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Kidney Int. 2007 Aug;72(3):300-6. Epub 2007 Apr 18.

Vitamin D activates type A natriuretic peptide receptor gene transcription in inner medullary collecting duct cells.

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Diabetes Center, University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94143-0540, USA.


Many clinical and animal studies suggest that vitamin D and its metabolites have beneficial effects in the cardiovascular and renal systems. Using immunologic and enzymatic assays, vitamin D receptor and 25 hydroxyvitamin D3 1alpha-hydroxylase activity were found in inner medullary collecting duct (IMCD) cells suggesting an autocrine/paracrine role in this nephron segment. In this study, we examined the ability of 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25(OH)(2)D3) to regulate the expression of the vasculoprotective natriuretic peptide receptor-A gene in these cells in culture. Treatment of the cells with 1,25(OH)(2)D3 caused a doubling of natriuretic peptide-dependent cyclic guanosine monophosphate production and a significant increase in natriuretic peptide receptor-A protein expression. This was accompanied by significant increases in receptor mRNA levels and gene-promoter activity. Mutation of a vitamin D response element, positioned upstream from the gene start site, resulted in a complete loss of 1,25(OH)(2)D3-dependent induction but not the induction by hypertonic stimuli. Introduction of small interfering RNA directed against the vitamin D receptor into the IMCD cells resulted in decreased natriuretic peptide receptor-A gene promoter activity and protein. The increase in this receptor expression may account for some of the reported beneficial effect of 1,25(OH)(2)D3 on the cardiovascular system and kidney.

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