Kidney Hyaluronan : Regulatory Aspects During Different States of Body Hydration, Nephrogenesis & Diabetes

Abstract: The kidney regulates the excretion of water and electrolytes, which maintains homeostasis and enables control of arterial blood pressure. Hyaluronan, a large negatively charged interstitial glucosaminoglycan, is heterogeneously distributed within the kidney, primarily found in the medulla.Medullary hyaluronan content changes depending on the state of body hydration and plays a part in fluid regulation through its water binding and viscoelastic properties. The aim of this thesis was to provide new insight into the regulation of intrarenal hyaluronan during different states of body hydration, during completion of kidney development, and during diabetes mellitus.Dehydration reduces medullary interstitial hyaluronan in parallel with reduced hyaluronan synthase 2 gene expression and increased urinary hyaluronidase activity. Acute hydration results in an increase in medullary hyaluronan, an increase that requires nitric oxide and prostaglandins. Urinary hyaluronidase activity decreases during hydration. The elevation of hyaluronan is important for reducing water permeability of the interstitium i.e. favoring diuresis.Changes in hyaluronan concentration constitute a morphoregulatory pathway that plays a key role in nephrogenesis. The reduction in neonatal hyaluronan depended on an angiotensin II mediated process that does not appear dependent on lymph vessel formation. If angiotensin II is blocked with an ACE inhibitor, hyaluronan accumulates, which results in structural and functional abnormalities in the kidney. Renomedullary hyaluronan is elevated during uncontrolled diabetes, which coincides with induction of hyaluronan synthase 2 mRNA, hyperglycemia, glucosuria, proteinuria and overt diuresis. The levels of hyaluronan are probably at a terminus ad quem as no further response was seen during hydration. The higher interstitial expression of hyaluronan during diabetes may be involved in the progression of diabetic nephropathy.This thesis in physiology provides new mechanistic insights into the regulation of renal hyaluronan during various aspects of fluid handling.