Glomerular filtration is normal in the absence of both agrin and perlecan-heparan sulfate from the glomerular basement membrane

Seth Goldberg, Scott J. Harvey, Jeanette Cunningham, Karl Tryggvason, Jeffrey H. Miner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background. For several decades, it has been thought that the glomerular basement membrane (GBM) provides a charge-selective barrier for glomerular filtration. However, recent evidence has presented challenges to this concept: selective removal of heparan sulfate (HS) moieties that impart a negative charge to the GBM causes little if any increase in proteinuria. Removal of agrin, the major GBM HS-proteoglycan (HSPG), from the GBM causes a profound reduction in the glomerular anionic charge without changing the excretion of a negatively charged tracer. Perlecan is another HSPG present in the GBM, as well as in the mesangium and Bowman's capsule, that could potentially contribute to a charge barrier in the absence of agrin.Methods. Here we studied the nature of the glomerular filtration barrier to albumin in mice lacking the HS chains of perlecan either alone or in combination with podocyte-specific loss of agrin.Results. The results show significant reductions in anionic sites within the GBM in perlecan-HS and in perlecan-HSagrin double mutants. Podocyte and overall glomerular architecture were normal, and renal function was normal up to 15 months of age with no measurable proteinuria. Moreover, excretion of a negatively charged Ficoll tracer was unchanged as compared to control mice.Conclusions. These findings cast further doubt upon a critical role for the GBM in charge selectivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2044-2051
Number of pages8
JournalNephrology Dialysis Transplantation
Volume24
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2009

Keywords

  • Charge selectivity
  • Ficoll
  • Glomerular basement membrane
  • Glomerular filtration
  • Perlecan

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