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1.
JCI Insight ; 7(11)2022 Jun 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1807764

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 infection causes collapse of glomerular capillaries and loss of podocytes, culminating in a severe kidney disease called COVID-19-associated nephropathy (COVAN). The underlying mechanism of COVAN is unknown. We hypothesized that cytokines induced by COVID-19 trigger expression of pathogenic APOL1 via JAK/STAT signaling, resulting in podocyte loss and COVAN phenotype. Here, based on 9 biopsy-proven COVAN cases, we demonstrated for the first time, to the best of our knowledge, that APOL1 protein was abundantly expressed in podocytes and glomerular endothelial cells (GECs) of COVAN kidneys but not in controls. Moreover, a majority of patients with COVAN carried 2 APOL1 risk alleles. We show that recombinant cytokines induced by SARS-CoV-2 acted synergistically to drive APOL1 expression through the JAK/STAT pathway in primary human podocytes, GECs, and kidney micro-organoids derived from a carrier of 2 APOL1 risk alleles, but expression was blocked by a JAK1/2 inhibitor, baricitinib. We demonstrate that cytokine-induced JAK/STAT/APOL1 signaling reduced the viability of kidney organoid podocytes but was rescued by baricitinib. Together, our results support the conclusion that COVID-19-induced cytokines are sufficient to drive COVAN-associated podocytopathy via JAK/STAT/APOL1 signaling and that JAK inhibitors could block this pathogenic process. These findings suggest JAK inhibitors may have therapeutic benefits for managing cytokine-induced, APOL1-mediated podocytopathy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cytokines , Janus Kinase Inhibitors , Kidney Diseases , Apolipoprotein L1/genetics , Azetidines/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/metabolism , Cytokines/metabolism , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Humans , Janus Kinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Janus Kinases/metabolism , Kidney Diseases/drug therapy , Kidney Diseases/metabolism , Kidney Diseases/virology , Organoids/metabolism , Purines/pharmacology , Pyrazoles/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , STAT Transcription Factors/metabolism , Signal Transduction/drug effects , Sulfonamides/pharmacology
2.
J Am Soc Nephrol ; 32(1): 99-114, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1496673

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: C3 glomerulopathy (C3G) is characterized by the alternative-pathway (AP) hyperactivation induced by nephritic factors or complement gene mutations. Mice deficient in complement factor H (CFH) are a classic C3G model, with kidney disease that requires several months to progress to renal failure. Novel C3G models can further contribute to understanding the mechanism behind this disease and developing therapeutic approaches. METHODS: A novel, rapidly progressing, severe, murine model of C3G was developed by replacing the mouse C3 gene with the human C3 homolog using VelociGene technology. Functional, histologic, molecular, and pharmacologic assays characterize the presentation of renal disease and enable useful pharmacologic interventions in the humanized C3 (C3hu/hu) mice. RESULTS: The C3hu/hu mice exhibit increased morbidity early in life and die by about 5-6 months of age. The C3hu/hu mice display elevated biomarkers of kidney dysfunction, glomerulosclerosis, C3/C5b-9 deposition, and reduced circulating C3 compared with wild-type mice. Administration of a C5-blocking mAb improved survival rate and offered functional and histopathologic benefits. Blockade of AP activation by anti-C3b or CFB mAbs also extended survival and preserved kidney function. CONCLUSIONS: The C3hu/hu mice are a useful model for C3G because they share many pathologic features consistent with the human disease. The C3G phenotype in C3hu/hu mice may originate from a dysregulated interaction of human C3 protein with multiple mouse complement proteins, leading to unregulated C3 activation via AP. The accelerated disease course in C3hu/hu mice may further enable preclinical studies to assess and validate new therapeutics for C3G.


Subject(s)
Complement C3/genetics , Disease Models, Animal , Glomerulonephritis, Membranoproliferative/genetics , Kidney Diseases/genetics , Animals , Complement C3/metabolism , Complement Pathway, Alternative/genetics , Exons , Gene Expression Regulation , Glomerulonephritis, Membranoproliferative/metabolism , Humans , Kidney Diseases/metabolism , Liver/metabolism , Male , Mice , Mice, Knockout , Microscopy, Fluorescence , Phenotype , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide , Renal Insufficiency/genetics , Renal Insufficiency/metabolism
3.
J Am Soc Nephrol ; 32(2): 357-374, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1496662

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Injury to kidney podocytes often results in chronic glomerular disease and consecutive nephron malfunction. For most glomerular diseases, targeted therapies are lacking. Thus, it is important to identify novel signaling pathways contributing to glomerular disease. Neurotrophic tyrosine kinase receptor 3 (TrkC) is expressed in podocytes and the protein transmits signals to the podocyte actin cytoskeleton. METHODS: Nephron-specific TrkC knockout (TrkC-KO) and nephron-specific TrkC-overexpressing (TrkC-OE) mice were generated to dissect the role of TrkC in nephron development and maintenance. RESULTS: Both TrkC-KO and TrkC-OE mice exhibited enlarged glomeruli, mesangial proliferation, basement membrane thickening, albuminuria, podocyte loss, and aspects of FSGS during aging. Igf1 receptor (Igf1R)-associated gene expression was dysregulated in TrkC-KO mouse glomeruli. Phosphoproteins associated with insulin, erb-b2 receptor tyrosine kinase (Erbb), and Toll-like receptor signaling were enriched in lysates of podocytes treated with the TrkC ligand neurotrophin-3 (Nt-3). Activation of TrkC by Nt-3 resulted in phosphorylation of the Igf1R on activating tyrosine residues in podocytes. Igf1R phosphorylation was increased in TrkC-OE mouse kidneys while it was decreased in TrkC-KO kidneys. Furthermore, TrkC expression was elevated in glomerular tissue of patients with diabetic kidney disease compared with control glomerular tissue. CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that TrkC is essential for maintaining glomerular integrity. Furthermore, TrkC modulates Igf-related signaling in podocytes.


Subject(s)
Kidney Diseases/metabolism , Nephrons/metabolism , Receptor, IGF Type 1/metabolism , Receptor, trkC/metabolism , Animals , Case-Control Studies , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Kidney Diseases/etiology , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Knockout , Phosphoproteins/metabolism , Podocytes/metabolism , Signal Transduction/physiology
4.
Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis ; 1868(1): 166289, 2022 01 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1466061

ABSTRACT

To explore the recovery of renal function in severely ill coronavirus disease (COVID-19) survivors and determine the plasma metabolomic profile of patients with different renal outcomes 3 months after discharge, we included 89 severe COVID-19 survivors who had been discharged from Wuhan Union Hospital for 3 months. All patients had no underlying kidney disease before admission. At patient recruitment, renal function assessment, laboratory examination, chest computed tomography (CT) were performed. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry was used to detect metabolites in the plasma. We analyzed the longitudinally change in the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) based on serum creatinine and cystatin-c levels using the CKD-EPI equation and explored the metabolomic differences in patients with different eGFR change patterns from hospitalization to 3 months after discharge. Lung CT showed good recovery; however, the median eGFR significantly decreased at the 3-month follow-up. Among the 89 severely ill COVID-19 patients, 69 (77.5%) showed abnormal eGFR (<90 mL/min per 1.73 m2) at 3 months after discharge. Age (odds ratio [OR] = 1.26, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.08-1.47, p = 0.003), body mass index (OR = 1.97, 95% CI = 1.20-3.22, p = 0.007), and cystatin-c level (OR = 1.22, 95% CI = 1.07-1.39, p = 0.003) at discharge were independent risk factors for post-discharge abnormal eGFR. Plasma metabolomics at the 3-months follow-up revealed that ß-pseudouridine, uridine, and 2-(dimethylamino) guanosine levels gradually increased with an abnormal degree of eGFR. Moreover, the kynurenine pathway in tryptophan metabolism, vitamin B6 metabolism, cysteine and methionine metabolism, and arginine biosynthesis were also perturbed in survivors with abnormal eGFR.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/virology , Energy Metabolism , Glomerular Filtration Rate , Kidney Diseases/etiology , Kidney Diseases/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Aged , COVID-19/diagnosis , Comorbidity , Female , Humans , Kidney Diseases/diagnosis , Kidney Function Tests , Male , Metabolic Networks and Pathways , Metabolome , Metabolomics/methods , Middle Aged , Odds Ratio , Patient Discharge , Severity of Illness Index , Symptom Assessment
5.
Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis ; 1867(10): 166186, 2021 10 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1446450

ABSTRACT

The soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of kidney diseases including primary and recurrent focal and segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), diabetic nephropathy, and acute kidney injuries (AKI). Elevated serum suPAR concentration is a negative prognostic indicator in multiple critical clinical conditions. This study has examined the initial transduction steps used by suPAR in cultured mouse podocytes. We now report that the receptor for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE) co-immunoprecipitates with αV and ß3 integrin subunits, which have been previously shown to initiate suPAR signal transduction at the podocyte cell surface. siRNA knock-down of RAGE attenuated Src phosphorylation evoked by either suPAR or by glycated albumin (AGE-BSA), a prototypical RAGE agonist. suPAR effects on Src phosphorylation were also blocked by the structurally dissimilar RAGE antagonists FPS-ZM1 and azeliragon, as well as by cilengitide, an inhibitor of outside-in signaling through αV-integrins. FPS-ZM1 also blocked Src phosphorylation evoked by AGE-BSA. FPS-ZM1 blocked increases in cell surface TRPC6 abundance, cytosolic reactive oxygen species (ROS) and activation of the small GTPase Rac1 evoked by either suPAR or AGE-BSA. In addition, FPS-ZM1 inhibited Src phosphorylation evoked by serum collected from a patient with recurrent FSGS during a relapse. The magnitude of this inhibition was indistinguishable from the effect produced by a neutralizing antibody against suPAR. These data suggest that orally bioavailable small molecule RAGE antagonists could represent a useful therapeutic strategy for a wide range of clinical conditions associated with elevated serum suPAR, including primary FSGS and AKI.


Subject(s)
Integrin alphaVbeta3/metabolism , Podocytes/metabolism , Receptor for Advanced Glycation End Products/metabolism , Receptors, Urokinase Plasminogen Activator/metabolism , Signal Transduction/physiology , Animals , Cell Line , Humans , Kidney Diseases/metabolism , Mice , Reactive Oxygen Species/metabolism
6.
Clin Sci (Lond) ; 135(1): 1-17, 2021 01 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1152898

ABSTRACT

The rapid spread of the novel coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has brought into focus the key role of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), which serves as a cell surface receptor required for the virus to enter cells. SARS-CoV-2 can decrease cell surface ACE2 directly by internalization of ACE2 bound to the virus and indirectly by increased ADAM17 (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase 17)-mediated shedding of ACE2. ACE2 is widely expressed in the heart, lungs, vasculature, kidney and the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, where it counteracts the deleterious effects of angiotensin II (AngII) by catalyzing the conversion of AngII into the vasodilator peptide angiotensin-(1-7) (Ang-(1-7)). The down-regulation of ACE2 by SARS-CoV-2 can be detrimental to the cardiovascular system and kidneys. Further, decreased ACE2 can cause gut dysbiosis, inflammation and potentially worsen the systemic inflammatory response and coagulopathy associated with SARS-CoV-2. This review aims to elucidate the crucial role of ACE2 both as a regulator of the renin-angiotensin system and a receptor for SARS-CoV-2 as well as the implications for Coronavirus disease 19 and its associated cardiovascular and renal complications.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/enzymology , Heart Diseases/enzymology , Kidney Diseases/enzymology , Angiotensin II/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Animals , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Heart Diseases/genetics , Heart Diseases/metabolism , Heart Diseases/virology , Humans , Kidney Diseases/genetics , Kidney Diseases/metabolism , Kidney Diseases/virology , Receptors, Virus/genetics , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , Renin-Angiotensin System , SARS-CoV-2/physiology
7.
Diagnosis (Berl) ; 7(4): 365-372, 2020 Nov 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-615210

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a respiratory disease, which can evolve into multi-organ failure (MOF), leading to death. Several biochemical alterations have been described in COVID-19 patients. To date, many biomarkers reflecting the main pathophysiological characteristics of the disease have been identified and associated with the risk of developing severe disease. Lymphopenia represents the hallmark of the disease, and it can be detected since the early stage of infection. Increased levels of several inflammatory biomarkers, including c-reactive protein, have been found in COVID-19 patients and associated with an increased risk of severe disease, which is characterised by the so-called "cytokine storm". Also, the increase of cardiac and liver dysfunction biomarkers has been associated with poor outcome. In this review, we provide an overview of the main biochemical characteristics of COVID-19 and the associated biomarkers alterations.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/metabolism , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Biomarkers , Blood Coagulation Disorders/etiology , Blood Coagulation Disorders/metabolism , C-Reactive Protein/analysis , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/classification , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cytokines/metabolism , Disease Progression , Humans , Inflammation/complications , Inflammation/metabolism , Inflammation/virology , Kidney Diseases/metabolism , Kidney Diseases/physiopathology , Liver Diseases/etiology , Liver Diseases/metabolism , Lymphopenia/etiology , Muscles/injuries , Muscles/metabolism , Myocardial Infarction/etiology , Myocardial Infarction/metabolism , Pandemics/classification , Pneumonia, Viral/classification , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Water-Electrolyte Balance/physiology
8.
Tohoku J Exp Med ; 251(2): 87-90, 2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-593619

ABSTRACT

In light of the recent pandemic, favipiravir (Avigan®), a purine nucleic acid analog and antiviral agent approved for use in influenza in Japan, is being studied for the treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Increase in blood uric acid level is a frequent side effect of favipiravir. Here, we discussed the mechanism of blood uric acid elevation during favipiravir treatment. Favipiravir is metabolized to an inactive metabolite M1 by aldehyde oxidase and xanthine oxidase, and excreted into urine. In the kidney, uric acid handling is regulated by the balance of reabsorption and tubular secretion in the proximal tubules. Favipiravir and M1 act as moderate inhibitors of organic anion transporter 1 and 3 (OAT1 and OAT3), which are involved in uric acid excretion in the kidney. In addition, M1 enhances uric acid reuptake via urate transporter 1 (URAT1) in the renal proximal tubules. Thus, favipiravir is thought to decrease uric acid excretion into urine, resulting in elevation of uric acid levels in blood. Elevated uric acid levels were returned to normal after discontinuation of favipiravir, and favipiravir is not used for long periods of time for the treatment of viral infection. Thus, the effect on blood uric acid levels was subclinical in most studies. Nevertheless, the adverse effect of favipiravir might be clinically important in patients with a history of gout, hyperuricemia, kidney function impairment (in which blood concentration of M1 increases), and where there is concomitant use of other drugs affecting blood uric acid elevation.


Subject(s)
Amides/adverse effects , Antiviral Agents/adverse effects , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Hyperuricemia/chemically induced , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Pyrazines/adverse effects , Uric Acid/blood , Aldehyde Oxidase/metabolism , Amides/pharmacokinetics , Amides/urine , Antiviral Agents/pharmacokinetics , Biotransformation , COVID-19 , Drug Interactions , Humans , Hyperuricemia/physiopathology , Kidney/metabolism , Kidney Diseases/metabolism , Molecular Structure , Organic Anion Transport Protein 1/antagonists & inhibitors , Organic Anion Transporters/metabolism , Organic Anion Transporters, Sodium-Independent/antagonists & inhibitors , Organic Cation Transport Proteins/metabolism , Pandemics , Pyrazines/pharmacokinetics , Pyrazines/urine , Xanthine Oxidase/metabolism
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