Enhancing acute kidney injury regeneration by promoting cellular dedifferentiation in zebrafish.

Skvarca, L.B., Han, H.I, Missinato, M.A., Espiritu, E., Rochon, E.R., McDaniels, M.D., Roman, B.L., Waxman, J.S., Watkins, S., Davidson, A.J., Tsang, M., and Hukriede, N.A.

Disease Models and Mech. 019 Mar 19. pii: dmm.037390. doi: 10.1242/dmm.037390.

Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a serious disorder for which there are limited treatment options. Following injury, native nephrons display limited regenerative capabilities, relying on the dedifferentiation and proliferation of renal tubular epithelial cells (RTECs) that survive the insult. Previously, we identified 4-(phenylthio)butanoic acid (PTBA), a histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDI) that enhances renal recovery and showed that PTBA treatment increased RTEC proliferation and reduced renal fibrosis. Here, we investigated the regenerative mechanisms of PTBA in zebrafish models of larval renal injury and adult cardiac injury. With respect to renal injury, we showed that delivery of PTBA using an esterified prodrug (UPHD25) increases the reactivation of the renal progenitor gene Pax2a, enhances dedifferentiation of RTECs, reduces Kidney injury molecule-1 expression, and lowers the number of infiltrating macrophages. Further, we find the effects of PTBA on RTEC proliferation depend upon retinoic acid signaling and demonstrate the therapeutic properties of PTBA are not restricted to the kidney but also increase cardiomyocyte proliferation and decrease fibrosis following cardiac injury in adult zebrafish. These studies provide key mechanistic insights into how PTBA enhances tissue repair in models of acute injury and lay the groundwork for translating this novel HDI into the clinic.

Date Published

Tuesday, March 19, 2019