Troglitazone ameliorates high glucose-induced EMT and dysfunction of SGLTs through PI3K/Akt, GSK-3β, Snail1, and β-catenin in renal proximal tubule cells

Yu Jin Lee, Ho Jae Han
American Journal of Physiology. Renal Physiology 2010, 298 (5): F1263-75
Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARγ) agonists ameliorate renal fibrotic lesions in diabetic nephropathy. However, the effects of the agonists on the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) linked to membrane transport dysfunction are unknown. The present study aimed to verify the effects of the PPARγ agonist troglitazone on high glucose (HG)-induced EMT in primary cultured renal proximal tubular epithelial cells (PTCs). HG (25 mM) as well as hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)) and transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) decreased expression of epithelial cell marker E-cadherin and increased the expression of the mesenchymal markers vimentin and α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA). HG, H(2)O(2), and TGF-β1 decreased Na(+)/H(+) exchangers (NHEs) or Na(+)-glucose cotransporters (SGLTs) and glucose uptake, showing membrane transport dysfunction. HG stimulated the production of cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), and antioxidants blocked the HG-induced increase in phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt activation. Antioxidants and inhibitors of PI3K/Akt reversed HG-induced EMT protein expression. Inhibition of PI3K/Akt also blocked HG-induced glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β) phosphorylation. HG and lithium chloride (GSK-3β inhibitor) blocked Snail1 and β-catenin activation. Moreover, transfection with Snail1 or β-catenin small interfering RNA (siRNA) reversed HG-induced EMT protein expression. Importantly, HG decreased PPARγ activation and troglitazone reversed HG-induced expression of PI3K/Akt, GSK-3β, Snail1, and β-catenin as well as EMT proteins. Finally, inhibitors of PI3K/Akt, Snail1/β-catenin siRNA, and troglitazone blocking the HG-induced EMT restored glucose uptake in PTCs. In conclusion, HG induces EMT through ROS, PI3K/Akt, GSK-3β, Snail, and β-catenin. Subsequently, HG-induced EMT may result in SGLT dysfunction that is restored by the PPARγ agonist troglitazone in primary cultured PTCs.

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