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Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2013 Sep 15;305(6):F861-70. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.00597.2012. Epub 2013 Jul 10.

SIRPα signaling regulates podocyte structure and function.

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Dept. of Medicine and Clinical Science, Gunma Univ. Graduate School of Medicine, 3-39-22 Showa, Maebashi, Gunma 371-8511, Japan.


Signal-regulatory protein-α (SIRPα) is a transmembrane protein that contains tyrosine phosphorylation sites in its cytoplasmic region; two tyrosine phosphatases, SHP-1 and SHP-2, bind to these sites in a phosphorylation-dependent manner and transduce multiple intracellular signals. Recently, SIRPα was identified as one of the major tyrosine-phosphorylated proteins in the glomeruli and found to be expressed in podocytes. In the present study, we examined the role of SIRPα expression in podocytes using knockin mice (C57BL/6 background) expressing mutant SIRPα that lacks a cytoplasmic region (SIRPα-mutant mice). Light microscopic examination revealed no apparent morphological abnormalities in the kidneys of the SIRPα-mutant mice. On the other hand, electron microscopic examination revealed abnormal podocytes with irregular major processes and wider and flattened foot processes in the SIRPα-mutant mice compared with their wild-type counterparts. Significantly impaired renal functions and slight albuminuria were demonstrated in the SIRPα-mutant mice. In addition, adriamycin injection induced massive albuminuria together with focal glomerulosclerosis in the SIRPα-mutant mice, while their wild-type counterparts were resistant to adriamycin-induced nephropathy. These data demonstrate that SIRPα is involved in the regulation of podocyte structure and function as a filtration barrier under both physiological and pathological conditions.


SIRPα; adriamycin nephropathy; podocytes; proteinuria

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