NYMC Faculty Publications

Title

Maternal Malnourishment Induced Upregulation of Fetuin-B Blunts Nephrogenesis in the Low Birth Weight Neonate

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

November 2018

Department

Medicine

Abstract

Maternal undernutrition during pregnancy (MUN) often leads to low birth weight (LBW) neonates that have a reduced total nephron endowment, leaving these neonates susceptible to kidney disease throughout their lives. For reasons unknown, these LBW neonates have impaired kidney development due to a severe reduction in renal SIX2(+) stem cells during nephrogenesis. Using a mouse model of MUN, we investigated SIX2(+) stem cell reduction in the LBW neonate. Significant upregulation of the protein fetuin-B (measured by PCR and immunoblotting) in the MUN mother's placenta, organs and circulation yielded a 3-fold increase of this protein in the embryonic kidney. Recombinant fetuin-B, administered to healthy pregnant mothers at the concentration equivalent to that in the MUN mother, crossed the placenta and reduced both SIX2(+) stem cells by 50% and nephron formation by 66% in embryonic kidneys (measured by immunofluorescence and the physical dissector/fractionator stereological method). Administration of fetuin-B to kidney explants yielded similar reductions in renal SIX2(+) stem cells and nephron formation. Fetuin-B treatment of isolated embryonic renal SIX2(+) stem cell primary cultures 1) increased NF-kB activity and apoptosis, 2) reduced cell proliferation due to upregulated p21 nuclear activity and subsequent cell cycle arrest, and 3) enhanced generation of reactive oxygen species (measured by fluorescence microscopy). In conclusion, MUN increases fetuin-B in the developing embryonic kidney. The increase in fetuin-B blunts nephrogenesis by reducing SIX2(+) stem cells by promoting their apoptosis (via NF-kB upregulation), blunting their proliferative renewal (via p21 upregulation) and enhancing oxidative stress.

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