Transactivation of EGF receptor (EGFR) by angiotensin II (Ang II) plays important roles in the initiation and progression of chronic kidney diseases. Studies suggest that heparin-binding EGF-like factor (HB-EGF) may be a critical mediator in this process, but its role in vivo has not been investigated. In the current study, we found that in response to Ang II infusion, kidneys from endothelial HB-EGF deletion mice had significantly reduced EGFR activation compared with controls. Meanwhile, deletion of endothelial HB-EGF expression decreased Ang II infusion related renal injury, as demonstrated by 1) less albuminuria; 2) less glomerulosclerosis; 3) preserved endothelial integrity and decreased podocyte injury, as shown by greater glomerular tuft area and WT1-positive cells, and fewer apoptotic cells measured by cleaved caspase 3 staining; 4) reduced inflammation in the perivascular area and interstitium measured by F4/80 and CD3 immunostaining; and 5) reduced renal fibrosis. In conclusion, our results suggest that shedding of HB-EGF from endothelium plays an important role in Ang II-induced renal injury by linking Ang II-AT1R with EGFR transactivation. Inhibition of HB-EGF shedding could be a potential therapeutic strategy for chronic kidney disease.
- heparin-binding epidermal growth factor-like factor
- angiotensin II
- chronic kidney disease
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