Leucine-rich repeat-containing G-protein-coupled receptor 8 in mature glomeruli of developing and adult rat kidney and inhibition by insulin-like peptide-3 of glomerular cell proliferation

P Fu, P-J Shen, C-X Zhao, D J Scott, C S Samuel, J D Wade, G W Tregear, R A D Bathgate, A L Gundlach
Journal of Endocrinology 2006, 189 (2): 397-408
Leucine-rich repeat-containing G-protein-coupled receptor 8 (LGR8, or RXFP2) is a member of the type C leucine-rich repeat-containing G protein-coupled receptor family, and its endogenous ligand is insulin-like peptide-3 (INSL3). Although LGR8 expression has been demonstrated in various human tissues, including testis, ovary, brain and kidney, the precise roles of this receptor in many of these tissues are unknown. In an effort to better understand INSL3-LGR8 systems in the rat, we cloned the full-length Lgr8 cDNA and investigated the presence and cellular localization of Lgr8 mRNA expression in adult and developing rat kidney. On the basis of these findings, we investigated the presence and distribution of renal 125I-labelled human INSL3-binding sites and the nature of INSL3-LGR8 signalling in cultured renal cells. Thus, using in situ hybridization histochemistry, cells expressing Lgr8 mRNA were observed in glomeruli of renal cortex from adult rats and were tentatively identified as mesangial cells. Quantitative, real-time PCR analysis of the developmental profile of Lgr8 mRNA expression in kidney revealed highest relative levels at late stage gestation (embryonic day 18), with a sharp decrease after birth and lowest levels in the adult. During development, silver grains associated with Lgr8 mRNA hybridization were observed overlying putative mesangial cells in mature glomeruli, with little or no signal associated with less-mature glomeruli. In adult and developing kidney, specific 125I-INSL3-binding sites were associated with glomeruli throughout the renal cortex. In primary cultures of glomerular cells, synthetic human INSL3 specifically and dose-dependently inhibited cell proliferation over a 48 h period, further suggesting the presence of functional LGR8 (receptors) on these cells (mesangial and others). These findings suggest INSL3-LGR8 signalling may be involved in the genesis and/or developmental maturation of renal glomeruli and possibly in regulating mesangial cell density in adult rat kidney.

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