Altered gap junctional communication and renal haemodynamics in Zucker fatty rat model of type 2 diabetes

T. Takenaka*, T. Inoue, H. Okada, Y. Ohno, T. Miyazaki, D. J. Chaston, C. E. Hill, H. Suzuki

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    38 Citations (Scopus)


    Aims/hypothesis: We examined the link between altered gap junctional communication and renal haemodynamic abnormalities in diabetes in studies performed on Zucker lean (ZL) and the Zucker diabetic fatty (ZDF) rat model of type 2 diabetes. Methods: The abundance of connexin (Cx) 37, 40 and 43 was assessed by western blot and immunohistochemistry. Renal haemodynamics was characterised with GAP peptides, which are Cx mimetics, to inhibit gap junctions as a probe in both strains. Results: ZDF rats exhibited higher plasma glucose, 8-epi-prostaglandin F2α excretion, renal plasma flow and GFR than ZL rats. In ZDF rat kidney phosphorylation of Cx43 was enhanced compared with that in ZL rats. Immunohistochemical study revealed that the density of abundance of Cx37 in renin-secreting cells was significantly reduced in ZDF rats. Although renal autoregulation was markedly impaired in ZDF rats, it was preserved in ZL rats. GAP27 for Cx37,43 and for Cx40 impaired renal autoregulation in ZL rats, but failed to induce further alterations in renal autoregulation in ZDF rats. Conclusions/interpretation: Our findings indicate that ZDF rats have glomerular hyperfiltration with impaired autoregulation. They also demonstrate enhanced phosphorylation of Cxs and reduced production of Cxs in ZDF rat kidney, especially of Cx37 in renin-secreting cells. Finally, our data suggest that an impairment of gap junctional communication in juxtaglomerular apparatus plays a role in altered renal autoregulation in diabetes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2192-2201
    Number of pages10
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011


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