Hyperhomocysteinemia - association with renal transsulfuration and redox signaling in rats

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Despite substantial evidence indicating the association of hyperhomocysteinemia (hHcys) and end-stage renal disease (ESRD), the pathogenic role of increased plasma homocysteine (Hcys) levels in the progression of ESRD remains unclear. This review will briefly summarize recent findings regarding the role of hHcys in the development of glomerulosclerosis, the association of hHcys with reduced renal transsulfuration and Hcys-induced changes of redox signaling in the development of glomerulosclerosis in rat kidneys. Based on these results, it is concluded that hHcys is implicated in glomerular sclerosis in hypertension, elevated plasma Hcys in Dahl salt-sensitive (SS) hypertensive rats is due to downregulation of cystathionine β-synthase (CBS) expression and consequent abnormality of transsulfuration in the kidney compared with normotensive rats. Hcys-induced superoxide (O2-) production by activation of NADPH oxidase as a triggering mechanism contributes to the effects of Hcys on the homeostasis of extracellular matrix and consequent sclerosis in the glomeruli, and NADPH oxidase activation by Hcys is associated with enhanced Rac GTPase activity.

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