Unfractionated heparin (UFH) and low molecular heparin derivatives (LMWH) display numerous biological properties in addition to their anticoagulant effects. However, due to the physicochemical heterogeneity of these drugs, a better understanding concerning their effects on human cells is clearly needed. Considering that heparins are mainly excreted by the kidney, we focused our attention on the effect of UFH and LMWH on human podocytes by functional and morphological/phenotypic in vitro analyses. We demonstrated that these products differentially modulate the permeability of podocyte monolayer to albumin. The functional perturbations observed were correlated to significant cellular morphological and cytoskeletal changes, as well as a decrease in the expression of proteins involved in podocyte adherence to the extracellular matrix or intercellular interactions. This point confirms that UFH and the different LMWHs exert specific effects on podocyte permeability and underlines the need of in vitro tests to evaluate new biological nonanticoagulant properties of LMWH.
- low molecular heparin derivatives
- podocyte permeability