Comprehensive analysis of the renal transcriptional response to acute uranyl nitrate exposure
Journal title : BMC Genomics
Volume : 7
Publication date : 11/01/2006
Background: Chemical and radiological toxicities related to uranium acute exposure have been widely studied in nuclear fuel workers and military personnel. It is well known that uranyl nitrate induces acute renal failure (ARF). However, the mechanisms of this metal-induced injury are not well defined at the molecular level. Results: Renal function and histology were assessed in mice receiving uranyl nitrate (UN(+)) and controls (UN(-)). To identify the genomic response to uranium exposure, serial analysis gene expression (SAGE) of the kidney was performed in both groups. Over 43,000 mRNA SAGE tags were sequenced. A selection of the differentially expressed transcripts was confirmed by real-time quantitative PCR and Western blotting. UN(+) animals developed renal failure and displayed the characteristic histological lesions of UN nephropathy. Of the >14,500 unique tags identified in both libraries, 224 had a modified expression level; they are known to participate in inflammation, ion transport, signal transduction, oxidative stress, apoptosis, metabolism, and catabolism. Several genes that were identified had not previously been evaluated within the context of toxic ARF such as translationally controlled tumor protein, insulin like growth factor binding protein 7 and ribosomal protein S29, all apoptosis related genes. Conclusion: We report a comprehensive description of the UN induced modifications in gene expression levels, including the identification of genes previously unrelated to ARF. The study of these genes and the metabolisms they control should improve our understanding of toxic ARF and enlighten on the molecular targets for potential therapeutic interventions.