Renin expression in developing zebrafish is associated with angiogenesis and requires the Notch pathway and endothelium

Sebastien A Rider, Linda J Mullins, Rachel F Verdon, Calum A MacRae, John J Mullins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Although renin is a critical regulatory enzyme of the cardiovascular system, its roles in organogenesis and the establishment of cardiovascular homeostasis remain unclear. Mammalian renin-expressing cells are widespread in embryonic kidneys but are highly restricted, specialized endocrine cells in adults. With a functional pronephros, embryonic zebrafish are ideal for delineating the developmental functions of renin-expressing cells and the mechanisms governing renin transcription. Larval zebrafish renin expression originates in the mural cells of the juxtaglomerular anterior mesenteric artery and subsequently at extrarenal sites. The role of renin was determined by assessing responses to renin-angiotensin system blockade, salinity variation, and renal perfusion ablation. Renin expression did not respond to renal flow ablation but was modulated by inhibition of angiotensin-converting enzyme and altered salinity. Our data in larval fish are consistent with conservation of renin's physiological functions. Using transgenic renin reporter fish, with mindbomb and cloche mutants, we show that Notch signaling and the endothelium are essential for developmental renin expression. After inhibition of angiogenesis, renin-expressing cells precede angiogenic sprouts. Arising from separate lineages, but relying on mutual interplay with endothelial cells, renin-expressing cells are among the earliest mural cells observed in larval fish, performing both endocrine and paracrine functions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)F531-F539
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology
Issue number6
Early online date22 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2015


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