Author(s): Rezonzew G, Chumley P, Feng W, Hua P, Siegal GP,
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Abstract Clinical studies have established the role of cigarette smoking as a risk factor in the progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD). We have shown that nicotine promotes mesangial cell proliferation and hypertrophy via nonneuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). The α7-nAChR is one of the most important subunits of the nAChRs. These studies were designed to test the hypothesis that nicotine worsens renal injury in rats with 5/6 nephrectomy (5/6Nx) and that the α7-nAChR subunit is required for these effects. We studied five different groups: Sham, 5/6Nx, 5/6Nx + nicotine (Nic; 100 μg/ml dry wt), 5/6Nx + Nic + α7-nAChR blocker methyllicaconitine (MLA; 3 mg·kg(-1)·day(-1) sq), and Sham + Nic. Blood pressure was measured by the tail-cuff method, and urine was collected for proteinuria. After 12 wk, the rats were euthanized and kidneys were collected. We observed expression of the α7-nAChR in the proximal and distal tubules. The administration of nicotine induced a small increase in blood pressure and resulted in cotinine levels similar to those found in the plasma of smokers. In 5/6Nx rats, the administration of nicotine significantly increased urinary protein excretion (onefold), worsened the glomerular injury score and increased fibronectin (∼ 50\%), NADPH oxidase 4 (NOX4; ∼100\%), and transforming growth factor-β expression (∼200\%). The administration of nicotine to sham rats increased total proteinuria but not albuminuria, suggesting direct effects on tubular protein reabsorption. These effects were prevented by MLA, demonstrating a critical role for the α7-nAChR as a mediator of the effects of nicotine in the progression of CKD.
This article was published in Am J Physiol Renal Physiol
and referenced in Pancreatic Disorders & Therapy