ANGPTL3 impacts proteinuria and hyperlipidemia in primary nephrotic syndrome

Lipids Health Dis. 2022 Apr 10;21(1):38. doi: 10.1186/s12944-022-01632-y.


Background: It is unclear why primary nephrotic syndrome (PNS) patients often have dyslipidemia. Recent studies have shown that angiopoietin-like protein 3 (ANGPTL3) is an important regulator of lipid metabolism. In this study, we explored how ANGPTL3 impacts dyslipidemia during PNS development.

Methods: We measured the serum levels of ANGPTL3 in PNS patients (n=196). Furthermore, the degree of proteinuria and lipid metabolism were examined in angptl3-overexpressing transgenic (angptl3-tg) mice at different ages. Moreover, in this study, we used the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats-associated protein 9 (CRISPR/Cas9) system to create angptl3-knockout (angptl3-/-) mice to investigate lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced nephrosis.

Results: Compared with that in the healthy group, the serum level of ANGPTL3 in the PNS group was significantly increased (32 (26.35-39.66) ng/ml vs. 70.44 (63.95-76.51) ng/ml, Z =-4.81, P < 0.001). There were significant correlations between the serum level of ANGPTL3 and the levels of cholesterol (r=0.34, P < 0.001), triglycerides (r= 0.25, P = 0.001) and low-density lipoprotein (r= 0.50, P < 0.001) in PNS patients. With increasing age, angptl3-tg mice exhibited increasingly severe hypertriglyceridemia and proteinuria. The pathological features of angptl3-tg mice included rich lipid droplet deposition in hepatocytes and diffuse podocyte effacement. Compared to wild-type mice, angptl3-/- mice showed significantly lower degrees of lipid dysfunction and proteinuria after stimulation with LPS. The effects of ANGPTL3 on nephrotic dyslipidemia were confirmed in cultured hepatocytes subjected to angptl3 knockdown or overexpression. Finally, significant alterations in lipoprotein lipase (LPL) levels were observed in liver tissues from Angptl3-/- and wild-type mice stimulated with LPS.

Conclusions: ANGPTL3 could be involved in the development of dyslipidemia, as well as proteinuria, during PNS pathogenesis. Inhibition of LPL expression may the mechanism by which ANGPTL3 induces hyperlipidemia in PNS.

Keywords: ANGPTL3; Hyperlipidemia; Nephrotic syndrome; Proteinuria.

MeSH terms

  • Angiopoietin-Like Protein 3* / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Dyslipidemias*
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipidemias* / genetics
  • Hyperlipidemias* / metabolism
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Mice
  • Nephrotic Syndrome* / genetics
  • Proteinuria
  • Triglycerides


  • ANGPTL3 protein, human
  • Angiopoietin-Like Protein 3
  • Angptl3 protein, mouse
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Triglycerides