The transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily C member 6 (TRPC6) is a Ca2+-permeable nonselective cation channel and has received recent attention because of its capability to promote chronic kidney disease (CKD). The aims of this study were (i) to examine whether deletion of TRPC6 impacts on renal fibrosis and inflammatory cell infiltration in an early CKD model of unilateral ureter obstruction (UUO) in mice; and (ii) whether TRPC6-deficiency as well as UUO affect the regulation of TRPC expression in murine kidneys.
Wild-type (WT), Trpc6-knockout (Trpc6-/-) and New Zealand obese (NZO) mice underwent sham operation or unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO). The kidneys were harvested 7 days after surgery. We examined renal fibrosis and inflammatory cell infiltration by histological and immunohistochemical staining. The mRNA expression of TRPC members and markers of fibrosis and inflammation in kidney were assessed by using real-time quantitative reverse transcription PCR.
Histological and immunohistochemical analyses revealed less inflammatory cell infiltration (F4/80 and CD3) in UUO kidneys of Trpc6-/- mice compared to UUO kidneys of WT mice as well as less fibrosis. Genomic deletion of TRPC6 also affected the expression of pro-fibrotic genes in UUO Trpc6-/- kidneys compared to UUO WT kidneys while the expression of pro-inflammatory genes did not differ. UUO caused marked up-regulation of Trpc6 and down-regulation of Trpc1 mRNA in kidneys of WT and NZO mice. Trpc3 mRNA expression was significantly elevated in kidneys of Trpc6-/- mice underwent UUO while the levels did not change in kidneys of neither WT nor in NZO mice underwent UUO.
TRPC6 contributes to renal fibrosis and immune cell infiltration in the UUO mouse model. Therefore, inhibition of TRPC6 emerges as a promising novel therapeutic strategy for treatment of chronic kidney failure in chronic obstructive nephropathy. However, confounding genomic and non-genomic effects of other TRPC channels should be taken into consideration to fully comprehend the renoprotective potential of targeting TRPC6 therapeutically under chronic kidney damaging conditions.