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Combined Structural and Functional Imaging of the Kidney Reveals Major Axial Differences in Proximal Tubule Endocytosis


Schuh, Claus D; Polesel, Marcello; Platonova, Evgenia; Haenni, Dominik; Gassama, Alkaly; Tokonami, Natsuko; Ghazi, Susan; Bugarski, Milica; Devuyst, Olivier; Ziegler, Urs; Hall, Andrew M (2018). Combined Structural and Functional Imaging of the Kidney Reveals Major Axial Differences in Proximal Tubule Endocytosis. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN), 29(11):2696-2712.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The kidney proximal convoluted tubule (PCT) reabsorbs filtered macromolecules via receptor-mediated endocytosis (RME) or nonspecific fluid phase endocytosis (FPE); endocytosis is also an entry route for disease-causing toxins. PCT cells express the protein ligand receptor megalin and have a highly developed endolysosomal system (ELS). Two PCT segments (S1 and S2) display subtle differences in cellular ultrastructure; whether these translate into differences in endocytotic function has been unknown.
METHODS: To investigate potential differences in endocytic function in S1 and S2, we quantified ELS protein expression in mouse kidney PCTs using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction and immunostaining. We also used multiphoton microscopy to visualize uptake of fluorescently labeled ligands in both living animals and tissue cleared using a modified CLARITY approach.
RESULTS: Uptake of proteins by RME occurs almost exclusively in S1. In contrast, dextran uptake by FPE takes place in both S1 and S2, suggesting that RME and FPE are discrete processes. Expression of key ELS proteins, but not megalin, showed a bimodal distribution; levels were far higher in S1, where intracellular distribution was also more polarized. Tissue clearing permitted imaging of ligand uptake at single-organelle resolution in large sections of kidney cortex. Analysis of segmented tubules confirmed that, compared with protein uptake, dextran uptake occurred over a much greater length of the PCT, although individual PCTs show marked heterogeneity in solute uptake length and three-dimensional morphology.
CONCLUSIONS: Striking axial differences in ligand uptake and ELS function exist along the PCT, independent of megalin expression. These differences have important implications for understanding topographic patterns of kidney diseases and the origins of proteinuria.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The kidney proximal convoluted tubule (PCT) reabsorbs filtered macromolecules via receptor-mediated endocytosis (RME) or nonspecific fluid phase endocytosis (FPE); endocytosis is also an entry route for disease-causing toxins. PCT cells express the protein ligand receptor megalin and have a highly developed endolysosomal system (ELS). Two PCT segments (S1 and S2) display subtle differences in cellular ultrastructure; whether these translate into differences in endocytotic function has been unknown.
METHODS: To investigate potential differences in endocytic function in S1 and S2, we quantified ELS protein expression in mouse kidney PCTs using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction and immunostaining. We also used multiphoton microscopy to visualize uptake of fluorescently labeled ligands in both living animals and tissue cleared using a modified CLARITY approach.
RESULTS: Uptake of proteins by RME occurs almost exclusively in S1. In contrast, dextran uptake by FPE takes place in both S1 and S2, suggesting that RME and FPE are discrete processes. Expression of key ELS proteins, but not megalin, showed a bimodal distribution; levels were far higher in S1, where intracellular distribution was also more polarized. Tissue clearing permitted imaging of ligand uptake at single-organelle resolution in large sections of kidney cortex. Analysis of segmented tubules confirmed that, compared with protein uptake, dextran uptake occurred over a much greater length of the PCT, although individual PCTs show marked heterogeneity in solute uptake length and three-dimensional morphology.
CONCLUSIONS: Striking axial differences in ligand uptake and ELS function exist along the PCT, independent of megalin expression. These differences have important implications for understanding topographic patterns of kidney diseases and the origins of proteinuria.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Anatomy
04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Microscopy and Image Analysis
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Nephrology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Physiology
07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Physiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Uncontrolled Keywords:Nephrology, General Medicine
Language:English
Date:9 October 2018
Deposited On:21 Nov 2018 16:49
Last Modified:22 Nov 2018 08:30
Publisher:American Society of Nephrology
ISSN:1046-6673
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1681/asn.2018050522
PubMed ID:30301861

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