Renal artery stenosis alters gene expression in swine scattered tubular-like cells

Arash Aghajani Nargesi, Xiang Yang Zhu, Yuanhang Liu, Hui Tang, Kyra L. Jordan, Lilach O. Lerman, Alfonso Eirin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Scattered tubular-like cells (STCs) proliferate and differentiate to support neighboring injured renal tubular cells during recovery from insults. Renal artery stenosis (RAS) induces renal ischemia and hypertension and leads to loss of kidney function, but whether RAS alters renal endogenous repair mechanisms, such as STCs, remains unknown. We hypothesize that RAS in swine modifies the messenger RNA (mRNA) profile of STCs, blunting their in vitro reparative capacity. Methods: CD24+/CD133+ STCs were isolated from pig kidneys after 10-weeks of RAS or sham (n = 3 each) and their gene cargo analyzed using high-throughput mRNAseq. Expression profiles for upregulated and downregulated mRNAs in RAS-STCs were functionally interpreted by gene ontology analysis. STC activation was assessed by counting the total number of STCs in pig kidney sections using flow cytometry, whereas cell proliferation was assessed in vitro. Results: Of all expressed genes, 1430 genes were upregulated and 315 downregulated in RAS-versus Normal-STCs. Expression of selected candidate genes followed the same fold change directions as the mRNAseq findings. Genes upregulated in RAS-STCs were involved in cell adhesion, extracellular matrix remodeling, and kidney development, whereas those downregulated in RAS-STCs are related to cell cycle and cytoskeleton. The percentage of STCs from dissociated kidney cells was higher in RAS versus Normal pigs, but their proliferation rate was blunted. Conclusions: Renal ischemia and hypertension in swine induce changes in the mRNA profile of STCs, associated with increased STC activation and impaired proliferation. These observations suggest that RAS may alter the reparative capacity of STCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5069
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 2 2019


  • Hypertension
  • MRNA sequencing
  • Renal artery stenosis
  • Scattered tubular-like cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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