Endothelial or vascular smooth muscle cell-specific expression of human NOX5 exacerbates renal inflammation, fibrosis and albuminuria in the Akita mouse

Jay C. Jha, Aozhi Dai, Chet E. Holterman, Mark E. Cooper, Rhian M. Touyz, Chris R. Kennedy, Karin A.M. Jandeleit-Dahm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Aims/hypothesis: Excessive production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) plays a detrimental role in the progression of diabetic kidney disease (DKD). Renal oxidative stress activates proinflammatory cytokines, chemokines and profibrotic factors in DKD. Increased expression of the prooxidant enzyme NADPH oxidase (NOX) 5 in kidneys of diabetic individuals has been hypothesised to correlate with renal injury and progression of DKD. Since the gene encoding NOX5 is not expressed in the mouse genome, we examined the effect of inducible human NOX5 expression in renal cells, selectively in either endothelial cells or vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs)/mesangial cells in a model of insulin-deficient diabetes, the Akita mouse. Methods: Renal structural injury, including glomerulosclerosis, mesangial expansion and extracellular matrix protein accumulation, as well as renal inflammation, ROS formation and albuminuria, were examined in the NOX5 transgenic Akita mouse model of DKD. Results: Expression of NOX5 in either endothelial cells or VSMCs/mesangial cells in diabetic Akita mice was associated with increased renal inflammation (monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, NF-κB and toll-like receptor-4) and glomerulosclerosis, as well as upregulation of protein kinase C-α and increased expression of extracellular matrix genes (encoding collagen III, fibronectin and α-smooth muscle actin) and proteins (collagen IV), most likely mediated via enhanced renal ROS production. The effect of VSMC/mesangial cell-specific NOX5 expression resulted in more pronounced renal fibrosis in comparison with endothelial cell-specific NOX5 expression in diabetic mice. In addition, albuminuria was significantly increased in diabetic VEcad+NOX5+ mice (1192 ± 194 μg/24 h) when compared with diabetic VEcad+NOX5 mice (770 ± 98 μg/24 h). Furthermore, the regulatory components of NOX5 activation, including heat shock protein 90 and transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily C member 6, were upregulated only in the presence of both NOX5 and diabetes. Conclusions/interpretation: The findings from this study highlight the importance of NOX5 in promoting diabetes-related renal injury and provide the rationale for the development of a selective NOX5 inhibitor for the prevention and/or treatment of DKD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1712-1726
Number of pages15
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2019


  • Akita mouse
  • Albuminuria
  • Diabetic kidney disease
  • Endothelial cells
  • Glomerulosclerosis
  • VSMCs/mesangial cells

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