A deletion in the N-terminal polymerizing domain of laminin β2 is a new mouse model of chronic nephrotic syndrome

Steven D. Funk, Raymond H. Bayer, Karen K. McKee, Kazushi Okada, Hiroshi Nishimune, Peter D. Yurchenco, Jeffrey H. Miner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The importance of the glomerular basement membrane (GBM) in glomerular filtration is underscored by the manifestations of Alport and Pierson syndromes, caused by defects in type IV collagen α3α4α5 and the laminin β2 chain, respectively. Lamb2 null mice, which model the most severe form of Pierson syndrome, exhibit proteinuria prior to podocyte foot process effacement and are therefore useful for studying GBM permselectivity. We hypothesize that some LAMB2 missense mutations that cause mild forms of Pierson syndrome induce GBM destabilization with delayed effects on podocytes. While generating a CRISPR/Cas9-mediated analogue of a human LAMB2 missense mutation in mice, we identified a 44-amino acid deletion (LAMB2-Del44) within the laminin N-terminal domain, a domain mediating laminin polymerization. Laminin heterotrimers containing LAMB2-Del44 exhibited a 90% reduction in polymerization in vitro that was partially rescued by type IV collagen and nidogen. Del44 mice showed albuminuria at 1.8-6.0 g/g creatinine (ACR) at one to two months, plateauing at an average 200 g/g ACR at 3.7 months, when GBM thickening and hallmarks of nephrotic syndrome were first observed. Despite the massive albuminuria, some Del44 mice survived for up to 15 months. Blood urea nitrogen was modestly elevated at seven-nine months. Eight to nine-month-old Del44 mice exhibited glomerulosclerosis and interstitial fibrosis. Similar to Lamb2−/− mice, proteinuria preceded foot process effacement. Foot processes were widened but not effaced at one-two months despite the high ACRs. At three months some individual foot processes were still observed amid widespread effacement. Thus, our chronic model of nephrotic syndrome may prove useful to study filtration mechanisms, long-term proteinuria with preserved kidney function, and to test therapeutics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-146
Number of pages14
JournalKidney International
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2020


  • Pierson syndrome
  • glomerular basement membrane
  • laminin
  • nephrotic syndrome

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