The urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) receptor (uPAR) participates to the mechanisms causing renal damage in response to hyperglycaemia. The main function of uPAR in podocytes (as well as soluble uPAR -(s)uPAR- from circulation) is to regulate podocyte function through αvβ3 integrin/Rac-1. We addressed the question of whether blocking the uPAR pathway with the small peptide UPARANT, which inhibits uPAR binding to the formyl peptide receptors (FPRs) can improve kidney lesions in a rat model of streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetes. The concentration of systemically administered UPARANT was measured in the plasma, in kidney and liver extracts and UPARANT effects on dysregulated uPAR pathway, αvβ3 integrin/Rac-1 activity, renal fibrosis and kidney morphology were determined. UPARANT was found to revert STZ-induced up-regulation of uPA levels and activity, while uPAR on podocytes and (s)uPAR were unaffected. In glomeruli, UPARANT inhibited FPR2 expression suggesting that the drug may act downstream uPAR, and recovered the increased activity of the αvβ3 integrin/Rac-1 pathway indicating a major role of uPAR in regulating podocyte function. At the functional level, UPARANT was shown to ameliorate: (a) the standard renal parameters, (b) the vascular permeability, (c) the renal inflammation, (d) the renal fibrosis including dysregulated plasminogen-plasmin system, extracellular matrix accumulation and glomerular fibrotic areas and (e) morphological alterations of the glomerulus including diseased filtration barrier. These results provide the first demonstration that blocking the uPAR pathway can improve diabetic kidney lesion in the STZ model, thus suggesting the uPA/uPAR system as a promising target for the development of novel uPAR-targeting approaches.
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|Titolo:||Inhibiting the urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor system recovers STZ-induced diabetic nephropathy|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2019|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|