Retinoic acid receptor alpha and retinoid X receptor specific agonists reduce renal injury in established chronic glomerulonephritis of the rat.
J Mol Med. 2004 Feb;82(2):116-25. Epub 2004 Jan 8. PMID: 14712350
Retinoids, derivatives of vitamin A, inhibit mesangial cell proliferation, glomerular inflammation, and extracellular matrix deposition in acute anti-Thy1.1 glomerulonephritis (Thy-GN) of the rat. We examined a model, chronic mesangioproliferative Thy-GN (MoAb 1-22-3), which is more akin to human disease. Treatment started on day 23 when Thy-GN had already been established. Nonnephritic control and Thy-GN rats were treated orally for 67 days with vehicle or with two doses of either the retinoic acid receptor alpha-specific agonist AGN 195183 (RARalpha agonist) or the retinoid X receptor specific agonist AGN 194204 (RXR agonist). Doses of either the RARalpha or the RXR agonist significantly reduced albuminuria and normalized blood pressure during the course of treatment. The glomerulosclerosis index, glomerular cell and interstitial cell counts, and area of the interstitial space were significantly lower in nephritic rats treated with the RARalpha agonist or RXR agonist than with vehicle. The RARalpha and RXR agonist significantly reduced the infiltration of the glomerulus by macrophages. The increase in glomerular TGFbeta1 and prepro-ET(1) gene expression in vehicle-treated nephritic rats was significantly attenuated by RARalpha or RXR agonists. Glomerular expression of RXRalpha and RARalpha receptor mRNA was significantly greater in vehicle-treated nephritic rats than in nonnephritic controls. Treatment with RARalpha or RXR agonists tended to normalize retinoid-receptor gene expression. Our data indicate that both RARalpha agonists and RXR agonists reduce renal damage in rats with established chronic glomerulonephritis. Receptor-specific retinoids may provide a novel therapeutic approach for the treatment of chronic glomerulonephritis.