Renin cells with defective Gsα/cAMP signaling contribute to renal endothelial damage

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



Synthesis of renin in renal renin-producing cells (RPCs) is controlled via the intracellular messenger cAMP. Interference with cAMP-mediated signaling by inducible knockout of Gs-alpha (Gsα) in RPCs of adult mice resulted in a complex adverse kidney phenotype. Therein, glomerular endothelial damage was most striking. In this study, we investigated whether Gsα knockout leads to a loss of RPCs, which itself may contribute to the endothelial injury. We compared the kidney phenotype of three RPC-specific conditional mouse lines during continuous induction of recombination. Mice expressing red fluorescent reporter protein tdTomato (tdT) in RPCs served as controls. tdT was also expressed in RPCs of the other two strains used, namely with RPC-specific Gsα knockout (Gsα mice) or with RPC-specific diphtheria toxin A expression (DTA mice, in which the RPCs should be diminished). Using immunohistological analysis, we found that RPCs decreased by 82% in the kidneys of Gsα mice as compared with controls. However, the number of tdT-positive cells was similar in the two strains, demonstrating that after Gsα knockout, the RPCs persist as renin-negative descendants. In contrast, both renin-positive and tdT-labeled cells decreased by 80% in DTA mice suggesting effective RPC ablation. Only Gsα mice displayed dysregulated endothelial cell marker expression indicating glomerular endothelial damage. In addition, a robust induction of genes involved in tissue remodelling with microvascular damage was identified in tdT-labeled RPCs isolated from Gsα mice. We concluded that Gsα/renin double-negative RPC progeny essentially contributes for the development of glomerular endothelial damage in our Gsα-deficient mice.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1205-1217
Number of pages13
Journal Pflügers Archiv : European journal of physiology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2019

External IDs

PubMed 31388748



  • Diphtheria toxin A, Endothelial damage, Gs-alpha, Renin cell ablation, RPCs