Activated macrophages down-regulate podocyte nephrin and podocin expression via stress-activated protein kinases

Yohei Ikezumi, Toshiaki Suzuki, Tamaki Karasawa, Hiroshi Kawachi, David J. Nikolic-Paterson, Makoto Uchiyama

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36 Citations (Scopus)


The development of proteinuria and glomerulosclerosis in kidney disease is associated with podocyte damage, including down-regulation of nephrin and podocin. Macrophages are known to induce renal injury, but the mechanisms involved are not fully understood. This study examined macrophage-mediated podocyte damage. Conditioned media (CM) from activated macrophages caused a 50-60% reduction in nephrin and podocin mRNA and protein expression in cultured mouse podocytes and rat glomeruli. This was abolished by a neutralizing anti-TNFα antibody. The addition of recombinant TNFα to podocytes or glomeruli caused a comparable reduction in podocyte nephrin and podocin expression to that of macrophage CM. Inhibition of c-Jun amino terminal kinase (JNK) or p38 kinase abolished the TNFα-induced reduction in nephrin and podocin expression. This study demonstrates that activated macrophages can induce podocyte injury via a TNFα-JNK/p38-dependent mechanism. This may explain, in part, the protective effects of JNK and p38 blockade in experimental kidney disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)706-711
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 28-11-2008


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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