Generation and phenotypic analysis of mice lacking all urea transporters.
Urea transporters (UT) are a family of transmembrane urea-selective channel proteins expressed in multiple tissues and play an important role in the urine concentrating mechanism of the mammalian kidney. UT inhibitors have diuretic activity and could be developed as novel diuretics. To determine if functional deficiency of all UTs in all tissues causes physiological abnormality, we established a novel mouse model in which all UTs were knocked out by deleting an 87 kb of DNA fragment containing most parts of Slc14a1 and Slc14a2 genes. Western blot analysis and immunofluorescence confirmed that there is no expression of urea transporter in these all-UT-knockout mice. Daily urine output was nearly 3.5-fold higher, with significantly lower urine osmolality in all-UT-knockout mice than that in wild-type mice. All-UT-knockout mice were not able to increase urinary urea concentration and osmolality after water deprivation, acute urea loading, or high protein intake. A computational model that simulated UT-knockout mouse models identified the individual contribution of each UT in urine concentrating mechanism. Knocking out all UTs also decreased the blood pressure and promoted the maturation of the male reproductive system. Thus, functional deficiency of all UTs caused a urea-selective urine-concentrating defect with little physiological abnormality in extrarenal organs.
Jiang, T; Li, Y; Layton, AT; Wang, W; Sun, Y; Li, M; Zhou, H; Yang, B
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