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The Core Investigators have many years of experience in the use of BIOQUANT true color image analysis system in kidney research (22), (23), (24), (25), (26). This image analysis system includes an Olympus BX40 microscope (Olympus American Inc., FL), a Retiga FAST 1394 color digital camera (QImaging, British Columbia, Canada) and BioQuant NOVA prime imaging analysis software (BioQuant, Nashville, TN). Automated image capture and analysis can be conducted conveniently for high-throughput expression profiling of proteins.


Publications for Morphometry (5)

Yao B, Harris RC, Zhang MZ. Interactions between 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase and COX-2 in kidney. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol (2005) 288:R1767-73
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The syndrome of apparent mineralocorticoid excess (SAME) is an autosomal recessive form of salt-sensitive hypertension caused by deficiency of the kidney type 2 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (11betaHSD2). In this disorder, cortisol is not inactivated by 11betaHSD2, occupies mineralocorticoid receptors (MRs), and causes excessive sodium retention and hypertension. In renal medulla, prostaglandins derived from cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) stimulate sodium and water excretion, and renal medullary COX-2 expression increases after mineralocorticoid administration. We investigated whether medullary COX-2 also increases in rats with 11betaHSD2 inhibition and examined its possible role in the development of hypertension. 11betaHSD2 inhibition increased medullary and decreased cortical COX-2 expression in adult rats and induced high blood pressure in high-salt-treated rats. COX-2 inhibition had no effect on blood pressure in control animals but further increased blood pressure in high-salt-treated rats with 11betaHSD2 inhibition. COX-1 inhibition had no effect on blood pressure in either control or experimental animals. 11betaHSD2 inhibition also led to medullary COX-2 increase and cortical COX-2 decrease in weaning rats, primarily through activation of MRs. In the suckling rats, medullary COX-2 expression was very low, consistent with a urinary concentrating defect. 11betaHSD2 inhibition had no effect on either cortical or medullary COX-2 expression in the suckling rats, consistent with low levels of circulating corticosterone in these animals. These data indicate that COX-2 plays a modulating role in the development of hypertension due to 11betaHSD2 deficiency and that 11betaHSD2 regulates renal COX-2 expression by preventing glucocorticoid access to MRs during postnatal development.

Zhang MZ, Wang SW, Cheng H, Zhang Y, McKanna JA, Harris RC. Regulation of renal cortical cyclooxygenase-2 in young rats. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol (2003) 285:F881-8
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Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) is involved in kidney morphogenesis and is transiently elevated in the immature kidney. In adult rats, renal cortical COX-2 expression is tonically suppressed by mineralocorticoids (MC) and glucocorticoids (GC) and induced by chronic salt restriction. Young rats have low levels of GC and are in a state of relative volume depletion. The present study was designed to investigate the mechanisms underlying elevated cortical COX-2 expression in the immature kidney. Supplementation of GC or MC suppressed cortical COX-2 expression in suckling rats. GC suppression was significantly, but not completely, prevented by either an MC receptor antagonist or a GC receptor antagonist. MC suppression was completely prevented by a mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist. Salt supplementation suppressed cortical COX-2 expression in a doseand time-dependent pattern in the suckling rats. Cortical COX-2 expression in the weanling rats was upregulated by a low-salt diet and downregulated by a high-salt diet. These results suggest that relative volume depletion and reduced GC levels are involved in elevated cortical COX-2 expression in the immature rodent kidney.

Cheng HF, Wang CJ, Moeckel GW, Zhang MZ, McKanna JA, Harris RC. Cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor blocks expression of mediators of renal injury in a model of diabetes and hypertension. Kidney Int (2002) 62:929-39
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BACKGROUND: We previously reported that renal cortical cyclooxygenase (COX-2) expression increased following subtotal nephrectomy, and chronic treatment with a selective COX-2 inhibitor, SC58236, reduced proteinuria and retarded the development of glomerulosclerosis. The present studies were designed to examine the effects of COX-2 inhibition in a model of diabetic nephropathy. METHODS: Rats were divided into three groups: control, diabetic (streptozotocin-induced diabetic animals with superimposed DOCA/salt hypertension; right nephrectomy and DOCA treatment), and treated (administration of the selective COX-2 inhibitor, SC58236, to a subset of diabetic/DOCA/salt rats). Insulin was administered to maintain blood glucose in the 200 to 300 mg/dL range. RESULTS: Systolic blood pressure in the two diabetic groups was elevated within one week and remained elevated until sacrifice at six weeks (control, 108 +/2 mm Hg; diabetic, 158 +/4 mm Hg; treated, 156 +/7 mm Hg). When measured at six weeks, immunoreactive COX-2 expression in the renal cortex of the diabetic rats was 2.5 +/0.3-fold of control animals (N = 7). Immunohistochemical localization indicated increased expression in macula densa and surrounding cortical thick ascending limb of Henle (cTALH). The COX-2 inhibitor decreased COX-2 expression in diabetic rats to 1.3 +/0.1-fold control. In addition, SC58236 decreased expression of PAI-1 (diabetic vs. treated, 3.2 +/0.5 vs. 1.7 +/0.2-fold control, N = 7, P < 0.05), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF; 2.0 +/0.2 vs. 1.2 +/0.2; N = 7, P < 0.05), fibronectin (2.4 +/0.3 to 1.3 +/0.1; N = 7, P < 0.05) and transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta; 2.1 +/0.2 vs. 1.3 +/- 0.2; N = 7, P < 0.05). Proteinuria at six weeks was decreased in the SC58236-treated rats (149 +/8 vs. 92 +/8 mg/24 h; N = 7, P < 0.01). The mesangial sclerosis index, defined as increases in extracellular matrix within the mesangial space, was determined at six weeks; the control group had an index of 0.06 +/0.01, the diabetic group was 2.7 +/0.04 and the treated group was 0.6 +/0.03 (P < 0.0001 compared to the diabetic group). CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that in an experimental model of diabetes and hypertension, inhibition of COX-2 expression decreases potential mediators of glomerular and tubulointerstitial injury and also decreases biochemical, functional and structural markers of renal injury.

Cheng HF, Wang JL, Zhang MZ, McKanna JA, Harris RC. Nitric oxide regulates renal cortical cyclooxygenase-2 expression. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol (2000) 279:F122-9
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We have previously shown that cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) is localized to the cortical thick ascending limb of the loop of Henle (cTALH)/macula densa of the rat kidney, and expression increases in response to low-salt diet and/or angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibition. Because of the localization of neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) to macula densa and surrounding cTALH, the present study investigated the role of nitric oxide (NO) in the regulation of COX-2 expression. For in vivo studies, rats were fed a normal diet, low-salt diet or low-salt diet combined with the ACE inhibitor captopril. In each group, one-half of them were treated with the nNOS inhibitors 7-nitroinidazole (7-NI) or S-methyl-thiocitrulline. Both of these NOS inhibitors inhibited increases in COX-2 mRNA and immunoreactive protein in response to low salt and low salt+captopril. For in vitro studies, COX-2 expression was studied in primary cultures of rabbit cTALH cells immunodisssected with Tamm-Horsfall antibody. Basal COX-2 immunoreactivity expression was stimulated by S-nitroso-N-acetyl-penicillamine (SNAP), an NO donor, and intracellular cGMP concentration. The cultured cells expressed immunoreactive nNOS, and 7-NI inhibited basal COX-2 immunoreactivity expression, which could be partially overcome by cGMP. In summary, these studies indicate that NO is a mediator of increased renal cortical COX-2 expression seen in volume depletion and suggest important interactions between the NO and COX-2 systems in the regulation of arteriolar tone and the renin-angiotensin system by the macula densa.

Komhoff M, Wang JL, Cheng HF, Langenbach R, McKanna JA, Harris RC, Breyer MD. Cyclooxygenase-2-selective inhibitors impair glomerulogenesis and renal cortical development. Kidney Int (2000) 57:414-22
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BACKGROUND: Antenatal exposure to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) has been associated with renal dysgenesis in humans. METHODS: These studies characterized cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) versus COX-1-selective inhibition on nephrogenesis in the rodent using histomorphometry, immunohistology, and in situ hybridization. RESULTS: Administration of a COX-2-selective inhibitor (SC58236), started during pregnancy until weaning, significantly impaired development of the renal cortex and reduced glomerular diameter in both mice and rats. An identical phenotype was demonstrated in COX-2 -/mice. In contrast to its effects on the developing kidney, a COX-2 inhibitor had no effect on glomerular volume in adult mice. This effect was specific for COX-2 because maternal administration of a COX-1-selective inhibitor (SC58560) did not affect renal development despite significantly inhibiting gastric mucosal prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) synthesis in pups. The expression of COX-2 immunoreactivity peaked in the first postnatal week and was localized to S-shaped bodies and the macula densa in the cortex. Treatment with a COX-2 inhibitor during this period (from postnatal day 0 to day 21) severely reduced glomerular diameter, whereas treatment limited to pregnancy did not affect glomerular size. CONCLUSION: These data demonstrate an important role for COX-2 activity in nephrogenesis in the rodent, and define a specific time period of susceptibility to these effects.

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Last updated on 2009-07-08 Moderated by Ming-Zhi Zhang