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Hypertension. 2012 Feb;59(2):446-52. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.111.185744. Epub 2012 Jan 3.

Role of renal DJ-1 in the pathogenesis of hypertension associated with increased reactive oxygen species production.

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Center for Molecular Physiology Research, Children's National Medical Center, 111 Michigan Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20010, USA.

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  • Hypertension. 2012 Apr;59(4):e38.


The D(2) dopamine receptor (D(2)R) is important in the pathogenesis of essential hypertension. We have already reported that systemic deletion of the D(2)R gene in mice results in reactive oxygen species (ROS)-dependent hypertension, suggesting that the D(2)R has antioxidant effects. However, the mechanism of this effect is unknown. DJ-1 is a protein that has antioxidant properties. D(2)R and DJ-1 are expressed in the mouse kidney and colocalize and coimunoprecipitate in mouse renal proximal tubule cells. We hypothesized that D(2)Rs regulate renal ROS production in the kidney through regulation of DJ-1 expression or function. Heterozygous D(2)(+/-) mice have increased blood pressure, urinary 8-isoprostanes, and renal Nox 4 expression, but decreased renal DJ-1 expression. Silencing D(2)R expression in mouse renal proximal tubule cells increases ROS production and decreases the expression of DJ-1. Conversely, treatment of these cells with a D(2)R agonist increases DJ-1 expression and decreases Nox 4 expression and NADPH oxidase activity, effects that are partially blocked by a D(2)R antagonist. Silencing DJ-1 expression in mouse renal proximal tubule cells increases ROS production and Nox 4 expression. Selective renal DJ-1 silencing by the subcapsular infusion of DJ-1 siRNA in mice increases blood pressure, renal Nox4 expression, and NADPH oxidase activity. These results suggest that the inhibitory effects of D(2)R on renal ROS production are at least, in part, mediated by a positive regulation of DJ-1 expression/function and that DJ-1 may have a role in the prevention of hypertension associated with increased ROS production.

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