Podocyte injury and overexpression of vascular endothelial growth factor and transforming growth factor-beta 1 in adriamycin-induced nephropathy in rats

Weina Yang, Junjian Wang, Lili Shi, Linhua Yu, Yihua Qian, Yong Liu, Weixi Wang, Shaoli Cheng
Cytokine 2012, 59 (2): 370-6
The aim of this study is to investigate the expression of nephrin, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-β1), and podocyte number in adriamycin (ADR)-induced nephropathy. A total of 60 male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into the control group and the ADR nephropathy group. The nephropathy was induced by tail-vein injection of ADR (4 mg/kg) twice at a 14-day interval. The expression levels of nephrin, VEGF, and TGF-β1 in glomeruli were assessed by immunohistochemistry and western blotting. The podocyte number was also evaluated after anti-Wilms' tumor-1 (WT1) immunohistochemical staining. In addition, the urinary protein content, biochemical parameters in serum samples and glomerular sclerosis index (SI) were compared between groups. In the ADR nephropathy group, the expression levels of nephrin was significantly decreased with the fusion of podocyte foot processes at 6 weeks after the first ADR injection, which was associated with a marked proteinuria. A decrease in podocyte number and an increase in SI with the overexpression of both VEGF and TGF-β1 were also observed in the glomeruli at 10 weeks after the first ADR injection. This was associated with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). The study data suggest that podocyte injury and decreased nephrin, as well as increased VEGF and TGF-β1, may contribute to the development of proteinuria and FSGS in ADR-induced nephropathy in rats.


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