Cellular and subcellular localization of uncoupling protein 2 in the human kidney

Michelangelo Nigro, Claudia De Sanctis, Pietro Formisano, Rosita Stanzione, Maurizio Forte, Giovambattista Capasso, Giuseppe Gigliotti, Speranza Rubattu, Davide Viggiano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The uncoupling protein-2 (UCP2) is an anion transporter that plays a key role in the control of intracellular oxidative stress. In animal models UCP2 downregulation has several pathological sequelae, particularly affecting the vasculature and the kidney. Specifically, in these models kidney damage is highly favored in the absence of UCP2 in the context of experimental hypertension. Confirmations of these data in humans awaits further information, as no data are yet available concerning the cell-type and subcellular expression in the human kidney. In the present study, we aimed to characterize the UCP2 protein distribution in human kidney biopsies. In humans UCP2 is mainly localized in proximal convoluted tubule cells, with an intracytoplasmic punctate staining. UCP2 positive puncta are often localized at the interface between the endoplasmic reticulum and the mitochondria. Glomerular structures do not express UCP2 at detectable levels. The expression of UCP2 in proximal tubular cells may explain their relative propensity to damage in pathological conditions including the hypertensive disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-445
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Molecular Histology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2018


  • Human kidney
  • Hypertension
  • Mitochondria
  • Renal proximal tubular epithelial cells
  • Uncoupling proteins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Histology
  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology


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