Upregulation of macula densa cyclooxygenase-2 expression is not dependent on glomerular filtration

Frank Schweda, Martin Kammerl, Charlotte Wagner, Bernhard K Krämer, Armin Kurtz
American Journal of Physiology. Renal Physiology 2004, 287 (1): F95-101
Although the regulation of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression in the kidney cortex has been extensively characterized, the physiological control mechanisms of COX-2 expression at the level of the kidney and at the level of the tubular cells are not well understood. Based on the current hypothesis that tubular salt transport might be a crucial regulator of COX-2 expression, this study aimed to determine the impact of salt delivery to the tubules (glomerular filtration) for the regulation of COX-2 in the kidney cortex in vivo. To this end, glomerular filtration of the right kidney was abrogated by the ligation of the right ureter of male Sprague-Dawley rats. After 1 wk of ligation, the animals were treated with subcutaneous infusions of furosemide (12 mg x kg(-1) x day(-1)) or with a low-salt or a high-salt diet (0.02% wt/wt; 8% wt/wt), and COX-2 as well as renin mRNA expression were determined in the ligated and the nonligated contralateral kidney. During ureteral ligation, hydronephrosis developed with a reduction of medullary mass, while the cortex was preserved. Expressions of the Na-K-2Cl cotransporter isoforms A and B were both reduced in the hydronephrotic cortex to 70 and 35% of the corresponding contralateral intact kidney. Despite the abrogation of glomerular filtration, detected by inulin clearance measurements, renocortical COX-2 mRNA abundance was stimulated by furosemide treatment (3.2-fold) or low-salt diet (2.9-fold) to similar degrees compared with the intact contralateral kidney (2.7-fold for both treatments), whereas a high-salt diet did not significantly suppress COX-2 mRNA in the macula densa region of either kidney. Renin mRNA expression was regulated strictly in parallel in both kidneys, a low-salt diet or furosemide treatment stimulating and a high-salt diet suppressing it. We conclude from these findings that salt delivery to the tubules is not an essential requirement for the upregulation of COX-2 by salt deficiency or by loop diuretics in the rat kidney cortex nor is it for chronic stimulation of renin mRNA expression.

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