Expression of subunits of the metalloendopeptidase meprin in renal cortex in experimental hydronephrosis

Sharon D. Ricardo, Judith S. Bond, Gary D. Johnson, John Kaspar, Jonathan R. Diamond

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-Meprin A is a metalloendopeptidase in the proximal tubular epithelium of rodents that is capable of hydrolyzing a great variety of peptides and proteins. The aim of the present investigation was to investigate effects of ureteral ligation on the expression of meprin subunits. Ureteral ligation resulted in marked decreases in the expression of both α- and β-meprin subunits within 12 h of ureteral obstruction. Even greater downregulation of expression of meprin α- and β-mRNA was noted at 24, 48, and 96 h after ureteral ligation. The greatest decrease in meprin mRNA expression in obstructed kidneys over contralateral unobstructed control kidneys (CUK) occurred at 24 h postunilateral ureteral obstruction (post-UUO) for the meprin a-subunit (20-fold decrease compared with controls) and at 48 h for the meprin β-subunit (90-fold decrease). On immunolabeling, the intensity for the two meprin subunits at the corticomedullary junction was dramatically decreased at 24 to 96 h after ureteral ligation in contrast to the CUK specimens. Results of in situ hybridization indicated that the CUK specimens expressed meprin β-mRNA at the corticomedullary junction, whereas the obstructed kidneys exhibited a decrease in mRNA signal for meprin β-subunit. There was a steady increase in the interstitial macrophage number in UUO rat kidneys over the 96 h of evaluation post-UUO. ED-1-positive macrophages were observed almost exclusively in the peritubular cortical interstitial space in a ringlike pattern with a preponderance of macrophage clusters around glomeruli. Unexpectedly, after reversal of UUO, the interstitial macrophage number remained higher than controls, despite the demonstrable decompression of the renal pelvis and caliceal system. In summary, this investigation demonstrates downregulation of meprin α and β within hours of UUO and indicates a novel tubular response to ureteral obstruction.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Metalloproteases
  • Obstructive nephropathy
  • Proximal tubule proteinases
  • Ureteral obstruction

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