1 Kardiovaskulær og Renal Forskning, Department of Molecular Medicine, Det Sundhedsvidenskabelige Fakultet, SDU2 Pathology, Department of Clinical Research, Det Sundhedsvidenskabelige Fakultet, SDU3 Kardiovaskulær og Renal Forskning, Department of Molecular Medicine, Det Sundhedsvidenskabelige Fakultet, SDU4 Pathology, Department of Clinical Research, Det Sundhedsvidenskabelige Fakultet, SDU
In patients, chronic treatment with lithium leads to renal microcysts and nephrogenic diabetes insipidus (NDI). It was hypothesized that renal cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) activity promotes microcyst formation and NDI. Kidney microcysts were induced in male adolescent rats by feeding dams with lithium (50 mmol/kg chow) from postnatal days 7-34. Lithium treatment induced somatic growth retardation, renal microcysts and dilatations in cortical collecting duct; it increased cortical cell proliferation and inactive pGSK-3β abundance; it lowered aquaporin-2 (AQP2) protein abundance and induced polyuria with decreased ability to concentrate the urine; and it increased COX-2 protein level in thick ascending limb. Concomitant treatment with lithium and a specific COX-2 inhibitor, parecoxib (5 mg/kg per day, P10-P34), did not prevent lithium-induced microcysts and polyuria, but improved urine concentrating ability transiently after a 1-desamino-8-D-arginine vasopressin challenge. COX-2 inhibition did not reduce cortical lithium-induced cell proliferation and phosphorylation of glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β). COX-1 protein abundance increased in rat kidney cortex in response to lithium. COX-1 immunoreactivity was found in microcyst epithelium in rat kidney. A human nephrectomy specimen from a patient treated for 28 years with lithium displayed multiple, COX-1-immunopositive, microcysts. In chronic lithium-treated adolescent rats, COX-2 is not colocalized with microcystic epithelium, mitotic activity, and inactive pGSK-3β in collecting duct; a blocker of COX-2 does not prevent cell proliferation, cyst formation, or GSK-3β inactivation. It is concluded that COX-2 activity is not the primary cause for microcysts and polyuria in a NaCl-substituted rat model of lithium nephropathy. COX-1 is a relevant candidate to affect the injured epithelium.