Interstitial fibrosis of unilateral ureteral obstruction is exacerbated in kidneys of mice lacking the gene for inducible nitric oxide synthase

David Hochberg, Christopher W. Johnson, Jie Chen, Drorit Cohen, Joshua Stern, E. Darracott Vaughan, Dix Poppas, Diane Felsen

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60 Scopus citations


Unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO) is characterized by decreases in renal function and increases in interstitial fibrosis. Previous studies have indicated that pharmacologic manipulations that increase nitric oxide (NO) are beneficial to the obstructed kidneys. NO is produced from arginine by nitric oxide synthase (NOS), an enzyme that exists in both constitutive and inducible (iNOS) forms. To determine the role of the inducible form of NOS in UUO, we used mice with a targeted deletion of iNOS (iNOS -/- mice) and compared them with wild-type (WT) mice. Kidneys were obstructed for 2 weeks in both WT and iNOS -/- mice, and were then removed and bisected. Half of the kidney was embedded in paraffin and tissue sections were examined for interstitial volume or the presence of macrophages. The remainder was flash-frozen and samples were used to measure tissue collagen (hydroxyproline) or transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β). This study demonstrates that both cortex and medulla of obstructed kidneys of iNOS -/- mice exhibit significantly increased interstitial volume and interstitial macrophages as compared with their WT counterparts. Furthermore tissue collagen was increased to 9.2 ± 1.3 μg/mg tissue in WT obstructed kidneys, whereas in iNOS -/- kidneys, collagen was increased to 13.2 ± 0.8 μg/mg tissue. The profibrotic cytokine TGF-β was also significantly increased in obstructed kidneys of iNOS -/- mice, as compared with WT mice. No differences were noted between the unobstructed kidneys of iNOS -/- mice compared with WT mice in any of the parameters examined. These results demonstrate that targeted deletion of the iNOS results in exacerbation of fibrotic events in the obstructed kidney. These results confirm previous pharmacologic studies, and suggest that NO produced via the inducible NOS normally serves a protective function in UUO.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1721-1728
Number of pages8
JournalLaboratory Investigation
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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