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

Increased glomerular thromboxane synthesis as a possible cause of proteinuria in experimental nephrosis.

Altered glomerular metabolism of arachidonic acid (AA) has already been demonstrated in experimental nephrotoxic nephritis. The enhanced synthesis of thromboxane A2 (TxA2) in isolated glomeruli that has been found may mediate changes in renal hemodynamics. The objectives of this investigation were: to check whether glomerular AA metabolism is also altered in a model of glomerulopathy in which no leukocyte infiltration or platelet deposition could be demonstrated; to establish a correlation between the altered AA metabolism and proteinuria; and to explore whether the alteration of the prostaglandin (PG) pathway found in isolated glomeruli is an in vitro artifact or reflects a modification in vivo. We used a model of glomerular damage characterized by heavy and persistent proteinuria, which was induced in the rat by a single intravenous injection of adriamycin. At light microscopy, minimal glomerular abnormalities were found in this model. Electron microscopy showed profound alterations of glomerular epithelial cells with extensive fusion of foot processes and signs of epithelial cell activation. Electron microscopy of numerous glomeruli showed no platelet deposition or macrophage and leukocyte infiltration in this model. Isolated glomeruli from nephrotic rats studied 14 or 30 d after a single intravenous injection of adriamycin (7.5 mg/kg) when animals were heavily proteinuric generated significantly more TxB2, the stable breakdown product of TxA2, than normal glomeruli. No significant changes were found in the other major AA metabolites formed through cyclooxygenase. Urinary excretion of immunoreactive TxB2 was also significantly higher in nephrotic than in normal animals. Administration of a selective Tx synthetase inhibitor, UK-38,485, from day 14 to day 18 after adriamycin resulted in a significant reduction of proteinuria compared with pretreatment values. Glomerular synthesis and urinary excretion of TxB2 were normal during the UK-38,485 treatment. Additional experiments showed that elevated glomerular synthesis and urinary excretion of TxB2 were not a consequence of increased substrate availability. Maximal stimulation of the renin-angiotensin axis with furosemide increased glomerular TxB2 synthesis in normal rats, which was significantly lower than in nephrotic animals. Finally, experiments using a unilateral model of adriamycin nephrosis indicated that the enhancement of glomerular TxB2 synthesis is not simply a consequence of the nephrotic syndrome. We conclude that: there is an abnormality of glomerular AA metabolism in nephritic syndrome, which leads to increased TxA2 production; the increased Tx generation correlates with protein excretion and might be responsible for altering the glomerular basement membrane permeability to protein; and the alteration found in isolated glomeruli probably reflects a modification in vivo, in that urinary excretion of immunoreactive TxB2 is also consistently increased in adriamycin nephrosis.[1]


  1. Increased glomerular thromboxane synthesis as a possible cause of proteinuria in experimental nephrosis. Remuzzi, G., Imberti, L., Rossini, M., Morelli, C., Carminati, C., Cattaneo, G.M., Bertani, T. J. Clin. Invest. (1985) [Pubmed]
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