SGK1 is critically important for mineralocorticoid/salt-induced glomerular injury. SGK1 inactivates GSK3, which downregulates Snail, a DNA-binding molecule repressing the transcription of nephrin, a protein critically important for the integrity of the glomerular slit membrane. PKB/SGK-dependent GSK regulation is disrupted in mice carrying a mutation, in which the serine in the SGK/PKB-phosphorylation consensus sequence is replaced by alanine. The present study explored whether PKB/SGK-dependent GSK3 regulation influences glomerular proteinuria. Gene-targeted knockin mice with mutated and thus PKB/SGK-resistant GSK3 alpha,beta (gsk3(KI)) were compared with their wild-type littermates (gsk3(WT)). gsk3(KI) and gsk3(WT) mice were implanted with DOCA release pellets and offered 1% saline as drinking water for 21 days. Under standard diet, tap water intake and absence of DOCA, urinary flow rate, glomerular filtration rate, and urinary albumin excretion were significantly larger and blood pressure was significantly higher in gsk3(KI) than in gsk3(WT) mice. Within 18 days, DOCA/salt treatment significantly increased fluid intake and urinary flow rate, urinary protein and albumin excretion, and blood pressure in both genotypes but the respective values were significantly higher in gsk3(KI) than in gsk3(WT) mice. Plasma albumin concentration was significantly lower in gsk3(KI) than in gsk3(WT) mice. Proteinuria was abrogated by lowering of blood pressure with alpha(1)-blocker prazosin (1 mu g/g body wt) in 8-mo-old mice. According to immunofluorescence, nephrin at 3 and 8 mo and podocin expression at 3 mo were significantly lower in gsk3(KI) than in gsk3(WT) mice. After 18 days, DOCA/salt treatment renal glomerular sclerosis and tubulointerstitial damage were significantly more pronounced in gsk3(KI) than in gsk3(WT) mice. The observations reveal that disruption of PKB/SGK-dependent regulation of GSK3 leads to glomerular injury with proteinuria, which may at least partially be secondary to enhanced blood pressure.
- Glomerular filtration rate