WISP1 silencing confers protection against epithelial-mesenchymal transition of renal tubular epithelial cells in rats via inactivation of the wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway in uremia

Yuan-Zhen Chen, Dan-Qin Sun, Yi Zheng, Guang-Kuai Zheng, Rong-Quan Chen, Mei Lin, Lian-Fang Huang, Cong Huang, Dan Song, Ben-Qing Wu
Journal of Cellular Physiology 2018 December 17
Uremia can affect hepatic metabolism of drugs by regulating the clearance of drugs, but it has not been clarified whether gene silencing could modulate the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) process in uremia. Hence, we investigated the effect of WISP1 gene silencing on the renal tubular EMT in uremia through the wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway. Initially, microarray-based gene expression profiling of uremia was used to identify differentially expressed genes. Following the establishment of uremia rat model, serum creatinine, and urea nitrogen of rats were detected. Renal tubular epithelial cells (TECs) were transfected with shRNA-WISP1 lentivirus interference vectors and LiCI (the wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway activator) to explore the regulatory mechanism of WISP1 in uremia in relation to the wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway. Then, expression of WISP1, wnt2b, E-cadherin, α-SMA, c-myc, Cyclin D1, MMP-2, and MMP-9 was determined. Furthermore, TEC migration and invasion were evaluated. Results suggested that WISP1 and the wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway were associated with uremia. Uremic rats exhibited increased serum creatinine and urea nitrogen levels, upregulated WISPl, and activated wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway. Subsequently, WISP1 silencing decreased wnt2b, c-myc, Cyclin D1, α-SMA, MMP-2, and MMP-9 expression but increased E-cadherin expression, whereas LiCI treatment exhibited the opposite trends. In addition, WISP1 silencing suppressed TEC migration and invasion, whereas LiCI treatment promoted TEC migration and invasion. The findings indicate that WISP1 gene silencing suppresses the activation of the wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway, thus reducing EMT of renal TECs in uremic rats.

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