Background strain and the differential susceptibility of podocyte-specific deletion of Myh9 on murine models of experimental glomerulosclerosis and HIV nephropathy

PLoS One. 2013 Jul 10;8(7):e67839. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0067839. Print 2013.


We previously reported that podocyte-specific deletion of Myh9 (conventional myosin heavy chain 2A) in C57BL/6 mice does not cause spontaneous kidney disease but instead results in a predisposition to glomerulosclerosis in response to a second model of glomerular injury. In contrast, other investigators reported that podocyte-specific deletion of Myh9 (PodΔMyh9) resulted in spontaneous glomerulosclerosis in mice on a mixed background, suggesting that the glomerulosclerosis is dependent on background strain. In order to elucidate the cause of this strain dependent effect Podocin::Cre and Myh9(flox) alleles were backcrossed to mouse strain FVB/N, which is highly susceptible to glomerulosclerosis, with the aim of intercrossing susceptible FVB/N and resistant C57BL/6 mice in subsequent congenic analyses. However, after backcrossing mice to FVB/N and aging mice to 28 weeks, we found no evidence of glomerular disease in PodΔMyh9 mice vs control littermates (urine MAC ratio all p>0.05). We also tested C57BL/6 PodΔMyh9 mice for a predisposition to injury from models other than Adriamycin including HIV nephropathy (HIVAN), puromycin nephropathy, and sheep nephrotoxic serum. In the Tg26 model of HIVAN, we found that podocyte-specific deletion of Myh9 resulted in a modest hypersensitivity in adults compared to Tg26+ control littermates (urine MAC ratio, p<0.05 or less). In contrast, we found that PodΔMyh9 mice were not predisposed to injury in response to other injury models including puromycin nephropathy and sheep nephrotoxic serum. While the mechanism of injury in these models is not fully understood, we conclude that PodΔMyh9 results in a variable susceptibility to glomerulosclerosis in response to different models of glomerular injury. In addition, based on the lack of a spontaneous phenotype of glomerulosclerosis in both C57BL/6 and FVB/N mice, we propose that Myh9 is not absolutely required in adult podocytes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • AIDS-Associated Nephropathy / genetics*
  • AIDS-Associated Nephropathy / pathology
  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Gene Deletion*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / genetics
  • Glomerulosclerosis, Focal Segmental / genetics*
  • Glomerulosclerosis, Focal Segmental / pathology
  • HIV-1 / physiology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Congenic
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred Strains / genetics
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Myosin Heavy Chains
  • Nonmuscle Myosin Type IIA / genetics*
  • Organ Specificity / genetics
  • Podocytes / metabolism*


  • Myh9 protein, mouse
  • Nonmuscle Myosin Type IIA
  • Myosin Heavy Chains