Autosomal dominant tubulointerstitial kidney disease (ADTKD) is an inherited disorder that causes progressive kidney damage and renal failure. Mutations in the UMOD gene, encoding uromodulin, lead to ADTKD-UMOD related. Uromodulin is a GPI-anchored protein exclusively produced by epithelial cells of the thick ascending limb of Henle's loop. It is released in the tubular lumen after proteolytic cleavage and represents the most abundant protein in human urine in physiological condition. We previously generated and characterized a transgenic mouse model expressing mutant uromodulin (Tg UmodC147W) that recapitulates the main features of ATDKD-UMOD. While several studies clearly demonstrated that mutated uromodulin accumulates in endoplasmic reticulum, the mechanisms that lead to renal damage are not fully understood. In our work, we used kidney transcriptional profiling to identify early events of pathogenesis in the kidneys of Tg UmodC147W mice. Our results demonstrate up-regulation of inflammation and fibrosis and down-regulation of lipid metabolism in young Tg UmodC147W mice, before any functional or histological evidence of kidney damage. We also show that pro-inflammatory signals precede fibrosis onset and are already present in the first week after birth. Early induction of inflammation is likely relevant for ADTKD-UMOD pathogenesis and related pathways can be envisaged as possible novel targets for therapeutic intervention.
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