Effects of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma agonists on Na plus transport and activity of the kinase SGK1 in epithelial cells from lung and kidney

Stuart M. Wilson, Morag K. Mansley, Jennet Getty, Elaine M. Husband, Sarah K. Inglis, Michael K. Hansen

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    Background and purpose:

    Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR gamma) agonists, such as rosiglitazone and pioglitazone, sensitize cells to insulin, and are therefore used to treat type 2 diabetes. However, in some patients, these drugs induce oedema, and the present study tests the hypothesis that this side effect reflects serum and glucocorticoid-inducible kinase 1 (SGK1)-dependent enhancement of epithelia Na+ absorption.

    Experimental approach:

    Na+ absorbing epithelial cells (H441 cells, mpkCCD cells) on permeable membranes were mounted in Ussing chambers, and the effects of rosiglitazone (2 mu M) and pioglitazone (10 mu M) on transepithelial Na+ absorption were quantified electrometrically. Changes in SGK1 activity were assessed by monitoring phosphorylation of residues within an endogenous protein.

    Key results:

    Both cell types absorbed Na+ via an electrogenic process that was enhanced by insulin. In mpkCCD cells, this stimulation of Na+ transport was associated with increased activity of SGK1, whereas insulin regulated Na+ transport in H441 cells through a mechanism that did not involve activation of this kinase. Rosiglitazone and pioglitazone had no discernible effect on transepithelial Na+ absorption in unstimulated or insulin-stimulated cells and failed to alter cellular SGK1 activity.

    Conclusions and implications:

    Our results do not support the view that PPAR gamma agonists stimulate epithelial Na+ absorption or alter the control of cellular SGK1 activity. It is therefore likely that other mechanisms are involved in PPAR gamma-mediated fluid retention, and a better understanding of these mechanisms may help with the identification of patients likely to develop oedema or heart failure when treated with these drugs.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)678-688
    Number of pages11
    JournalBritish Journal of Pharmacology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010


    • rosiglitazone
    • pioglitazone
    • SGK1
    • epithelial Na plus channel
    • type 2 diabetes
    • SERUM
    • ALPHA

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