Author(s): Magenheimer BS, St John PL, Isom KS, Abrahamson DR, De Lisle RC,
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Abstract Metanephric organ culture has been used to determine whether embryonic kidney tubules can be stimulated by cAMP to form cysts. Under basal culture conditions, wild-type kidneys from embryonic day 13.5 to 15.5 mice grow in size and continue ureteric bud branching and tubule formation over a 4- to 5-d period. Treatment of these kidneys with 8-Br-cAMP or the cAMP agonist forskolin induced the formation of dilated tubules within 1 h, which enlarged over several days and resulted in dramatically expanded cyst-like structures of proximal tubule and collecting duct origin. Tubule dilation was reversible upon withdrawal of 8-Br-cAMP and was inhibited by the cAMP-dependent protein kinase inhibitor H89 and the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) inhibitor CFTR(inh)172. For further testing of the role of CFTR, metanephric cultures were prepared from mice with a targeted mutation of the Cftr gene. In contrast to kidneys from wild-type mice, those from Cftr -/- mice showed no evidence of tubular dilation in response to 8-Br-cAMP, indicating that CFTR Cl(-) channels are functional in embryonic kidneys and are required for cAMP-driven tubule expansion. A requirement for transepithelial Cl(-) transport was demonstrated by inhibiting the basolateral Na(+),K(+),2Cl(-) co-transporter with bumetanide, which effectively blocked all cAMP-stimulated tubular dilation. For determination of whether cystic dilation occurs to a greater extent in PKD kidneys in response to cAMP, Pkd1(m1Bei) -/- embryonic kidneys were treated with 8-Br-cAMP and were found to form rapidly CFTR- and Na(+),K(+),2Cl(-) co-transporter-dependent cysts that were three- to six-fold larger than those of wild-type kidneys. These results suggest that cAMP can stimulate fluid secretion early in renal tubule development during the time when renal cysts first appear in PKD kidneys and that PKD-deficient renal tubules are predisposed to abnormally increased cyst expansion in response to elevated levels of cAMP.
This article was published in J Am Soc Nephrol
and referenced in Biochemistry & Physiology: Open Access