Dogs with X-linked hereditary nephropathy (XLHN) have a glomerular basement membrane defect that leads to progressive juvenile-onset renal failure. Their disease is analogous to Alport syndrome in humans, and they also serve as a good model of progressive chronic kidney disease (CKD). However, the gene expression profile that affects progression in this disease has only been partially characterized.
To help fill this gap, researchers used RNA sequencing to identify differentially expressed genes (DEGs), over-represented pathways, and upstream regulators that contribute to kidney disease progression. Total RNA from kidney biopsies was isolated at 3 clinical time points from 3 males with rapidly-progressing CKD, 3 males with slowly-progressing CKD, and 2 age-matched controls.
Using the analysis tools mentioned earlier in an RNA-Seq blog post “How to Analyze RNA-Seq Data?”, they identified 70 DEGs by comparing rapid and slow groups at specific time points. Based on time course analysis, 1,947 DEGs were identified over the 3 time points revealing upregulation of inflammatory pathways: integrin signaling, T cell activation, and chemokine and cytokine signaling pathways. T cell infiltration was verified by immunohistochemistry. TGF-β1 was identified as the primary upstream regulator. These results provide new insights into the underlying molecular mechanisms of disease progression in XLHN, and the identified DEGs can be potential biomarkers and therapeutic targets translatable to all CKDs.
Link to open access paper: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-16603-y
Chu, C. P. et al. RNA-seq of serial kidney biopsies obtained during progression of chronic kidney disease from dogs with X-linked hereditary nephropathy. Scientific Reports 7, 16776, doi:10.1038/s41598-017-16603-y (2017).