Background: Nonobese diabetic mice (NOD) are prone to glomerular pathology, which is accelerated with the onset of diabetes. Advanced glycation end product (AGE) interactions with AGE-receptors (AGE-Rs) in kidneys can contribute to glomerular injury and diabetic nephropathy (DN). The significant elevation in kidney AGE deposits noted in prediabetic NOD mice suggested that delayed AGE turnover in this model may contribute to its propensity toward DN.
Methods: To explore whether excess tissue AGE was linked to altered AGE-R status in the kidney, mRNA/protein expression, and of several AGE-Rs [AGE-R1, AGE-R2, AGE-R3, scavenger receptor II (ScR-II), and receptor for AGE (RAGE)], was determined in renal cortex and in mesangial cells (MCs) isolated from ND-, D-NOD, and ILE mice (N = 20 per group). Ligand binding, receptor site number, and affinity were determined in MCs from the same mouse groups.
Results: Prediabetic NOD kidney AGE-R1 mRNA and protein level were threefold lower than that of ILE mice (P < 0.01), while AGE-R3 mRNA was enhanced by twofold (P < 0.05) and AGE-R2, RAGE, and ScR-II mRNA remained close to normal (ILE). The onset of diabetes in NOD mice, while enhancing AGE-R1 mRNA expression by approximately twofold, failed to raise it above the normal (ILE) level, despite increases in tissue, and serum AGE. The latter was associated with higher elevation in AGE-R3 (sixfold, P < 0.05), RAGE (twofold, P = NS), and ScR-II mRNA (2. 8-fold, P = NS) above control. MCs from prediabetic NOD mice showed a threefold lower level of AGE-R1 mRNA (P < 0.02 vs. ILE) and AGE-R1-protein, and AGE-binding activity (<40% of control ILE). In contrast, AGE-R3 mRNA was enhanced (twofold), while AGE-R2 showed no change. Cultured ND-NOD MCs displayed only one fourth of the AGE-binding sites/cell present on ILE MCs (1.6 x 10(6) vs. 6.6 x 10(6), P < 0.05), which after the onset of diabetes rose to the normal range (7.0 x 10(6)/cell), but failed to exceed it.
Conclusions: Reduced AGE-R1 gene expression in this strain may contribute to delayed AGE removal from and early AGE deposition in kidney tissues. This may act as a trigger for those AGE-R genes involved in growth-promoting changes, leading to DN in this strain.