Author(s): Kurt B, Paliege A, Willam C, Schwarzensteiner I, Schucht K,
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Abstract States of low perfusion pressure of the kidney associate with hyperplasia or expansion of renin-producing cells, but it is unknown whether hypoxia-triggered genes contribute to these changes. Here, we stabilized hypoxia-inducible transcription factors (HIFs) in mice by conditionally deleting their negative regulator, Vhl, using the Cre/loxP system with renin-1d promoter-driven Cre expression. Vhl (−/−(REN)) mice were viable and had normal BP. Deletion of Vhl resulted in constitutive accumulation of HIF-2α in afferent arterioles and glomerular cells and HIF-1α in collecting duct cells of the adult kidney. The preglomerular vascular tree developed normally, but far fewer renin-expressing cells were present, with more than 70\% of glomeruli not containing renin cells at the typical juxtaglomerular position. Moreover, these mice had an attenuated expansion of renin-producing cells in response to a low-salt diet combined with an ACE inhibitor. However, renin-producing cells of Vhl (−/−(REN)) mice expressed the erythropoietin gene, and they were markedly polycythemic. Taken together, these results suggest that hypoxia-inducible genes, regulated by VHL, are essential for normal development and physiologic adaptation of renin-producing cells. In addition, deletion of Vhl shifts the phenotype of juxtaglomerular cells from a renin- to erythropoietin-secreting cell type, presumably in response to HIF-2 accumulation.
This article was published in J Am Soc Nephrol
and referenced in Journal of Hypertension: Open Access