Expression of peroxisomal proliferator-activated receptors and retinoid X receptors in the kidney

Tianxin Yang, Daniel E. Michele, John Park, Ann M. Smart, Zhiwu Lin, Frank C. Brosius, Jurgen B. Schnermann, Josephine P. Briggs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

166 Scopus citations


The discovery that 15-deoxy-Δ12,14-prostaglandin J2 (15d-PGJ2) is a ligand for the γ-isoform of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) suggests nuclear signaling by prostaglandins. Studies were undertaken to determine the nephron localization of PPAR isoforms and their heterodimer partners, retinoid X receptors (RXR), and to evaluate the function of this system in the kidney. PPARα mRNA, determined by RT-PCR, was found predominately in cortex and further localized to proximal convoluted tubule (PCT); PPARγ was abundant in renal inner medulla, localized to inner medullary collecting duct (IMCD) and renal medullary interstitial cells (RMIC); PPARβ, the ubiquitous form of PPAR, was abundant in all nephron segments examined. RXRα was localized to PCT and IMCD, whereas RXRβ was expressed in almost all nephron segments examined. mRNA expression of acyl-CoA synthase (ACS), a known PPAR target gene, was stimulated in renal cortex of rats fed with fenofibrate, but the expression was not significantly altered in either cortex or inner medulla of rats fed with troglitazone. In cultured RMIC cells, both troglitazone and 15d-PGJ2 significantly inhibited cell proliferation and dramatically altered cell shape by induction of cell process formation. We conclude that PPAR and RXR isoforms are expressed in a nephron segment-specific manner, suggesting distinct functions, with PPARα being involved in energy metabolism through regulating ACS in PCT and with PPARγ being involved in modulating RMIC growth and differentiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)F966-F973
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology
Issue number6 46-6
StatePublished - Dec 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • 15-deoxy-Δ-prostaglandin J
  • Acyl-coenzyme A synthase
  • Microdissected nephron segments
  • Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Urology


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