Kidney fibrosis is the histologic manifestation of CKD. Sustained activation of developmental pathways, such as Notch, in tubule epithelial cells has been shown to have a key role in fibrosis development. The molecular mechanism of Notch-induced fibrosis, however, remains poorly understood. Here, we show that, that expression of peroxisomal proliferation g-coactivator (PGC-1a) and fatty acid oxidation-related genes are lower inmice expressing active Notch1 in tubular epithelial cells (Pax8-rtTA/ICN1) compared to littermate controls. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays revealed that the Notch target gene Hes1 directly binds to the regulatory region of PGC-1a. Compared with Pax8-rtTA/ICN1 transgenic animals, Pax8-rtTA/ICN1/Ppargc1a transgenic mice showed improvement of renal structural alterations (on histology) and molecular defect (expression of profibrotic genes). Overexpression of PGC-1a restored mitochondrial content and reversed the fatty acid oxidation defect induced byNotch overexpression in vitro in tubule cells. Furthermore, compared with Pax8-rtTA/ICN1 mice, Pax8-rtTA/ICN1/Ppargc1a mice exhibited improvement in renal fatty acid oxidation gene expression and apoptosis. Our results show that metabolic dysregulation has a key role in kidney fibrosis induced by sustained activation of the Notch developmental pathway and can be ameliorated by PGC-1a.
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