Redox regulation of renal DNA synthesis, transforming growth factor-β1 and collagen gene expression

Karl A. Nath, Joseph Grande, Anthony Croatt, James Haugen, Youngki Kim, Mark E. Rosenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


Growth and injury represent recurrent and related themes in the study of progressive renal disease. We have previously demonstrated that a prooxidant diet, one deficient in antioxidants, selenium and vitamin E, induces renal enlargement, proteinuria, mild tubulointerstitial disease and diminished glomerular filtration rate (GFR). Our present study represents continued examination of these processes. We demonstrate that these diets increase thymidine incorporation into DNA and net DNA content in renal tissue, and induce expression of the mRNA for the proto-oncogene, c-myc, and the histone, H2b. We localize increased DNA synthesis as occurring mainly in the distal renal tubular epithelium. These deficient kidneys also exhibit interstitial expansion that parallels the pattern of DNA synthesis in that both processes are more prominent in the medulla than in the cortex. mRNAs for collagens I, III and IV in conjunction with transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) are up-regulated in the kidney in rats maintained on the deficient diet. In complementary in vitro studies, the exposure of rat kidney fibroblasts, NRK 49F cells, to noncytolytic doses of hydrogen peroxide, induces collagen III, collagen IV and TGF-β1 mRNA. Induction of these genes is also observed in mesangial cells so exposed to noncytolytic doses of hydrogen peroxide. A final aspect of our study was the examination of renal generation of hydrogen peroxide and the profile of the hydrogen peroxide-degrading enzymes. Deficient kidneys exhibit increased mitochondrial generation of hydrogen peroxide independent of oxygen consumption but in conjunction with suppression of glutathione peroxidase mRNA and activity. Lipid peroxidation was increased twofold in the cortex and medulla of the deficient kidneys. Surprisingly, catalase activity, measured in the cortex and medulla, and whole kidney catalase mRNA were also reduced in rats maintained on the antioxidant deficient diet, effects that may further compromise the clearance of hydrogen peroxide. These changes in catalase represent an adverse response to this dietary deficiency, and may be relevant to decreased catalase activity described in chronic renal insufficiency. Thus, a chronic prooxidant state, with features that mimic those of clinical uremia, increases DNA synthesis of renal tubular epithelium, induces mRNA expression for collagens I, III and IV in conjunction with the mRNA for the fibrogenic cytokine, TGF- β1. Oxidants also induce collagen III, collagen IV and TGF-β1 mRNA in vitro.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-381
Number of pages15
JournalKidney international
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998


  • Collagen gene expression
  • DNA synthesis
  • Injury
  • Prooxidant state
  • Redox regulation
  • Transforming growth factor-β1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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