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Hypertension. 2014 Mar;63(3):e74-80. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.113.02569. Epub 2013 Dec 30.

Single-nucleotide polymorphisms of the dopamine D2 receptor increase inflammation and fibrosis in human renal proximal tubule cells.

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University of Maryland School of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology, 20 Penn St- HSFII Suite S003C, Baltimore, MD 21201.


The dopamine D2 receptor (D2R) negatively regulates inflammation in mouse renal proximal tubule cells (RPTCs), and lack or downregulation of the receptor in mice increases the vulnerability to renal inflammation independent of blood pressure. Some common single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs; rs6276, rs6277, and rs1800497) in the human DRD2 gene are associated with decreased D2R expression and function, as well as high blood pressure. We tested the hypothesis that human RPTCs (hRPTCs) expressing these SNPs have increased expression of inflammatory and injury markers. We studied immortalized hRPTCs carrying D2R SNPs and compared them with cells carrying no D2R SNPs. RPTCs with D2R SNPs had decreased D2R expression and function. The expressions of the proinflammatory tumor necrosis factor-α and the profibrotic transforming growth factor-β1 and its signaling targets Smad3 and Snail1 were increased in hRPTC with D2R SNPs. These cells also showed induction of epithelial mesenchymal transition and production of extracellular matrix proteins, assessed by increased vimentin, fibronectin 1, and collagen I a1. To test the specificity of these D2R SNP effects, hRPTC with D2R SNPs were transfected with a plasmid encoding wild-type DRD2. The expression of D2R was increased and that of transforming growth factor-β1, Smad3, Snail1, vimentin, fibronectin 1, and collagen I a1 was decreased in hRPTC with D2R SNPs transfected with wild-type DRD2 compared with hRPTC-D2R SNP transfected with empty vector. These data support the hypothesis that D2R function has protective effects in hRPTCs and suggest that carriers of these SNPs may be prone to chronic renal disease and high blood pressure.


chronic kidney disease; kidney; receptors, dopamine D2

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