The development of ANG II-dependent hypertension involves increased infiltration of macrophages (MΦ) and T cells into the kidney and the consequent elevation of intrarenal cytokines including IL-6, which facilitates the progression of hypertension and associated kidney injury. Intrarenal renin-angiotensin system (RAS) activation, including proximal tubular angiotensinogen (AGT) stimulation, has also been regarded as a cardinal mechanism contributing to these diseases. However, the interaction between immune cells and intrarenal RAS activation has not been fully delineated. Therefore, the present study investigated whether ANG II-treated MΦ induce AGT upregulation in renal proximal tubular cells (PTCs). MΦ were treated with 0-10(-6) M ANG II for up to 48 h. PTCs were incubated with the collected medium from MΦ. In ANG II-treated MΦ, IL-6 mRNA and protein levels were increased (1.86 ± 0.14, protein level, ratio to control); moreover, IL-6 levels were higher than TNF-α and IL-1β in culture medium isolated from ANG II-treated MΦ. Elevated AGT expression (1.69 ± 0.04, ratio to control) accompanied by phosphorylated STAT3 were observed in PTCs that received culture medium from ANG II-treated MΦ. The addition of a neutralizing IL-6 antibody to the collected medium attenuated phosphorylation of STAT3 and AGT augmentation in PTCs. Furthermore, a JAK2 inhibitor also suppressed STAT3 phosphorylation and AGT augmentation in PTCs. These results demonstrate that ANG II-induced IL-6 elevation in MΦ enhances activation of the JAK-STAT pathway and consequent AGT upregulation in PTCs, suggesting involvement of an immune response in driving intrarenal RAS activity.
Keywords: angiotensin II; angiotensinogen; interleukin-6; macrophage; renin-angiotensin system.
Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.