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Hrvoje Brzica, Davorka Breljak, Marija Ljubojević, Daniela Balen, Vedran Micek, Naohiko Anzai and Ivan Sabolić

Optimal Methods of Antigen Retrieval for Organic Anion Transporters in Cryosections of the Rat Kidney

To localise antigens by immunocytochemistry (IC), the samples of tissues or cells are usually denatured by fixation, and either frozen and cryosectioned, or embedded in paraffin before sectioning. p-Formaldehyde (PFA; formalin) is a common fixative, which preserves antigenicity of proteins, but damages the tissue/cell morphology and "masks" the antibody binding sites (epitopes). In order to "unmask" epitopes, some kind of antigen retrieval (AR) is used. The aim of this study was: a) to find an optimal AR method in cryosections of in vivo PFA-fixed kidneys for organic anion transporters (Oat) that reside in the basolateral (Oat1, Oat3) and brush-border membrane (Oat2, Oat5) of the rat renal proximal tubules, and b) using optimal method, to compare IC staining of Oats in kidneys that had been PFA-fixed in vivo or in vitro. IC staining in untreated cryosections was compared with that following detergent treatment or microwave heating in citrate buffer of pH 3, pH 6, or pH 8, with or without alcohol pre-treatment. The preferred AR method for Oat1, Oat2, and Oat5 was heating of cryosections at pH 6, and for Oat3 heating at pH 3, without alcohol pre-treatment. Compared with tissue fixed in vivo, tissue fixed in vitro exhibited damaged tubule morphology, similar staining intensity of Oat1 and Oat3, and higher staining intensity of Oat2 and Oat5. We conclude that for optimal IC presentation, each Oat in the rat kidney has to be treated individually, with different fixation and AR approach.

Open access

Hrvoje Brzica, Davorka Breljak, Birgitta C Burckhardt, Gerhard Burckhardt and Ivan Sabolić

Abstract

Oxalate urolithiasis (nephrolithiasis) is the most frequent type of kidney stone disease. Epidemiological research has shown that urolithiasis is approximately twice as common in men as in women, but the underlying mechanism of this sex-related prevalence is unclear. Oxalate in the organism partially originate from food (exogenous oxalate) and largely as a metabolic end-product from numerous precursors generated mainly in the liver (endogenous oxalate). Oxalate concentrations in plasma and urine can be modified by various foodstuffs, which can interact in positively or negatively by affecting oxalate absorption, excretion, and/or its metabolic pathways. Oxalate is mostly removed from blood by kidneys and partially via bile and intestinal excretion. In the kidneys, after reaching certain conditions, such as high tubular concentration and damaged integrity of the tubule epithelium, oxalate can precipitate and initiate the formation of stones. Recent studies have indicated the importance of the SoLute Carrier 26 (SLC26) family of membrane transporters for handling oxalate. Two members of this family [Sulfate Anion Transporter 1 (SAT-1; SLC26A1) and Chloride/Formate EXchanger (CFEX; SLC26A6)] may contribute to oxalate transport in the intestine, liver, and kidneys. Malfunction or absence of SAT-1 or CFEX has been associated with hyperoxaluria and urolithiasis. However, numerous questions regarding their roles in oxalate transport in the respective organs and male-prevalent urolithiasis, as well as the role of sex hormones in the expression of these transporters at the level of mRNA and protein, still remain to be answered.

Open access

Ivana Vrhovac Madunić, Josip Madunić, Davorka Breljak, Dean Karaica and Ivan Sabolić

Abstract

Glucose, the key source of metabolic energy, is imported into cells by two categories of transporters: 1) facilitative glucose transporters (GLUTs) and 2) secondary active sodium-glucose cotransporters (SGLTs). Cancer cells have an increased demand for glucose uptake and utilisation compared to normal cells. Previous studies have demonstrated the overexpression of GLUTs, mainly GLUT1, in many cancer types. As the current standard positron emission tomography (PET) tracer 2-deoxy-2-(18F)fluoro-D-glucose (2-FDG) for imaging tumour cells via GLUT1 lacks in sensitivity and specificity, it may soon be replaced by the newly designed, highly sensitive and specific SGLT tracer α-methyl-4-(F-18)fluoro-4-deoxy-Dglucopyranoside (Me-4FDG) in clinical detection and tumour staging. This tracer has recently demonstrated the functional activity of SGLT in pancreatic, prostate, and brain cancers. The mRNA and protein expression of SGLTs have also been reported in colon/colorectal, lung, ovarian, head, neck, and oral squamous carcinomas. So far, SGLTs have been poorly investigated in cancer, and their protein expression and localisation are often controversial due to a lack of specific SGLT antibodies. In this review, we describe current knowledge concerning SGLT1 and SGLT2 (over)expression in various cancer types. The findings of SGLTs in malignant cells may help in developing novel cancer therapies with SGLT2 or SGLT1/SGLT2 inhibitors already used in diabetes mellitus treatment.

Open access

Dean Karaica, Davorka Breljak, Jovica Lončar, Mila Lovrić, Vedran Micek, Ivana Vrhovac Madunić, Hrvoje Brzica, Carol M. Herak-Kramberger, Jana Ivković Dupor, Marija Ljubojević, Tvrtko Smital, Željka Vogrinc, Gerhard Burckhardt, Birgitta C. Burckhardt and Ivan Sabolić

Abstract

Chloride/formate exchanger (CFEX; SLC26A6) mediates oxalate transport in various mammalian organs. Studies in Cfex knockout mice indicated its possible role in development of male-dominant hyperoxaluria and oxalate urolithiasis. Rats provide an important model for studying this pathophysiological condition, but data on Cfex (rCfex) localisation and regulation in their organs are limited. Here we applied the RT-PCR and immunochemical methods to investigate rCfex mRNA and protein expression and regulation by sex hormones in the pancreas, small intestine, liver, and kidneys from intact prepubertal and adult as well as gonadectomised adult rats treated with sex hormones. rCfex cDNA-transfected HEK293 cells were used to confirm the specificity of the commercial anti-CFEX antibody. Various biochemical parameters were measured in 24-h urine collected in metabolic cages. rCfex mRNA and related protein expression varied in all tested organs. Sex-independent expression of the rCfex protein was detected in pancreatic intercalated ducts (apical domain), small intestinal enterocytes (brush-border membrane; duodenum > jejunum > ileum), and hepatocytes (canalicular membrane). In kidneys, the rCfex protein was immunolocalised to the proximal tubule brush-border with segment-specific pattern (S1=S2<S3), and both rCfex mRNA and protein expression exhibited male-dominant sex differences driven by stimulatory effects of androgens after puberty. However, urinary oxalate excretion was unrelated to renal rCfex protein expression. While the effect of male-dominant expression of rCfex in renal proximal tubules on urine oxalate excretion remains unknown, its expression in the hepatocyte canalicular membrane may be a pathway of oxalate elimination via bile.