Author(s): Huang J, McKee M, Huang HD, Xiang A, Davidson AJ,
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Abstract Podocytes are specialized cells that contribute critically to the normal structure and function of the glomerular filtration barrier. Their depletion plays an important role in the pathogenesis of glomerulosclerosis. Here, we report generation of a genetic model of conditional podocyte ablation and regeneration in zebrafish using a bacterial nitroreductase strategy to convert a prodrug, metronidazole, into a cytotoxic metabolite. A transgenic zebrafish line was generated that expresses green fluorescence protein (GFP) and the nitroreductase fusion protein under the control of the podocin promoter Tg(podocin:nitroreductase-GFP). Treatment of these transgenic zebrafish with metronidazole results in podocyte apoptosis, a loss of nephrin and podocin expression, foot process effacement, and a leaky glomerular filtration barrier. Following metronidazole washout, proliferating cells were detected in the glomeruli of recovering transgenic fish with a restoration of nitroreductase-GFP fluorescence, nephrin and podocin expression, a reestablishment of normal foot process architecture, and glomerular barrier function. Thus, our studies show that zebrafish podocytes are capable of regenerating following depletion, and establish the Tg(podocin:NTR-GFP) fish as a new model to study podocyte injury and repair.
This article was published in Kidney Int
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy