Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.480, No.4, 544-551, 2016
Leptin promotes endothelial dysfunction in chronic kidney disease through AKT/GSK3 beta and beta-catenin signals
Endothelial dysfunction (ED) is a well-recognized instigator of cardiovascular diseases and develops in chronic kidney disease (CKD) with high rate. Recent studies have implicated that leptin is associated with endothelial dysfunction. We investigated the relationship between leptin and markers of ED in CKD patients and how leptin contributed to endothelial damage. 140 CKD patients and 140 healthy subjects were studied. Serum leptin levels were significantly higher in CKD than in controls and displayed significantly positive association with the increase levels of sICAM-1 and sVCAM-1 but negative correlation with flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) reduction in patients. Our in vitro study demonstrated that leptin induced overexpression of ICAM-1 and VCAM-1, led to f-actin reorganization and vinculin assembly, increased endothelial monolayer permeability for FITC-dextran, and accelerated endothelial cell migration; these changes were markedly reversed when the cells were transfected with AKT or beta-catenin shRNA vectors. Notably, high leptin resulted in hyper-phosphorylation of AKT and GSK3 beta, along with nuclear accumulation of beta-catenin. In conclusion, serum leptin was elevated in CKD patients and it might contribute to endothelial dysfunction by disarrangement of f-actin cytoskeleton via a mechanism involving the AKT/GSK3 beta and beta-catenin pathway. (C) 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.