1. Division of Nephrology, Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, Hubei, China.
2. Nephrology and Urology Research Institute of Wuhan University, Wuhan, Hubei, China.
Disturbed renal lipid metabolism, especially cholesterol dysregulation plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of chronic kidney disease (CKD). We recently reported that angiotensin (Ang) II could induce cholesterol accumulation and injury in podocytes. However, the underlying mechanisms for these alterations remain unknown.
Methods: Bioinformatics analysis of renal biopsy specimens from patients with hypertensive nephropathy (HN) suggests the involvement of Sirtuin 6 (Sirt6) in Ang II-induced dysregulation of glomerular cholesterol. Using a podocyte-specific Sirt6 knockout mouse model, the effects of Sirt6 on Ang II-induced cholesterol accumulation in podocytes and the therapeutic efficacies of cholesterol-lowering agents were evaluated.
Results: Cholesterol accumulation was detected in the podocytes of Ang II-infused mice, whereas selective deletion of Sirt6 in podocytes not only increased cholesterol accumulation in these cells but also exacerbated Ang II-induced kidney injury. Deletion of Sirt6 also attenuated the protective effect of cyclodextrin (CD) on Ang II-induced urinary albumin excretion, glomerulosclerosis and podocyte injury. In addition, we demonstrated that Sirt6 affected cholesterol efflux in podocytes by regulating the expression of ATP-binding cassette transporter G1 (ABCG1).
Conclusions: These findings provide evidence that Sirt6 is a potential target for renin-angiotensin system (RAS)-associated podocyte injury and provide a rationale for the application of cholesterol-lowering agents in patients with CKD.
Keywords: Sirt6, angiotensin II, cholesterol accumulation, podocyte injury, methyl-β-cyclodextrin