Tamm-Horsfall protein regulates circulating and renal cytokines by affecting glomerular filtration rate and acting as a urinary cytokine trap

Yan Liu, Tarek M. El-Achkar, Xue Ru Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although few organ systems play a more important role than the kidneys in cytokine catabolism, the mechanism(s) regulating this pivotal physiological function and how its deficiency affects systemic cytokine homeostasis remain unclear. Here we show that elimination of Tamm-Horsfall protein (THP) expression from mouse kidneys caused a marked elevation of circulating IFN-γ, IL1α, TNF-α, IL6, CXCL1, and IL13. Accompanying this were enlarged spleens with prominent white-pulp macrophage infiltration. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) exacerbated the increase of serum cytokines without a corresponding increase in their urinary excretion in THP knock-out (KO) mice. This, along with the rise of serum cystatin C and the reduced inulin and creatinine clearance from the circulation, suggested that diminished glomerular filtration may contribute to reduced cytokine clearance in THP KO mice both at the baseline and under stress. Unlike wild-type mice where renal and urinary cytokines formed specific in vivo complexes with THP, this "trapping"effect was absent in THPKO mice, thus explaining why cytokine signaling pathways were activated in renal epithelial cells in such mice. Our study provides new evidence implicating an important role of THP in influencing cytokine clearance and acting as a decoy receptor for urinary cytokines. Based on these and other data, we present a unifying model that underscores the role of THP as a major regulator of renal and systemic immunity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16365-16378
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume287
Issue number20
DOIs
StatePublished - May 11 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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