Nature communications

Notch2 activation ameliorates nephrosis.

PMID 24526233


Activation of Notch1 and Notch2 has been recently implicated in human glomerular diseases. Here we show that Notch2 prevents podocyte loss and nephrosis. Administration of a Notch2 agonistic monoclonal antibody ameliorates proteinuria and glomerulosclerosis in a mouse model of nephrosis and focal segmental glomerulosclerosis. In vitro, the specific knockdown of Notch2 increases apoptosis in damaged podocytes, while Notch2 agonistic antibodies enhance activation of Akt and protect damaged podocytes from apoptosis. Treatment with triciribine, an inhibitor of Akt pathway, abolishes the protective effect of the Notch2 agonistic antibody. We find a positive linear correlation between the number of podocytes expressing activated Notch2 and the number of residual podocytes in human nephrotic specimens. Hence, specific activation of Notch2 rescues damaged podocytes and activating Notch2 may represent a novel clinical strategy for the amelioration of nephrosis and glomerulosclerosis.