African Americans have exceptionally high rates of hypertension and hypertension related complications. It is commonly reported that the blood pressure lowering efficacy of renin angiotensin system (RAS) inhibitors is attenuated in African Americans due to a greater likelihood of having a low renin profile. Therefore these agents are often not recommended as initial therapy in African Americans with hypertension. However, the high prevalence of comorbid conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular and chronic kidney disease makes treatment with RAS inhibitors more compelling. Despite lower circulating renin levels and a less significant fall in blood pressure in response to RAS inhibitors in African Americans, numerous clinical trials support the efficacy of RAS inhibitors to improve clinical outcomes in this population, especially in those with hypertension and risk factors for cardiovascular and related diseases. Here, we discuss the rationale of RAS blockade as part of a comprehensive approach to attenuate the high rates of premature morbidity and mortality associated with hypertension among African Americans.
African American; Blood pressure; Ethnicity; Hypertension; Renin; Angiotensin
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a national public health problem. While the prevalence of early stages of CKD is similar across different racial/ethnic and socioeconomic groups, the prevalence of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) is greater for minorities than their non-Hispanic white peers. Paradoxically, once on dialysis minorities experience survival rates that exceed their non-Hispanic white peers. Advancing our understanding of the unique interplay of biological, genetic, environmental, socio-cultural, and health care system level factors may prompt reorientation of our approach to health promotion and disease prevention. The potential of this new approach is to create previously unimagined gains to improve patient outcomes and reduce health inequities for patients with CKD.
racial disparities; chronic kidney disease
Dialysis remains the predominant form of renal replacement therapy in the U.S., but the optimal timing for the initiation of dialysis remains poorly defined. Not only clinical factors such as signs/symptoms of uremia, co-existing cardiovascular disease, and presence of diabetes, but also key demographic characteristics including age, gender, race/ethnicity and socioeconomics have all been considered as potential modifying factors in the decision for the timing of dialysis initiation. The 2012 Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) Clinical Practice Guideline for the Evaluation and Management of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) suggests that dialysis be initiated when signs/symptoms attributable to kidney failure such as serositis, acid-base or electrolyte abnormalities, pruritus, poorly controlled volume status or blood pressure, deteriorating nutritional status despite dietary intervention, or cognitive impairment are visible or noted. These signs/symptoms typically occur when the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is in the range of 5 to 10 ml/min/1.73 m2, although they may occur at higher levels of GFR. We review recent data on the timing of dialysis initiation, their implications for managing patients with late stage CKD, and the important role of considering key demographics in making patient-centered decisions for the timing of dialysis initiation.
Timing dialysis initiation; race; ethnicity; demographics
Oxidative stress and inflammation promote the development and progression of chronic kidney disease. Oxidative stress is associated with depletion of tissue glutathione (GSH), the most abundant endogenous intracellular antioxidant, but degradation of oral GSH by digestive enzymes limits its therapeutic use. We hypothesized that GSH repletion with F1, a novel oral GSH precursor containing cystine as a cysteine carrier, would restore tissue GSH and attenuate oxidative stress and inflammation, and thereby reduce the severity of interstitial nephropathy in chronic renal failure (CRF).
Male Sprague-Dawley rats (n=5-8) were assigned to 3 groups: Control (regular rat chow), CRF (rat chow containing 0.7% adenine), and F1-treated CRF (rat chow containing 0.7% adenine and F1, 0.5g/kg/day) for 2-weeks. Animals were switched to regular chow and euthanized after 2 additional weeks.
Consumption of 0.7% adenine-containing diet caused azotemia; severe kidney swelling; heavy tubular and glomerular damage; massive tubulointerstitial nephropathy; impaired urinary concentrating capacity; severe anemia; increased markers of oxidative stress, plasma oxidized glutathione disulfide (GSSG); reduced GSH/GSSG ratio and manganese superoxide dismutase; increased expression of inflammatory mediators (cyclooxygenase-2, cytoplasmic NF-κB, p-IκBα, nuclear NF-κB p65), and 3-nitrotyrosine, p<0.05. Co-treatment with F1 significantly attenuated tubulointerstitial inflammation and edema, improved urinary concentrating capacity, azotemia and anemia, and normalized markers of tissue oxidative and nitrosative stress, p<0.05.
The novel oxidative stress modulator, F1, markedly attenuated oxidative stress indicators, inflammation, renal injury and dysfunction in the rat model of CRF. Studies to determine the effects of F1 in other models of acute and CRF are warranted.
Glutathione precursor; oxidative stress modulator; inflammation; glutathione disulfide; p-IκBα; NF-κB; NF-κB p65; hematocrit
The podocyte serves the important function of maintaining the glomerular filtration barrier, and many studies report a decrease in podocyte number relative to the development of proteinuric states. However, there is significant inconsistency in the number of podocytes counted, possibly due to different counting methods. We previously counted the three glomerular cell types in the mouse kidney and showed that the fractionator/disector method is a close approximation of the exhaustive count or the gold standard method. In this study, we compared the commonly used model-based approach with the design-based approach to count podocytes in the db/m and db/db mouse and illustrate that the design-based approach, which uses the fractionator/disector method, provides an accurate determination of podocyte number.
In the design-based approach, toluidine blue-stained 1-μm-thick sections from glutaraldehyde perfusion-fixed kidneys were used (n = 15) with the fractionator/disector method. In the model-based approach, WT-1-immunolabeled podocyte nuclei in 3- to 4-μm-thick formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded sections of the same kidneys were counted with the Weibel-Gomez method. Glomerular volume was determined for each method.
We discovered that the fractionator/disector method counted 89 ± 10 podocytes compared to the Weibel-Gomez method, which counted 137 ± 38 podocytes and overestimated podocyte number by 54% (p < 0.05). In addition, glomerular volume (231 ± 52 × 103 vs. 192 ± 64 × 103 μm3) was significantly underestimated by 17% (p < 0.0002). Moreover, the model-based approach was more time consuming.
We conclude that the fractionator/disector method offers an unbiased and efficient determination of podocyte counts.
db/db mouse; Design-based approach; Fractionator/disector method; Glomerular volume; Podocyte number; Stereology; Weibel-Gomez method
Purpose of review
Persons with chronic kidney disease (CKD) exhibit a disproportionate burden of elevated blood pressure (BP) with a high prevalence of premature end-stage renal disease and cardiovascular events.
Results of recent randomized controlled clinical trials suggest that most patients with reduced estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and hypertension experience optimal clinical outcomes when SBP is less than 140 mmHg and DBP is less than 90 mmHg. The benefit of additional lowering of SBP to less than 130 mmHg and DBP to less than 80 mmHg remains controversial, and appears to be of most benefit to the subset of CKD patients with proteinuria (>300 mg/day). The combination of a diuretic and an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) or angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEI) has demonstrated particular promise in patients with reduced eGFR and proteinuria.
A practical approach in clinical practice for the treatment of elevated BP in persons with CKD is to achieve a BP less than 140/90 mmHg with a combination of diuretic and an ARB or ACEI. Consideration for a lower BP goal and other therapeutic and nontherapeutic interventions can be made based on the cause of CKD, presence of proteinuria, or other coexisting medical conditions.
chronic kidney disease; high blood pressure; hypertension
Tubulo-interstitial nephropathy (TIN) is a common cause of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Consumption of an adenine-containing diet causes the accumulation of 2,8-dihydroxyadenine in the renal tubules triggering intense chronic TIN and progressive CKD in rats. CKD in this model is associated with, and largely driven by, oxidative stress and inflammation. Oxidative stress and inflammation in rats with spontaneous focal segmental glomerulosclerosis and rats with CKD induced by 5/6 nephrectomy are associated with an impaired activation of nuclear factor-erythroid-2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) which is the master regulator of genes encoding many antioxidant and detoxifying enzymes. The effect of TIN on the Nrf2 pathway and its key target genes is unknown and was investigated here.
Sprague-Dawley rats were randomized to control and adenine-treated (rat chow-containing 0.7% adenine for 2 weeks) groups and followed up for 4 weeks.
The adenine-treated animals exhibited marked azotemia, impaired urinary concentrating capacity, intense tubular and glomerular damage, interstitial inflammation and fibrosis. This was associated with an increased expression of NAD(P)H oxidase, cyclooxygenase-2 and 12-lipoxygenase, and activation of NF-κB, the master regulator of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. Oxidative stress and inflammation in the kidneys of adenine-treated animals was accompanied by an impaired activation of Nrf2 and down-regulation of its target gene products including, catalase, heme oxygenase-1 and glutamate-cysteine ligase.
Chronic TIN is associated with impaired Nrf2 activity which contributes to the pathogenesis of oxidative stress and inflammation and amplifies their damaging effects on the kidney.
antioxidants; chronic kidney disease; CKD progression; reactive oxygen species
Hyperlipoproteinemia represents a constellation of clinical syndromes that frequently includes hypertriglyceridemia. Because of the degree of elevation in the triglyceride levels frequently seen in these syndromes, they are associated with complications not generally observed among those patients with essential hypertriglyceridemia, including as in this case report, recurrent pancreatitis. Here, we present a case of a patient with hyperlipoproteinemia who developed acute worsening of his hypertriglyceridemia and onset of acute panceatitis that became recurrent following elective splenectomy for suspected lymphoma. In particular, we discuss the dietary management of hypertriglyceridemia which significantly reduced the number of episodes of acute pancreatitis in this patient.
Triglycerides; Pancreatitis; Splenectomy
Estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), a measure of kidney function, is heritable, suggesting that genes influence renal function. Genes that influence eGFR have been identified through genome-wide association studies. However, family-based linkage approaches may identify loci that explain a larger proportion of the heritability. This study used genome-wide linkage and association scans to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) that influence eGFR.
Genome-wide linkage and sparse association scans of eGFR were performed in families ascertained by probands with advanced diabetic nephropathy (DN) from the multi-ethnic Family Investigation of Nephropathy and Diabetes (FIND) study. This study included 954 African Americans (AA), 781 American Indians (AI), 614 European Americans (EA) and 1,611 Mexican Americans (MA). A total of 3,960 FIND participants were genotyped for 6,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) using the Illumina Linkage IVb panel. GFR was estimated by the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) formula.
The non-parametric linkage analysis, accounting for the effects of diabetes duration and BMI, identified the strongest evidence for linkage of eGFR on chromosome 20q11 (log of the odds [LOD] = 3.34; P = 4.4×10−5) in MA and chromosome 15q12 (LOD = 2.84; P = 1.5×10−4) in EA. In all subjects, the strongest linkage signal for eGFR was detected on chromosome 10p12 (P = 5.5×10−4) at 44 cM near marker rs1339048. A subsequent association scan in both ancestry-specific groups and the entire population identified several SNPs significantly associated with eGFR across the genome.
The present study describes the localization of QTL influencing eGFR on 20q11 in MA, 15q21 in EA and 10p12 in the combined ethnic groups participating in the FIND study. Identification of causal genes/variants influencing eGFR, within these linkage and association loci, will open new avenues for functional analyses and development of novel diagnostic markers for DN.
Both basic science and clinical studies support the concept that vitamin D deficiency is involved in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular and renal diseases through its association with diabetes, obesity, and hypertension. Understanding the underlying mechanisms may provide a rationale for advocating adequate intake of vitamin D and calcium in all populations, thereby preventing many chronic diseases. This review explores the effect of vitamin D deficiency in the development of cardiovascular and renal diseases, and the role of vitamin D supplementation on cardiovascular outcomes. In addition, it highlights the importance of vitamin D intake for the prevention of adverse long-term health consequences, and in ways to facilitate the management of cardiovascular disease. This is particularly true for African American and postmenopausal women, who are at added risk for cardiovascular disease. We suggest that the negative cardiovascular effects of low vitamin D in postmenopausal women could be improved by a combined treatment of vitamin D and sex steroids acting through endothelium-dependent and/or -independent mechanisms, resulting in the generation of nitric oxide and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP).
Vitamin D; Sex hormones; Health disparity; Nitric oxide; CGRP; Heart disease; Renal disease; Review
African Americans (AAs) have increased susceptibility to non-diabetic nephropathy relative to European Americans.
Follow-up of a pooled genome-wide association study (GWAS) in AA dialysis patients with nondiabetic nephropathy; novel gene-gene interaction analyses.
Setting & Participants
Wake Forest sample: 962 AA nondiabetic nephropathy cases; 931 non-nephropathy controls. Replication sample: 668 Family Investigation of Nephropathy and Diabetes (FIND) AA nondiabetic nephropathy cases; 804 non-nephropathy controls.
Individual genotyping of top 1420 pooled GWAS-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and 54 SNPs in six nephropathy susceptibility genes.
APOL1 genetic association and additional candidate susceptibility loci interacting with, or independently from, APOL1.
The strongest GWAS associations included two non-coding APOL1 SNPs, rs2239785 (odds ratio [OR], 0.33; dominant; p = 5.9 × 10−24) and rs136148 (OR, 0.54; additive; p = 1.1 × 10−7) with replication in FIND (p = 5.0 × 10−21 and 1.9 × 10−05, respectively). Rs2239785 remained significantly associated after controlling for the APOL1 G1 and G2 coding variants. Additional top hits included a CFH SNP(OR from meta-analysis in above 3367 AA cases and controls, 0.81; additive; p = 6.8 × 10−4). The 1420 SNPs were tested for interaction with APOL1 G1 and G2 variants. Several interactive SNPs were detected, the most significant was rs16854341 in the podocin gene (NPHS2) (p = 0.0001).
Non-pooled GWAS have not been performed in AA nondiabetic nephropathy.
This follow-up of a pooled GWAS provides additional and independent evidence that APOL1 variants contribute to nondiabetic nephropathy in AAs and identified additional associated and interactive non-diabetic nephropathy susceptibility genes.
African American; APOL1; CFH; end-stage renal disease; FIND; FSGS; hypertension
Chronic renal failure (CRF) is associated with hypertriglyceridemia and impaired clearance of very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) and chylomicrons which are largely due to lipoprotein lipase (LPL) deficiency/dysfunction. After its release from myocytes and adipocytes, LPL binds to the endothelium in the adjacent capillaries where it catalyzes hydrolysis of triglycerides in VLDL and chylomicrons. The novel endothelium-derived molecule, glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored binding protein 1 (GPIHBP1), plays a critical role in LPL metabolism and function by anchoring LPL to the endothelium and binding chylomicrons. GPIHBP1-deficient mice and humans exhibit severe hypertriglyceridemia and diminished heparin-releasable LPL, pointing to the critical role of GPIHBP1 in regulation of LPL activity. Given its central role in regulation of LPL activity and triglyceride metabolism, we explored the effect of chronic kidney disease (CKD) on GPIHBP1 expression.
Expression of GPIHBP1 and LPL were determined by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, Western blot and immunohistochemical analyses in the adipose tissue, skeletal muscle and myocardium of rats 12 weeks after 5/6 nephrectomy (CRF) or sham-operation (control).
Compared to the controls, the CRF group exhibited severe hypertriglyceridemia, significant reduction of the skeletal muscle, myocardium and adipose tissue LPL mRNA and protein abundance. This was accompanied by parallel reductions of GPIHBP1 mRNA abundance and immunostaining in the tested tissues.
LPL deficiency in CKD is associated with and compounded by GPIHBP1 deficiency. Together these abnormalities contribute to impaired clearance of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins, diminished availability of lipid fuel for energy storage in adipocytes and energy production in myocytes and consequent hypertriglyceridemia, cachexia, muscle weakness and atherosclerosis.
Lipid metabolism; Triglyceride metabolism; Atherosclerosis; Impaired exercise capacity; Malnutrition syndrome; Cardiovascular disease; End-stage renal disease; Muscle and fat tissues
Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is a leading cause of mortality and morbidity in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The multicenter FIND consortium aims to identify genes for DN and its associated quantitative traits, e.g. the urine albumin:creatinine ratio (ACR). Herein, the results of whole-genome linkage analysis and a sparse association scan for ACR and a dichotomous DN phenotype are reported in diabetic individuals.
A genomewide scan comprising more than 5,500 autosomal single nucleotide polymorphism markers (average spacing of 0.6 cM) was performed on 1,235 nuclear and extended pedigrees (3,972 diabetic participants) ascertained for DN from African-American (AA), American-Indian (AI), European-American (EA) and Mexican-American (MA) populations.
Strong evidence for linkage to DN was detected on chromosome 6p (p = 8.0 × 10−5, LOD = 3.09) in EA families as well as suggestive evidence for linkage to chromosome 7p in AI families. Regions on chromosomes 3p in AA, 7q in EA, 16q in AA and 22q in MA displayed suggestive evidence of linkage for urine ACR. The linkage peak on chromosome 22q overlaps the MYH9/APOL1 gene region, previously implicated in AA diabetic and nondiabetic nephropathies.
These results strengthen the evidence for previously identified genomic regions and implicate several novel loci potentially involved in the pathogenesis of DN.
Albuminuria; Diabetes mellitus; Renal failure; End-stage renal disease; Linkage; Allelic association
Diabetes mellitus is frequently complicated by cardiovascular disease, such as vascular calcification and endothelial dysfunction, which have been associated with bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs).
To determine whether hyperglycemia in vitro and diabetes in vivo promote vascular BMP activity and correlate with vascular calcification.
Methods and Results
Increased glucose augmented expression of BMP-2 and BMP-4; the BMP inhibitors matrix Gla protein (MGP) and Noggin; activin-like kinase receptor (ALK)1, -2, -3 and -6; the BMP type 2 receptor; and the vascular endothelial growth factor in human aortic endothelial cells (HAECs). Diabetes induced expression of the same factors in the aortic wall of 3 animal models of diabetes, Ins2Akita/+ mice, db/db mice, and HIP rats (rats transgenic for human islet amyloid polypeptide), representative of types 1 and 2 diabetes. Conditioned media from glucose-treated HAECs increased angiogenesis in bovine aortic endothelial cells, as mediated by BMP-4, and osteogenesis in calcifying vascular cells, as mediated by BMP-2. BMP-4, MGP, ALK1, and ALK2 were predominantly expressed on the endothelial side of the aorta, and small interfering RNA experiments showed that these genes were regulated as a group. Diabetic mice and rats showed a dramatic increase in aortic BMP activity, as demonstrated by SMAD1/5/8 phosphorylation. This was associated with increased osteogenesis and calcium accumulation. These changes were prevented in the Ins2Akita/+ mice by breeding them with MGP transgenic mice, which increased aortic BMP inhibition.
Hyperglycemia and diabetes activate vascular BMP activity, which is instrumental in promoting vascular calcification and may be limited by increasing BMP inhibition.
diabetes mellitus; bone morphogenetic protein; vascular calcification; mouse models; endothelial cells
Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is an important developmental process, participates in tissue repair and occurs during pathological processes of tumor invasiveness, metastasis and tissue fibrosis. The molecular mechanisms leading to EMT are poorly understood. While it is well documented that transforming growth factor (TGF)-β plays a central role in the induction of EMT, the targets of TGF-β signaling are poorly defined. We have shown earlier that Na,K-ATPase β1-subunit levels are highly reduced in poorly differentiated kidney carcinoma cells in culture and in patients’ tumor samples. In this study, we provide evidence that Na,K-ATPase is a new target of TGF-β1-mediated EMT in renal epithelial cells, a model system used in studies of both cancer progression and fibrosis. We show that following treatment with TGF-β1 the surface expression of the β1-subunit of Na,K-ATPase is reduced, prior to well-characterized EMT markers and is associated with the acquisition of a mesenchymal phenotype. RNAi mediated knockdown confirmed the specific involvement of the Na,K-ATPase β1-subunit in the loss of the epithelial phenotype and exogenous over-expression of the Na,K-ATPase β1-subunit attenuated TGF-β1-mediated EMT. We further show that both Na,K-ATPase α- and β-subunit levels are highly reduced in renal fibrotic tissues. These findings for the first time reveal that Na,K-ATPase is a target of TGF-β1-mediated EMT and is associated with the progression of EMT in both cancer and fibrosis.
Transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1; Na,K-ATPase; Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT); cancer; fibrosis
Previous studies have shown that, in addition to environmental influences, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) has a strong genetic component. The goal of the current study is to identify regions of linkage for T2DM in ethnically diverse populations.
Phenotypic and genotypic data were obtained from African American (AA; total number of individuals (N)=1004), American Indian (AI; N=883), European American (EA; N=537), and Mexican American (MA; N=1634) individuals from the Family Investigation of Nephropathy and Diabetes. Nonparametric linkage analysis, using an average of 4,404 SNPs, was performed in relative pairs affected with T2DM in each ethnic group. In addition, family-based tests were performed to detect association with T2DM.
Statistically significant evidence for linkage was observed on chromosomes 4q21.1 (LOD=3.13; genome-wide p=0.04) in AA. In addition, a total of eleven regions showed suggestive evidence for linkage (estimated at LOD>1.71), with the highest LOD scores on chromosomes 12q21.31 (LOD=2.02) and 22q12.3 (LOD=2.38) in AA, 2p11.1 (LOD=2.23) in AI, 6p12.3 (LOD=2.77) in EA, and 13q21.1 (LOD=2.24) in MA. While no region overlapped across all ethnic groups, at least five loci showing LOD>1.71 have been identified in previously published studies.
The results from this study provide evidence for the presence of genes affecting T2DM on chromosomes 4q, 12q, and 22q in AA, 6p in EA, 2p in AI, and 13q in MA. The strong evidence for linkage on chromosome 4q in AA provides important information given the paucity of diabetes genetic studies in this population.
FIND; Type 2 Diabetes; linkage analysis; ethnicity
The incidence of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in the US is rising at an alarming rate, with the largest increase among African-American populations. The key risk factors for kidney disease are hypertension and diabetes, which are both becoming more prevalent in the US, and particularly in African Americans. Although African Americans make up 12.6% of the US population, the incidence of diabetes-related ESRD is four times higher than for whites, and the prevalence of ESRD due to hypertension is twice that of white patients. Approximately 30 to 40% of all patients with diabetes will develop nephropathy and many will progress to ESRD, necessitating dialysis or kidney transplantation. Recent studies in patients with type 2 diabetes indicate a significant delay in progression or development of diabetic nephropathy following blockade of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system with the use of angiotensin receptor antagonists. Early intervention in patients with hypertension is necessary to prevent kidney damage, and data from the African American Study of Kidney Disease and Hypertension suggest that angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors are effective in this population. Although African-American patients receiving hemodialysis appear to have increased survival compared with whites, racial factors and poor access to medical care contribute to the increased risk of kidney disease in minorities. A concerted effort is necessary to raise awareness in minority populations and provide strategies for prevention and early treatment thereby attenuating the increasing prevalence of kidney failure in these groups.