Role of Nox4 and p67phox subunit of Nox2 in ROS production in response to increased tubular flow in the mTAL of Dahl salt-sensitive rats

Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2016 Aug 1;311(2):F450-8. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.00187.2016. Epub 2016 Jun 8.


Nox4 and Nox2 are the most abundant NADPH oxidases (Nox) in the kidney and have been shown to contribute to hypertension, renal oxidative stress, and injury in Dahl salt-sensitive (SS) hypertensive rats. The present study focused on the role of Nox4 and p67phox/Nox2 in the generation of H2O2 and O2 (·-) in the renal medullary thick ascending limb of Henle (mTAL) of SS rats in response to increasing luminal flow (from 5 to 20 nl/min). Nox4 and p67phox/Nox2 genes were found to be expressed in the mTAL of SS rats. Responses of SS rats were compared with those of SS rats with knockout of Nox4 (SS(Nox4-/-)) or functional mutation of p67phox (SS(p67phox-/-)). Nox4 was the dominant source of increased intracellular H2O2 production in response to increased luminal flow as determined using the fluorescent dye peroxyfluor 6-AM (PF6-AM). The rate of mitochondrial H2O2 production [as determined by mitochondria peroxy yellow 1 (mitoPY1)] was also significantly reduced in SS(Nox4-/-) compared with SS rats, but not in SS(p67phox-/-) rats. In contrast, intracellular superoxide (O2 (·-)) production (the ratio of ethidium to dihydroethidium) in the mTAL of SS(Nox4-/-) rats was nearly identical to that of SS rats in response to luminal flow, indicating that Nox4 made no measurable contribution. mTAL O2 (·-) production was reduced in SS(p67phox-/-) compared with SS rats at the lower luminal flow of 5 nl/min and progressively increased when perfusion was changed to 20 nl/min. We conclude that increased mTAL luminal flow results in increases in intracellular and mitochondrial H2O2, which are dependent on the presence of Nox4, and that p67phox/Nox2 accounts solely for increases in O2 (·-) production.

Keywords: Dahl salt-sensitive rat; Nox4; O2·−; kidney; luminal flow; medullary thick ascending limb; mitochondrial and cellular H2O2; p67phox.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / metabolism
  • Kidney Tubules / metabolism*
  • Loop of Henle / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / metabolism*
  • NADH, NADPH Oxidoreductases / metabolism*
  • NADPH Oxidase 2
  • NADPH Oxidase 4
  • NADPH Oxidases / metabolism*
  • Nephrons / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Dahl
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism*


  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • NADH, NADPH Oxidoreductases
  • NCF2 protein, rat
  • Cybb protein, rat
  • NADPH Oxidase 2
  • NADPH Oxidase 4
  • NADPH Oxidases
  • Nox4 protein, rat