Intrarenal changes in cytoplasmic calcium levels have a key role in determining pathologic and pharmacologic responses in major kidney diseases. However, cell-specific delivery of calcium-sensitive probes in vivo remains problematic. We generated a transgenic rat stably expressing the green fluorescent protein-calmodulin-based genetically encoded calcium indicator (GCaMP2) predominantly in the kidney proximal tubules. The transposon-based method used allowed the generation of homozygous transgenic rats containing one copy of the transgene per allele with a defined insertion pattern, without genetic or phenotypic alterations. We applied in vitro confocal and in vivo two-photon microscopy to examine basal calcium levels and ligand- and drug-induced alterations in these levels in proximal tubular epithelial cells. Notably, renal ischemia induced a transient increase in cellular calcium, and reperfusion resulted in a secondary calcium load, which was significantly decreased by systemic administration of specific blockers of the angiotensin receptor and the Na-Ca exchanger. The parallel examination of in vivo cellular calcium dynamics and renal circulation by fluorescent probes opens new possibilities for physiologic and pharmacologic investigations.
Keywords: calcium; hypoxia; ischemia-reperfusion; renal ischemia; renal proximal tubule cell.
Copyright © 2015 by the American Society of Nephrology.