Int J Biol Sci 2016; 12(2):210-218. doi:10.7150/ijbs.13057 This issue

Research Paper

Diabetes Induced Changes in Podocyte Morphology and Gene Expression Evaluated Using GFP Transgenic Podocytes

Jianxiang Xu1✉, Shirong Zheng1, Patricia M. Kralik1, Laxminarayanan Krishnan2, Hui Huang1,4, James B. Hoying2, Lu Cai1, Edward C. Carlson3, Yi Tan1, Paul N. Epstein1

1. Department of Pediatrics, University of Louisville;
2. Cardiovascular Innovations Institute, University of Louisville;
3. Department of Anatomy, University of North Dakota;
4. Children's Hospital of Jiangxi Province, China.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) License. See for full terms and conditions.
Xu J, Zheng S, Kralik PM, Krishnan L, Huang H, Hoying JB, Cai L, Carlson EC, Tan Y, Epstein PN. Diabetes Induced Changes in Podocyte Morphology and Gene Expression Evaluated Using GFP Transgenic Podocytes. Int J Biol Sci 2016; 12(2):210-218. doi:10.7150/ijbs.13057. Available from

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Graphic abstract

The effect of diabetes in vivo has not been examined on isolated podocytes. To achieve this, GFP was expressed constitutively in podocytes of PGFP transgenic mice which were bred to OVE mice to produce diabetic OVE-GFP mice. Viewing GFP fluorescence, foot processes of OVE-GFP podocytes were visually and measurably effaced, which did not occur with less severe STZ diabetes. Over 300,000 podocytes were purified from each PGFP mouse but only 49,000 podocytes per diabetic OVE-GFP mouse. The low yield from OVE-GFP mice appeared to be due to more fragile state of most OVE-GFP diabetic podocytes which did not survive the isolation process. Diabetic podocytes that were isolated had high levels of the lipid peroxidation product 4-HNE and they were more sensitive to death due to oxidative stress. Gene array analysis of OVE-GFP podocytes showed strong diabetes induction of genes involved in inflammation. Four CXC chemokines were induced at least 3-fold and the chemokine CXCL1 was shown for the first time to be specifically induced in podocytes by OVE, dbdb and STZ diabetes.

Keywords: diabetic nephropathy, podocytes, gene expression, chemokines, transgenic