Tubular STAT3 limits renal inflammation in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease
ABSTRACTThe inactivation of the ciliary proteins polycystin 1 or 2 leads to autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD), the leading genetic cause of chronic kidney disease. Both cilia signaling and interstitial inflammation play a critical role in the disease. Yet, the reciprocal interactions between immune and tubular cells are not well characterized. The transcription factor STAT3, which is suspected to fuel ADPKD progression, is involved in crosstalks between immune and non-immune
... une and non-immune cells in various tissues and is a component of the cilia proteome. Here, we explore how STAT3 intersects with cilia signaling, renal inflammation and cyst growth using conditional murine models of post-developmental Pkd1, Stat3 and cilia ablation. Our results indicate that, although primary cilia directly modulate STAT3 activation in vitro, the bulk of STAT3 activation in polycystic kidneys occurs through an indirect mechanism in which primary cilia trigger macrophage recruitment to the kidney, which in turn promotes STAT3 activation. Surprisingly, while disrupting Stat3 in Pkd1 deficient tubules slightly reduced cyst burden, it resulted in a massive infiltration of the cystic kidneys by macrophages and T cells, precluding any improvement of kidney function. Mechanistically, STAT3 represses the expression of the inflammatory chemokines CCL5 and CXCL10 in polycystic kidneys and cultured tubular cells. These results demonstrate that STAT3 is not a critical driver of cyst growth in ADPKD but plays a major role in the crosstalk between immune and tubular cells that shapes disease expression.