutions were achieved, which is in line with theoretical expectations and promising for future developments

    Potential role of the methylation of VEGF gene promoter in response to hypoxia in oxygen-induced retinopathy: beneficial effect of the absence of AQP4

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    Hypoxia-dependent accumulation of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) plays a major role in retinal diseases characterized by neovessel formation. In this study, we investigated whether the glial water channel Aquaporin-4 (AQP4) is involved in the hypoxia-dependent VEGF upregulation in the retina of a mouse model of oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR). The expression levels of VEGF, the hypoxia-inducible factor-1a (HIF-1a) and the inducible form of nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), the production of nitric oxide (NO), the methylation status of the HIF-1 binding site (HBS) in the VEGF gene promoter, the binding of HIF-1a to the HBS, the retinal vascularization and function have been determined in the retina of wild-type (WT) and AQP4 knock out (KO) mice under hypoxic (OIR) or normoxic conditions. In response to 5 days of hypoxia, WT mice were characterized by (i) AQP4 upregulation, (ii) increased levels of VEGF, HIF-1a, iNOS and NO, (iii) pathological angiogenesis as determined by engorged retinal tufts and (iv) dysfunctional electroretinogram (ERG). AQP4 deletion prevents VEGF, iNOS and NO upregulation in response to hypoxia thus leading to reduced retinal damage although in the presence of high levels of HIF-1a. In AQP4 KO mice, HBS demethylation in response to the beginning of hypoxia is lower than in WT mice reducing the binding of HIF-1a to the VEGF gene promoter. We conclude that in the absence of AQP4, an impaired HBS demethylation prevents HIF-1 binding to the VEGF gene promoter and the relative VEGF transactivation, reducing the VEGF-induced retinal damage in response to hypoxia

    Glio-vascular modifications caused by Aquaporin-4 deletion in the mouse retina

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    Aquaporin-4 (AQP4) is the Central Nervous System water channel highly expressed at the perivascular glial domain. In the retina, two types of AQP4 expressing glial cells take part in the blood-retinal barrier (BRB), astrocytes and Müller cells. The aim of the present study is to investigate the effect of AQP4 deletion on the retinal vasculature by looking at typical pathological hallmark such as BRB dysfunction and gliotic condition.AQP4 dependent BRB properties were evaluated by measuring the number of extravasations in WT and AQP4 KO retinas by Evans blue injection assay. AQP4 deletion did not affect the retinal vasculature, as assessed by Isolectin B4 staining, but caused BRB impairment to the deep plexus capillaries while the superficial and intermediate capillaries were not compromised. To investigate for gliotic responses caused by AQP4 deletion, Müller cells and astrocytes were analysed by immunofluorescence and western blot, using the Müller cell marker Glutamine Synthetase (GS) and the astrocyte marker GFAP. While GS expression was not altered in AQP4 KO retinas, a strong GFAP upregulation was found at the level of AQP4 KO astrocytes at the superficial plexus and not at Müller cells at the intermediate and deep plexi. These data, together with the upregulation of inflammatory markers (TNF-α, IL-6, IL-1β and ICAM-1) in AQP4 KO retinas indicated AQP4 deletion as responsible for a gliotic phenotype. Interestingly, no GFAP altered expression was found in AQP4 siRNA treated astrocyte primary cultures. All together these results indicate that AQP4 deletion is directly responsible for BRB dysfunction and gliotic condition in the mouse retina. The selective activation of glial cells at the primary plexus suggests that different regulatory elements control the reaction of astrocytes and Müller cells. Finally, GFAP upregulation is strictly linked to gliovascular crosstalk, as it is absent in astrocytes in culture. This study is useful to understand the role of AQP4 in the perivascular domain in the retina and its possible implications in the pathogenesis of retinal vascular diseases and of Neuromyelitis Optica, a human disease characterized by anti-AQP4 auto-antibodies

    Role of the H-bond between L53 and T56 for Aquaporin-4 epitope in Neuromyelitis Optica

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    Aquaporin-4 (AQP4) is the CNS water channel organized into well-ordered protein aggregates called Orthogonal Arrays of Particles (OAPs). Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO) is an autoimmune disease caused by anti-OAP autoantibodies (AQP4-IgG). Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations have identified an H-bond between L53 and T56 as the key for AQP4 epitope and therefore of potential interest for drug design in NMO field. In the present study, we have experimentally tested this MD-prediction using the classic mutagenesis approach. We substituted T56 with V56 and tested this mutant for AQP4 aggregates and AQP4-IgG binding. gSTED super-resolution microscopy showed that the mutation does not affect AQP4 aggregate dimension; immunofluorescence and cytofluorimetric analysis demonstrated its unaltered AQP4-IgG binding, therefore invalidating the MD-prediction. We later investigated whether AQP4, expressed in Sf9 insect and HEK-293F cells, is able to correctly aggregate before and after the purification steps usually applied to obtain AQP4 crystal. The results demonstrated that AQP4-IgG recognizes AQP4 expressed in Sf9 and HEK-293F cells by immunofluorescence even though BN-PAGE analysis showed that AQP4 forms smaller aggregates when expressed in insect cells compared to mammalian cell lines. Notably, after AQP4 purification, from both insect and HEK-293F cells, no aggregates are detectable by BN-PAGE and AQP4-IgG binding is impaired in sandwich ELISA assays. All together these results indicate that 1) the MD prediction under analysis is not supported by experimental data and 2) the procedure to obtain AQP4 crystals might affect its native architecture and, as a consequence, MD simulations. In conclusion, given the complex nature of the AQP4 epitope, MD might not be the suitable for molecular medicine advances in NMO

    Urinary Excretion of Kidney Aquaporins as Possible Diagnostic Biomarker of Diabetic Nephropathy

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    Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is a microangiopathic complication of diabetes mellitus (DM) affecting one-third of diabetic patients. The large variability in the clinical presentation of renal involvement in patients with DM makes kidney biopsy a prerequisite for a correct diagnosis. However, renal biopsy is an invasive procedure associated with risk of major complications. Numerous studies aimed to identify a noninvasive biomarker of DN but, so far, none of these is considered to be sufficiently specific and sensitive. Water channel aquaporins (AQPs), expressed at the plasma membrane of epithelial tubular cells, are often dysregulated during DN. In this work, we analyzed the urine excretion of AQP5 and AQP2 (uAQP5 and uAQP2), via exosomes, in 35 diabetic patients: 12 normoalbuminuric with normal renal function (DM), 11 with proteinuric nondiabetic nephropathy (NDN), and 12 with histological diagnosis and classification of DN. ELISA and WB analysis independently showed that uAQP5 was significantly increased in DN patients. Interestingly, linear regression analysis showed a positive correlation between uAQP5 and the histological class of DN. The same analysis, focusing on uAQP2, showed comparable results. Taken together, these data suggest a possible use of AQP5 and AQP2 as novel noninvasive biomarkers to help in classifying the clinical stage of DN
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