Background: Membranous nephropathy (MN) is a common cause of nephrotic syndrome that may progress to end-stage renal disease (ESRD). The formation of MN involves the in situ formation of subepithelial immune deposits and leads to albuminuria; however, the underlying mechanism of how MN leads to ESRD remains unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the expression and biological functions of phosphotriesterase-related protein (PTER) in MN.
Results: In the progression of MN, the expression of PTER increased significantly and was mainly expressed in the renal tubular cells. Both mRNA and protein expression levels of PTER were increased in a concentration- and time-dependent manner in the in vitro albuminuria tubular cell model. Silencing the expression of PTER by RNA interference diminished albuminuria-induced inflammatory and pro-fibrotic cytokines production.
Conclusions: Our findings reveal that PTER may sense albuminuria in the progression of MN, induce tubular cell activation and lead to ESRD.