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1.  Altered Expression Profile of Renal α1D-Adrenergic Receptor in Diabetes and Its Modulation by PPAR Agonists 
Journal of Diabetes Research  2014;2014:725634.
Alpha1D-adrenergic receptor (α1D-AR) plays important roles in regulating physiological and pathological responses mediated by catecholamines, particularly in the cardiovascular and urinary systems. The present study was designed to investigate the expression profile of α1D-AR in the diabetic kidneys and its modulation by activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs). 12-week-old Zucker lean (ZL) and Zucker diabetic fatty (ZD) rats were treated with fenofibrate or rosiglitazone for 8–10 weeks. Gene microarray, real-time PCR, and confocal immunofluorescence microscopy were performed to assess mRNA and protein expression of α1D-AR in rat kidney tissue. Using microarray, we found that α1D-AR gene was dramatically upregulated in 22-week-old ZD rats compared to ZL controls. Quantitative PCR analysis verified a 16-fold increase in α1D-AR mRNA in renal cortex from ZD animals compared to normal controls. Chronic treatment with fenofibrate or rosiglitazone reduced renal cortical α1D-AR gene. Immunofluorescence staining confirmed that α1D-AR protein was induced in the glomeruli and tubules of diabetic rats. Moreover, dual immunostaining for α1D-AR and kidney injury molecule-1 indicated that α1D-AR was expressed in dedifferentiated proximal tubules of diabetic Zucker rats. Taken together, our results show that α1D-AR expression is upregulated in the diabetic kidneys. PPAR activation suppressed renal expression of α1D-AR in diabetic nephropathy.
PMCID: PMC3977090  PMID: 24772448
2.  Glomerular Expression of Kidney Injury Molecule-1 and Podocytopenia in Diabetic Glomerulopathy 
American Journal of Nephrology  2011;34(3):268-280.
Studies have shown that kidney injury molecule-1 (KIM-1) is upregulated in damaged renal proximal tubules. In this study, we examined KIM-1 expression in glomerular epithelial cells in diabetic glomerulopathy.
Renal histology, immunostaining and Western blot for protein level, and real-time PCR for mRNA expression of KIM-1 and podocyte markers were evaluated in untreated or losartan-treated Zucker lean (Fa/+) and Zucker diabetic fatty (Fa/Fa) rats.
The diabetic rats showed an increased glomerular expression of KIM-1. KIM-1 staining was localized primarily in the hyperplastic parietal epithelium of Bowman's capsule in the early stages of diabetes with subsequent increase in KIM-1-positive cells in the glomerular tuft in the more advanced stages. The increase in glomerular KIM-1 was associated with a decrease in podocytes in Fa/Fa rats. Antiproteinuric treatment with losartan attenuated podocytopenia and decreased renal expression of KIM-1 in treated diabetic rats. In an in vitro study, albumin overload increased KIM-1 protein in the primary cultures of rat glomerular epithelial cells.
These results show that glomerular KIM-1 expression was increased, in proportion to the extent of proteinuria and podocytopenia in the diabetic animals, supporting that KIM-1 could be used as a potential biomarker for glomerular injury in proteinuric kidney disease.
PMCID: PMC3169370  PMID: 21822010
Albuminuria; Kidney injury molecule-1; Parietal epithelial cells; Podocytes; Glomerulopathy
3.  Fenofibrate attenuates tubulointerstitial fibrosis and inflammation through suppression of nuclear factor-κB and transforming growth factor-β1/Smad3 in diabetic nephropathy 
Fibrates, the ligands of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α, have been shown to have a renal protective action in diabetic models of renal disease, but the mechanisms underlying this effect are unknown. In the present study, we sought to investigate in greater detail the effect of fenofibrate and its mechanism of action on renal inflammation and tubulointerstitial fibrosis in an animal model of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Twelve-week-old non-diabetic Zucker lean (ZL) and Zucker diabetic fatty (ZD) rats were treated with vehicle or fenofibrate for 10 weeks. mRNA and protein analyses were performed by real-time polymerase chain reaction, Western blot and immunostaining. The diabetic condition of ZD rats was associated with an increase in collagen and α-smooth muscle actin accumulation in the kidney, which was significantly reduced by fenofibrate. Chronic treatment of ZD rats with fenofibrate attenuated renal inflammation and tubular injury as evidenced by a decrease in mRNA and protein expression of secreted phosphoprotein-1, monocyte chemotactic protein-1 and kidney injury molecule-1 in the kidneys. Renal interstitial macrophage infiltration was also significantly reduced in the kidneys of fenofibrate-treated diabetic animals. Moreover, renal nuclear factor (NF)-κB DNA-binding activity, transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 and phospho-Smad3 proteins were significantly higher in ZD animals compared with ZL ones. This increase in NF-κB activity, TGF-β1 expression and Smad3 phosphorylation was greatly attenuated by fenofibrate in the diabetic kidneys. Taken together, fenofibrate suppressed NF-κB and TGF-β1/Smad3 signaling pathways and reduced renal inflammation and tubulointerstitial fibrosis in diabetic ZD animals.
PMCID: PMC3057137  PMID: 20404057
inflammation; kidney; peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α; renal injury; type 2 diabetes

Results 1-3 (3)