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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Fetal ontogeny and role of metanephric bradykinin B2 receptors.

Previous studies in rats have shown that blockade of bradykinin B2 receptors ( B2R) in combination with a high-salt intake during gestation result in poor postnatal survival and long-term hypertension in the offspring. In this study, we examined the fetal ontogeny of B2R and determined the consequences of gestational B2R blockade and high salt on kidney development. B2R gene expression is induced on embryonic day ( E16) of fetal metanephrogenesis and remains sustained until term. The earliest expression of the B2R protein is observed on apical membranes of ureteric bud branches and in capillary loop stage glomeruli. By the end of gestation, B2R becomes restricted to more-differentiated tubules in the deep cortex and medulla. Pairs of rats on normal (0.12 mmol/g) or high (0.84 mmol/g) salt diets were mated at 14 weeks of age. The B2R antagonist, Icatibant (previously known as Hoe-140) (300 nmol/kg per day) or saline (vehicle) was infused intraperitoneally during gestation via osmotic minipumps. Fetuses were examined on E20 (n=27-36 per group). No significant differences in litter size or body weight were observed among the groups. Combined high-salt and Icatibant treatment caused aberrant fetal renal development characterized by tubular dysgenesis, widened stromal mesenchyme, and glomerular cysts. The dysgenetic tubules stained positively for the distal nephron lectin, Dolichos biflorus, and exhibited enhanced Bax expression and apoptosis. Renal microvascular development, the number of mature glomeruli, and percentage of proliferating glomerular cells were not affected. Gestational Icatibant or high salt alone had no deleterious effects on fetal nephrogenesis. We conclude that gestational blockade of the kallikrein-kinin system impairs fetal nephrogenesis if combined with an intrauterine stressor such as high-salt intake. B2R may play a protective role during segmental nephron differentiation.[1]


  1. Fetal ontogeny and role of metanephric bradykinin B2 receptors. El-Dahr, S.S., Dipp, S., Meleg-Smith, S., Pinna-Parpaglia, P., Madeddu, P. Pediatr. Nephrol. (2000) [Pubmed]
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