Permselective dysfunction of podocyte-podocyte contact upon angiotensin II unravels the molecular target for renoprotective intervention

Daniela Macconi, Mauro Abbate, Marina Morigi, Stefania Angioletti, Marilena Mister, Simona Buelli, Maria Bonomelli, Peter Mundel, Karlhans Endlich, Andrea Remuzzi, Giuseppe Remuzzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ameliorating the function of the glomerular barrier to circulating proteins by blocking angiotensin II (Ang II) translates into less risk of progression toward endstage renal failure in diabetic and nondiabetic nephropathies. However, the mechanisms underlying this barrier protection are not clear. Specialized contacts between adjacent podocytes are major candidate targets, and the actin cytoskeleton is emerging as a regulatory element Here, we present data demonstrating that Ang II induced reorganization of F-actin fibers and redistribution of zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1) that is physically associated with actin in murine podocytes. These effects were paralleled by increased albumin permeability across podocyte monolayers. The F-actin stabilizer jasplakinolide prevented both ZO-1 redistribution and albumin leakage, suggesting that actin cytoskeleton rearrangement is instrumental to podocyte permselective dysfunction induced by Ang II. Changes in both F-actin and ZO-1 patterns were confirmed in glomeruli of rat isolated perfused kidneys on short infusion of Ang II, leading to increased protein excretion. Podocyte dysfunction was mediated by Ang II type 1 receptor and was partly dependent on Src kinase-phospholipase C activation. These data demonstrate that strategies aimed at stabilizing podocyte-podocyte contacts and targeting the relevant intracellular signal transduction are crucial to renoprotection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1073-1085
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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