Skip Navigation
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Internet Explorer is no longer a supported browser.

This website may not display properly with Internet Explorer. For the best experience, please use a more recent browser such as the latest versions of Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and/or Mozilla Firefox. Thank you.

Your Environment. Your Health.

Publication Detail

Title: Microcystin exposure worsens nonalcoholic fatty liver disease associated ectopic glomerular toxicity via NOX-2-MIR21 axis.

Authors: Sarkar, Sutapa; Alhasson, Firas; Kimono, Diana; Albadrani, Muayad; Seth, Ratanesh K; Xiao, Shuo; Porter, Dwayne E; Scott, Geoff I; Brooks, Bryan; Nagarkatti, Mitzi; Nagarkatti, Prakash; Chatterjee, Saurabh

Published In Environ Toxicol Pharmacol, (2020 Jan)

Abstract: NAFLD often results in cardiovascular, intestinal and renal complications. Previous reports from our laboratory highlighted NAFLD induced ectopic inflammatory manifestations in the kidney that gave rise to glomerular inflammation. Extending our studies, we hypothesized that existing inflammatory conditions in NAFLD could make the kidneys more susceptible to environmental toxicity. Our results showed that exposure of Microcystin-LR (MC) in NAFLD mice caused a marked increase in cellular scarring with a concomitant increase in mesangial cell activation as observed by increased α-SMA in the extracellular matrix surrounding the glomeruli. Renal tissue surrounding the glomeruli also showed increased NOX2 activation as shown by greater co-localization of p47 Phox and its membrane component gp91Phox both in the mesangial cell and surrounding tissue. Mechanistically, mesangial cells incubated with apocynin, nitrone spin trap DMPO and miR21 inhibitor showed significantly decreased α-SMA, miR21 levels and proinflammatory cytokine release in the supernatant. In parallel, mice lacking miR21, known to be activated by NOX2, when exposed to MC in NAFLD showed decreased mesangial cell activation. Strikingly, phenyl boronic acid incubated cells that were exposed to MC showed significantly decreased mesangial cell activation showing that peroxynitrite might be the major reactive species involved in mediation of the activation process, release of proinflammatory micro RNAs and cytokines that are crucial for renal toxicity. Thus, in conclusion, MC exposure causes NOX2 activation that leads to mesangial cell activation and toxicity via release of peroxynitrite that also represses PTEN by the upregulation of miR21 thus amplifying the toxicity.

PubMed ID: 31706246 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Animals; Inflammation; Kidney Diseases; Kidney/drug effects; Kidney/metabolism; Mice; MicroRNAs; Microcystins/toxicity*; Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease*; Signal Transduction; Water Pollutants, Chemical/toxicity*

to Top