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      Macrophages: versatile players in renal inflammation and fibrosis

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      Nature Reviews Nephrology

      Springer Nature

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          Targeted disruption of the mouse transforming growth factor-beta 1 gene results in multifocal inflammatory disease.

          Transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-beta 1) is a multifunctional growth factor that has profound regulatory effects on many developmental and physiological processes. Disruption of the TGF-beta 1 gene by homologous recombination in murine embryonic stem cells enables mice to be generated that carry the disrupted allele. Animals homozygous for the mutated TGF-beta 1 allele show no gross developmental abnormalities, but about 20 days after birth they succumb to a wasting syndrome accompanied by a multifocal, mixed inflammatory cell response and tissue necrosis, leading to organ failure and death. TGF-beta 1-deficient mice may be valuable models for human immune and inflammatory disorders, including autoimmune diseases, transplant rejection and graft versus host reactions.
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            Origin and function of myofibroblasts in kidney fibrosis.

            Myofibroblasts are associated with organ fibrosis, but their precise origin and functional role remain unknown. We used multiple genetically engineered mice to track, fate map and ablate cells to determine the source and function of myofibroblasts in kidney fibrosis. Through this comprehensive analysis, we identified that the total pool of myofibroblasts is split, with 50% arising from local resident fibroblasts through proliferation. The nonproliferating myofibroblasts derive through differentiation from bone marrow (35%), the endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition program (10%) and the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition program (5%). Specific deletion of Tgfbr2 in α-smooth muscle actin (αSMA)(+) cells revealed the importance of this pathway in the recruitment of myofibroblasts through differentiation. Using genetic mouse models and a fate-mapping strategy, we determined that vascular pericytes probably do not contribute to the emergence of myofibroblasts or fibrosis. Our data suggest that targeting diverse pathways is required to substantially inhibit the composite accumulation of myofibroblasts in kidney fibrosis.
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              Fibroblasts in kidney fibrosis emerge via endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition.

              Fibroblasts are key mediators of fibrosis in the kidney and other organs, but their origin during fibrosis is still not completely clear. Activated fibroblasts likely arise from resident quiescent fibroblasts via epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and from the bone marrow. Here, we demonstrate that endothelial cells also contribute to the emergence of fibroblasts during kidney fibrosis via the process of endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EndMT). We examined the contribution of EndMT to renal fibrosis in three mouse models of chronic kidney disease: (1) Unilateral ureteral obstructive nephropathy, (2) streptozotocin-induced diabetic nephropathy, and (3) a model of Alport renal disease. Approximately 30 to 50% of fibroblasts coexpressed the endothelial marker CD31 and markers of fibroblasts and myofibroblasts such as fibroblast specific protein-1 and alpha-smooth muscle actin. Endothelial lineage tracing using Tie2-Cre;R26R-stop-EYFP transgenic mice further confirmed the presence of EndMT-derived fibroblasts. Collectively, our results demonstrate that EndMT contributes to the accumulation of activated fibroblasts and myofibroblasts in kidney fibrosis and suggest that targeting EndMT might have therapeutic potential.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature Reviews Nephrology
                Nat Rev Nephrol
                Springer Nature
                1759-5061
                1759-507X
                January 28 2019
                Article
                10.1038/s41581-019-0110-2
                © 2019

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