Renal tubule repair: Is wnt/β-catenin a friend or foe?

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Wnt/β-catenin signaling is extremely important for proper kidney development. This pathway is also upregulated in injured renal tubular epithelia, both in acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease. The renal tubular epithelium is an important target of kidney injury, and its response (repair versus persistent injury) is critical for determining whether tubulointerstitial fibrosis, the hallmark of chronic kidney disease, develops. This review discusses how Wnt/β-catenin signaling in the injured tubular epithelia promotes either repair or fibrosis after kidney injury. There is data suggesting that epithelial Wnt/β-catenin signaling is beneficial in acute kidney injury and important in tubular progenitors responsible for epithelial repair. The role of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in chronically injured epithelia is less clear. There is convincing data that Wnt/β-catenin signaling in interstitial fibroblasts and pericytes contributes to the extracellular matrix accumulation that defines fibrosis. However, some recent studies question whether Wnt/β-catenin signaling in chronically injured epithelia actually promotes fibrosis or repair.

Original languageEnglish
Article number58
JournalGenes
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2018

Keywords

  • Epithelial injury
  • Kidney injury
  • Renal fibrosis

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