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Pediatr Res. 2017 Nov;82(5):855-862. doi: 10.1038/pr.2017.157. Epub 2017 Aug 2.

Foxd1 is an upstream regulator of the renin-angiotensin system during metanephric kidney development.

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Division of Pediatric Nephrology, Department of Pediatrics, Hypertension and Renal Center of Excellence, Tulane University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, Louisiana.
Department of Pediatrics, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, Virginia.


BackgroundWe tested the hypothesis that Foxd1, a transcription factor essential for normal kidney development, is an upstream regulator of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) during ureteric bud (UB)-branching morphogenesis.MethodsUB branching, RAS gene, and protein expression were studied in embryonic mouse kidneys. RAS mRNA expression was studied in mesenchymal MK4 cells.ResultsThe number of UB tips was reduced in Foxd1-/- compared with that in Foxd1+/+ metanephroi on embryonic day E12.5 (14±2.1 vs. 28±1.3, P<0.05). Quantitative real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) demonstrated that renin, angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE), and angiotensin (Ang) II receptor type 1 (AT1R) mRNA levels were decreased in Foxd1-/- compared with those in Foxd1+/+ E14.5 metanephroi. Western blot analysis and immunohistochemistry showed decreased expression of AGT and renin proteins in Foxd1-/- metanephroi compared with that in Foxd1+/+ metanephroi. Foxd1 overexpression in mesenchymal MK4 cells in vitro increased renin, AGT, ACE, and AT1R mRNA levels. Exogenous Ang II stimulated UB branching equally in whole intact E12.5 Foxd1-/- and Foxd1+/+ metanephroi grown ex vivo (+364±21% vs. +336±18%, P=0.42).ConclusionWe conclude that Foxd1 is an upstream positive regulator of RAS during early metanephric development and propose that the cross-talk between Foxd1 and RAS is essential in UB-branching morphogenesis.

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