Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

ABSTRACT. Oxygen tensions in the kidney are heterogeneous, and their changes presumably play an important role in renal physiologic and pathophysiologic processes. A family of hypoxia-inducible transcription factors (HIF) have been identified as mediators of transcriptional responses to hypoxia, which include the regulation of erythropoietin, metabolic adaptation, vascular tone, and neoangiogenesis.In vitro, the oxygen-regulated subunits HIF-1α and -2α are expressed in inverse relationship to oxygen tensions in every cell line investigated to date. The characteristics and functional significance of the HIF responsein vivoare largely unknown. High-amplification immunohistochemical analyses were used to study the expression of HIF-1α and -2α in kidneys of rats exposed to systemic hypoxia bleeding anemia, functional anemia (0.1% carbon monoxide), renal ischemia, or cobaltous chloride (which is known to mimic hypoxia). These treatments led to marked nuclear accumulation of HIF-1α and -2α in different renal cell populations. HIF-1α was mainly induced in tubular cells, including proximal segments with exposure to anemia/carbon monoxide, in distal segments with cobaltous chloride treatment, and in connecting tubules and collecting ducts with all stimuli. Staining for HIF-1α colocalized with inducible expression of the target genes heme oxygenase-1 and glucose transporter-1. HIF-2α was not expressed in tubular cells but was expressed in endothelial cells of a small subset of glomeruli and in peritubular endothelial cells and fibroblasts. The kidney demonstrates a marked potential for upregulation of HIF, but accumulation of HIF-1α and HIF-2α is selective with respect to cell type, kidney zone, and experimental conditions, with the expression patterns partly matching known oxygen profiles. The expression of HIF-2α in peritubular fibroblasts suggests a role in erythropoietin regulation.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of the American Society of Nephrology


American Society of Nephrology (ASN)

Publication Date





1721 - 1732