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Senescent renal tubular cells may be linked to diabetic kidney disease (DKD)-related tubulopathy. We studied mice with or without diabetes in which hedgehog interacting protein (HHIP) was present or specifically knocked out in renal tubules (HhipRT-KO), hypothesising that local deficiency of HHIP in the renal tubules would attenuate tubular cell senescence, thereby preventing DKD tubulopathy. Low-dose streptozotocin was employed to induce diabetes in both HhipRT-KO and control (Hhipfl/fl) mice. Transgenic mice overexpressing Hhip in renal proximal tubular cells (RPTC) (HhipRPTC-Tg) were used for validation, and primary RPTCs and human RPTCs (HK2) were used for in vitro studies. Kidney morphology/function, tubular senescence and the relevant molecular measurements were assessed. Compared with Hhipfl/fl mice with diabetes, HhipRT-KO mice with diabetes displayed lower blood glucose levels, normalised GFR, ameliorated urinary albumin/creatinine ratio and less severe DKD, including tubulopathy. Sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) expression was attenuated in RPTCs of HhipRT-KO mice with diabetes compared with Hhipfl/fl mice with diabetes. In parallel, an increased tubular senescence-associated secretory phenotype involving release of inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6 and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1) and activation of senescence markers (p16, p21, p53) in Hhipfl/fl mice with diabetes was attenuated in HhipRT-KO mice with diabetes. In contrast, HhipRPTC-Tg mice had increased tubular senescence, which was inhibited by canagliflozin in primary RPTCs. In HK2 cells, HHIP overexpression or recombinant HHIP increased SGLT2 protein expression and promoted cellular senescence by targeting both ataxia-telangiectasia mutated and ataxia-telangiectasia and Rad3-related-mediated cell arrest. Tubular HHIP deficiency prevented DKD-related tubulopathy, possibly via the inhibition of SGLT2 expression and cellular senescence. © 2022. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.


Xin-Ping Zhao, Shiao-Ying Chang, Yuchao Pang, Min-Chun Liao, Junzheng Peng, Julie R Ingelfinger, John S D Chan, Shao-Ling Zhang. Hedgehog interacting protein activates sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 expression and promotes renal tubular epithelial cell senescence in a mouse model of type 1 diabetes. Diabetologia. 2023 Jan;66(1):223-240

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PMID: 36260124

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