Identification and Distribution of Uncoupling Protein Isoforms in the Normal and Diabetic Rat Kidney
Uncoupling protein (UCP)-2 and -3 are ubiquitously expressed throughout the body but there is currently no information regarding the expression and distribution of the different UCP isoforms in the kidney. Due to the known cross-reactivity of the antibodies presently available for detection of UCP-2 and -3 proteins, we measured the mRNA expression of UCP-1, -2 and -3 in the rat kidney in order to detect the kidney-specific UCP isoforms. Thereafter, we determined the intrarenal distribution of the detected UCP isoforms using immunohistochemistry. Thereafter, we compared the protein levels in control and streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats using Western blot. Expressions of the UCP isoforms were also performed in brown adipose tissue and heart as positive controls for UCP-1 and 3, respectively.
UCP-2 mRNA was the only isoform detected in the kidney. UCP-2 protein expression in the kidney cortex was localized to proximal tubular cells, but not glomerulus or distal nephron. In the medulla, UCP-2 was localized to cells of the medullary thick ascending loop of Henle, but not to the vasculature or parts of the nephron located in the inner medulla. Western blot showed that diabetic kidneys have about 2.5-fold higher UCP-2 levels compared to controls.
In conclusion, UCP-2 is the only isoform detectable in the kidney and UCP-2 protein can be detected in proximal tubular cells and cells of the medullary thick ascending loop of Henle. Furthermore, diabetic rats have increased UCP-2 levels compared to controls, but the mechanisms underlying this increase and its consequences warrants further studies.
KeywordsBrown Adipose Tissue Uncouple Protein Proximal Tubular Cell Diabetic Kidney Kidney Cortex
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