Urokinase receptor modulates cellular and angiogenic responses in obstructive nephropathy.
Zhang, ZG; Kim, H; Cai, X; Lopez-Guisa, JM; Carmeliet, P; Eddy, AA
Journal of the American Society of Nephrology : JASN, 14(5):1234-1253, 2003
Journal of the American Society of Nephrology : JASN
Interstitial cells have been implicated in the pathogenesis of renal fibrosis. Given that the urokinase receptor (uPAR) is known to play a role in cell adhesion, migration, and angiogenesis, the present study was designed to evaluate the role of uPAR in the regulation of the phenotypic composition of interstitial cells (macrophages, myofibroblasts, capillaries) in response to chronic renal injury. Groups of uPAR wild-type (+/+) and knockout (-/-) mice were investigated between 3 and 14 d after unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO) or sham surgery (n = 8 mice per group). The density of F4/80+ interstitial macrophages (Mphi) was significantly lower in the -/- mice (3.3 +/- 0.4 versus 6.9 +/- 1.7% area at day 3 UUO; 10.8 +/- 1.6 versus 15.7 +/- 1.0% at day 14 UUO; -/- versus +/+). In contrast, in the -/- mice there were significantly more alpha smooth muscle actin (alphaSMA)-positive cells (12.9 +/- 3.2 versus 7.8 +/- 1.5% area at day 3 UUO; 21.0 +/- 4.7 versus 9.7 +/- 1.9% at day 14 UUO) and CD34-positive endothelial cells (8.4 +/- 1.9 versus 4.0 +/- 1.1% area at day 14 UUO). These differences were associated with significantly more interstitial fibrosis in the -/- mice based on Sirius red staining (4.6 +/- 0.9 versus 2.3 +/- 0.9% area at 14 d UUO). Absence of the uPAR scavenger receptor was associated with significantly greater accumulation of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 protein (PAI-1) (20.5 +/- 3.5 versus 9.1 +/- 2.9% area, day 14 UUO) and vitronectin protein (2.4 +/- 1.1 versus 0.9 +/- 0.4% area, day 14 UUO). By immunostaining alphaSMA+ cells, CD34+ cells, vitronectin and PAI-1 co-localized to the same tubulointerstitial area. The number of apoptotic cells increased in response to UUO but was significantly higher in the -/- mice (2.0 +/- 0.2 versus 1.2 +/- 0.2 per 100 tubulointerstitial cells, day 14 UUO) while the number of proliferating cells was significantly lower in the uPAR-/- mice. These data suggest that uPAR deficiency suppresses renal Mphi recruitment, but the absence of this scavenger receptor actually accentuates the fibrogenic response, likely due in part to the delayed clearance of angiogenic/profibrotic molecules such as PAI-1 and decreased receptor-associated uPA activity.
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