In autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD), cyst inflation and continuous enlargement are associated with marked transepithelial ion and fluid secretion into the cyst lumen via cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR). Indeed, the inhibition or degradation of CFTR prevents the fluid accumulation within cysts. The in vivo mechanisms by which the lack of Polycystin-2 leads to CFTR stimulation are an outstanding challenge in ADPKD research and may bring important biomarkers for the disease. However, hampering their study, the available ADPKD in vitro cellular models lack the three-dimensional architecture of renal cysts and the ADPKD mouse models offer limited access for live-imaging experiments in embryonic kidneys. Here, we tested the zebrafish Kupffer's vesicle (KV) as an alternative model-organ. KV is a fluid-filled vesicular organ, lined by epithelial cells that express both CFTR and Polycystin-2 endogenously, being each of them easily knocked-down. Our data on the intracellular distribution of Polycystin-2 support its involvement in the KV fluid-flow induced Ca2+-signalling. Mirroring kidney cysts, the KV lumen inflation is dependent on CFTR activity and, as we clearly show, the knockdown of Polycystin-2 results in larger KV lumens through overstimulation of CFTR. In conclusion, we propose the zebrafish KV as a model organ to study the renal cyst inflation. Favouring its use, KV volume can be easily determined by in vivo imaging offering a live readout for screening compounds and genes that may prevent cyst enlargement through CFTR inhibition.
- Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD)
- Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR)
- Kupffer's vesicle (KV)