A role for NPY-NPY2R signaling in albuminuric kidney disease

Abigail C Lay, A Fern Barrington, Jenny A Hurcombe, Raina D Ramnath, Mark Graham, Philip A Lewis, Marieangela C Wilson, Kate J Heesom, Matthew J Butler, Rebecca M Perrett, Chris R Neal, Eleanor Herbert, Edward Mountjoy, Denize Atan, Viji Nair, Wenjun Ju, Robert G Nelson, Matthias Kretzler, Simon C Satchell, Craig A McArdleGavin I Welsh, Richard J M Coward*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
112 Downloads (Pure)


Albuminuria is an independent risk factor for the progression to end-stage kidney failure, cardiovascular morbidity, and premature death. As such, discovering signaling pathways that modulate albuminuria is desirable. Here, we studied the transcriptomes of podocytes, key cells in the prevention of albuminuria, under diabetic conditions. We found that Neuropeptide Y (NPY) was significantly down-regulated in insulin-resistant vs. insulin-sensitive mouse podocytes and in human glomeruli of patients with early and late-stage diabetic nephropathy, as well as other nondiabetic glomerular diseases. This contrasts with the increased plasma and urinary levels of NPY that are observed in such conditions. Studying NPY-knockout mice, we found that NPY deficiency in vivo surprisingly reduced the level of albuminuria and podocyte injury in models of both diabetic and nondiabetic kidney disease. In vitro, podocyte NPY signaling occurred via the NPY2 receptor (NPY2R), stimulating PI3K, MAPK, and NFAT activation. Additional unbiased proteomic analysis revealed that glomerular NPY-NPY2R signaling predicted nephrotoxicity, modulated RNA processing, and inhibited cell migration. Furthermore, pharmacologically inhibiting the NPY2R in vivo significantly reduced albuminuria in adriamycin-treated glomerulosclerotic mice. Our findings suggest a pathogenic role of excessive NPY-NPY2R signaling in the glomerulus and that inhibiting NPY-NPY2R signaling in albuminuric kidney disease has therapeutic potential.

Original languageEnglish
Article number202004651
Pages (from-to)15862-15873
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number27
Early online date19 Jun 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Jun 2020

Structured keywords

  • Bristol Heart Institute


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