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

Overexpression of brain natriuretic peptide in mice ameliorates immune-mediated renal injury.

One of major causes of end-stage renal disease is glomerulonephritis, the treatment of which remains difficult clinically. It has already been shown that transgenic mice that overexpress brain natriuretic peptide (BNP), with a potent vasorelaxing and natriuretic property, have ameliorated glomerular injury after subtotal nephrectomy. However, the role of natriuretic peptides in immune-mediated renal injury still remains unknown. Therefore, the effects of chronic excess of BNP on anti-glomerular basement membrane nephritis induced in BNP-transgenic mice (BNP-Tg) were investigated and the mechanisms how natriuretic peptides act on mesangial cells in vitro were explored. After induction of nephritis, severe albuminuria (approximately 21-fold above baseline), tissue damage, including mesangial expansion and cell proliferation, and functional deterioration developed in nontransgenic littermates. In contrast, BNP-Tg exhibited much milder albuminuria (approximately fourfold above baseline), observed only at the initial phase, and with markedly ameliorated histologic and functional changes. Up-regulation of transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 ( MCP-1), as well as increased phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase ( ERK), were also significantly inhibited in the kidney of BNP-Tg. In cultured mesangial cells, natriuretic peptides counteracted the effects of angiotensin II with regard to ERK phosphorylation and fibrotic action. Because angiotensin II has been shown to play a pivotal role in the progression of nephritis through induction of TGF-beta and MCP-1 that may be ERK-dependent, the protective effects of BNP are likely to be exerted, at least partly, by antagonizing the renin-angiotensin system locally. The present study opens a possibility of a novel therapeutic potential of natriuretic peptides for treating immune-mediated renal injury.[1]


  1. Overexpression of brain natriuretic peptide in mice ameliorates immune-mediated renal injury. Suganami, T., Mukoyama, M., Sugawara, A., Mori, K., Nagae, T., Kasahara, M., Yahata, K., Makino, H., Fujinaga, Y., Ogawa, Y., Tanaka, I., Nakao, K. J. Am. Soc. Nephrol. (2001) [Pubmed]
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