Severe Nephrotoxic Nephritis following Conditional and Kidney-Specific Knockdown of Stanniocalcin-1.
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BACKGROUND: Inflammation is the hallmark of nephrotoxic nephritis. Stanniocalcin-1 (STC1), a pro-survival factor, inhibits macrophages, stabilizes endothelial barrier function, and diminishes trans-endothelial migration of leukocytes; consistently, transgenic (Tg) overexpression of STC1 protects from nephrotoxic nephritis. Herein, we sought to determine the phenotype of nephrotoxic nephritis after conditional and kidney-specific knockdown of STC1. METHODS: We used Tg mice that, express either STC1 shRNA (70% knockdown of STC1 within 4d) or scrambled shRNA (control) upon delivery of Cre-expressing plasmid to the kidney using ultrasound microbubble technique. Sheep anti-mouse GBM antibody was administered 4d after shRNA activation; and mice were euthanized 10 days later for analysis. RESULTS: Serum creatinine, proteinuria, albuminuria and urine output were similar 10 days after anti-GBM delivery in both groups; however, anti-GBM antibody delivery to mice with kidney-specific knockdown of STC1 produced severe nephrotoxic nephritis, characterized by severe tubular necrosis, glomerular hyalinosis/necrosis and massive cast formation, while control mice manifested mild tubular injury and crescentic glomerulonephritis. Surprisingly, the expression of cytokines/chemokines and infiltration with T-cells and macrophages were also diminished in STC1 knockdown kidneys. Staining for sheep anti-mouse GBM antibody, deposition of mouse C3 and IgG in the kidney, and antibody response to sheep IgG were equal. CONCLUSIONS: nephrotoxic nephritis after kidney-specific knockdown of STC1 is characterized by severe tubular and glomerular necrosis, possibly due to loss of STC1-mediated pro-survival factors, and we attribute the paucity of inflammation to diminished release of cytokines/chemokines/growth factors from the necrotic epithelium.