Background. Phospholipase C (PLC) is an important factor in signal transduction because this enzyme is activated by several hormones and growth factors. Eight PLC isoforms have been described raising the possibility that different cells express a single isoform or activate specific isoforms in different cells. Therefore, the goal of this study was to determine which PLC isoforms are expressed in specific regions of rat kidney. Methods. Western blot analysis was performed in microdissected nephron segments of rat kidney, while immunohistochemical analysis was performed on whole rat kidney slices using PLC isoform-specific antibodies. Results. All three families of PLC isoforms (β, γ, and δ) were present throughout the cortical and medullary regions of the kidney. Only the PLC-β1 isoform was observed in the brush border of the proximal tubule, but all isoforms were present in glomeruli and in the cytoplasm of tubular epithelial cells. In addition, only the PLC-γ1 isoform was expressed in the internal elastic lamina of the renal artery, while vasa recta expressed PLC-β1 most intensely. Medullary thick ascending limbs showed an intense level of expression of all three isoforms. Conclusion. Multiple PLC isoforms are present in glomeruli, renal tubules, and renal vasculature in vivo, but with some segment-specific differences. These findings suggest that the response of a specific cell is not determined by expression of only one PLC isoform, with the exception of the brush border of the proximal tubule and the renal arteries. Instead, the presence of multiple PLC isoforms in specific regions of the kidney suggests that hormonal regulation in vivo involves mechanisms beyond cell-specific isoforms of PLC.
- Medullary thick ascending limbs
- Proximal tubule
- Renal vasculature
- Signal transduction
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