Obesity is significantly associated with diabetes and related complications like kidney disease. Evidence shows dysregulation of certain non-coding RNAs including microRNAs can accelerate diabetic kidney disease (DKD). Recently, we found that miR-379 and its host transcript long non-coding RNA, lncMGC, were regulated by endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in glomerular cells, and lncMGC could promote features of DKD in mice. In this study, we examined the in vivo role of miR-379 in obesity-induced kidney disease by testing miR-379-knockout (KO) mice generated by CRISPR-Cas9 editing. Male (M) and female (F) mice were fed with control diet, or high fat diet (HFD) for 24 weeks to induce obesity in wild type (WT) and miR-379KO mice. Kidney function was examined by measuring urinary albumin and creatinine. Expression of miR-379 target genes (Edem3, Fis1), Leptin receptor (LepR) and profibrotic genes (Tgf-β1, Ctgf, Col4a1, Col1a2) was measured in isolated glomerular cells. Cortical sections were stained for histopathology. Blood glucose levels were similar in miR379KO-HFD and WT-HFD. miR379KO-HFD-F mice exhibited significantly lower body weight and body fat composition versus WT-HFD-F. Hyperinsulinemia observed in WT-HFD-F mice was attenuated in miR379KO-HFD-F. LepR expression was significantly decreased in WT-HFD-F but not miR379KO-HFD-F mice relative to controls. Increased expression of profibrotic genes, glomerular hypertrophy and interstitial fibrosis observed in WT-HFD-F were significantly attenuated in miR379KO-HFD-F mice. Similar to females, male miR-379KO-HFD-M mice showed significant reductions in glomerular hypertrophy, fibrosis and ER stress markers vs. WT-HFD-M. However, unlike females, miR379KO-HFD-M mice did not display reduced body weight compared to WT-HFD-M. These results suggest miR-379 deficiency protects mice from HFD-induced obesity and kidney injury, with some gender differences. miR-379 inhibition may be a novel therapy for HFD-induced metabolic disorders.
M. Abdollahi: None. M. Kato: None. R. Tunduguru: None. L.L. Lanting: None. R. Natarajan: None.
National Institutes of Health