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Free Radic Biol Med. 2012 Sep 15;53(6):1286-97. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2012.07.012. Epub 2012 Jul 21.

NADPH oxidase-mediated upregulation of connexin43 contributes to podocyte injury.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Signaling, Interdisciplinary Graduate School of Medicine and Engineering, University of Yamanashi, Yamanashi 409-3898, Japan.


The gap junction protein connexin43 (Cx43) was markedly increased in podocytes in a rat model of nephrosis induced by puromycin. However, the mechanisms and roles of the altered Cx43 in podocytes are still unclear. Given that oxidative stress mediates podocyte injury under a variety of pathological situations, we examined the possible involvement of an oxidative stress-related mechanism in the regulation of Cx43. Incubation of podocytes with puromycin led to a time- and concentration-dependent loss of cell viability, which was preceded by an elevation in Cx43 levels. Concomitantly, puromycin also induced NOX4 expression and promoted superoxide (O(2)(·-)) generation. Inhibition of NADPH oxidase with apocynin and diphenyleneiodonium chloride or addition of the superoxide dismutase mimetic tempol completely abrogated, whereas the O(2)(·-) donors menadione and 2,3-dimethoxy-1,4-naphthoquinone reproduced, the effects of puromycin on Cx43 expression and cell injury. Further analysis demonstrated that treatment of podocytes with several structurally different gap-junction inhibitors significantly attenuated the cytotoxicity of puromycin. Our results thus indicate that NADPH oxidase-mediated upregulation of Cx43 contributes to podocyte injury.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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