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      Effects of diabetes and hypertension on macrophage infiltration and matrix expansion in the rat kidney

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          In experimental models of diabetes mellitus, aggravation of renal injury by concomitant hypertension has been described. Inflammatory mechanisms contribute to renal damage in both diseases. We investigated whether hypertension and diabetes mellitus act synergistically to induce macrophage infiltration and matrix expansion in the kidney.


          Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus was induced by streptozotocin injections to hypertensive mRen2-transgenic rats (TGR) and normotensive Sprague-Dawley control rats. Quantitative immunohistochemical examination of kidney tissue sections was used to measure macrophage infiltration and matrix expansion. The expression of MCP-1, Osteopontin, RANTES, ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 was evaluated by real-time RT-PCR. The localization of MCP-1 was studied by immunohistochemistry.


          Macrophage infiltration was present in the kidney of normotensive diabetic rats. Hypertensive rats exhibited a more marked infiltration of macrophages, regardless of whether diabetes was present or not. Gene expression of ICAM-1, VCAM-1 and RANTES was unaltered whereas Osteopontin and MCP-1 were induced by hypertension. Immunoreactive MCP-1 was slightly increased in diabetic rat kidney podocytes, and more markedly increased in hypertensive animals. Glomerular matrix accumulation was induced by diabetes and hypertension to a similar degree, and was highest in hypertensive, diabetic animals.


          Diabetes mellitus caused a mild, and angiotensin-dependent hypertension a more marked infiltration of macrophages in the kidney. Combination of both diseases led to additive effects on matrix expansion but not on inflammation. Hypertension appears to be a much stronger stimulus for inflammation of the kidney than STZ diabetes, at least in mRen2-transgenic rats.

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          Most cited references 19

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          Macrophages in mouse type 2 diabetic nephropathy: correlation with diabetic state and progressive renal injury.

          Macrophage-mediated renal injury has been implicated in progressive forms of glomerulonephritis; however, a role for macrophages in type 2 diabetic nephropathy, the major cause of end-stage renal failure, has not been established. Therefore, we examined whether macrophages may promote the progression of type 2 diabetic nephropathy in db/db mice. The incidence of renal injury was examined in db/db mice with varying blood sugar and lipid levels at 8 months of age. The association of renal injury with the accumulation of kidney macrophages was analyzed in normal db/+ and diabetic db/db mice at 2, 4, 6, and 8 months of age. In db/db mice, albuminuria and increased plasma creatinine correlated with elevated blood glucose and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels but not with obesity or hyperlipidemia. Progressive diabetic nephropathy in db/db mice was associated with increased kidney macrophages. Macrophage accumulation and macrophage activation in db/db mice correlated with hyperglycemia, HbA1c levels, albuminuria, elevated plasma creatinine, glomerular and tubular damage, renal fibrosis, and kidney expression of macrophage chemokines [monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), osteopontin, migration inhibitory factor (MIF), monocyte-colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF)]. The accrual and activation of glomerular macrophages also correlated with increased glomerular IgG and C3 deposition, which was itself dependent on hyperglycemia. Kidney macrophage accumulation is associated with the progression of type 2 diabetic nephropathy in db/db mice. Macrophage accumulation and activation in diabetic db/db kidneys is associated with prolonged hyperglycemia, glomerular immune complex deposition, and increased kidney chemokine production, and raises the possibility of specific therapies for targeting macrophage-mediated injury in diabetic nephropathy.
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            Up-regulation of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 in tubulointerstitial lesions of human diabetic nephropathy.

            We previously described that monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) plays an important role in progressive glomerular and interstitial damage in inflammatory renal diseases. However, the expression of MCP-1 in diabetic nephropathy remains to be investigated. We examined whether locally expressed MCP-1 participates in human diabetic nephropathy via recruiting and activating monocytes/macrophages (Mphi). Urinary and serum MCP-1 levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in 45 patients with diabetic nephropathy. The presence of MCP-1 in diseased kidneys was determined by immunohistochemical and in situ hybridization analyses. Urinary MCP-1 levels were significantly elevated in patients with diabetic nephrotic syndrome and advanced tubulointerstitial lesions. Moreover, urinary levels of MCP-1 were well correlated with the number of CD68-positive infiltrating cells in the interstitium. In contrast, serum MCP-1 levels remained similar to those of healthy volunteers. Furthermore, we detected the MCP-1-positive cells in the interstitium of diabetic nephropathy via both immunohistochemical and in situ hybridization analyses. These observations suggest that locally produced MCP-1 may be involved in the development of advanced diabetic nephropathy, especially in the formation of tubulointerstitial lesions possibly through Mphi recruitment and activation. Moreover, up-regulation of MCP-1 may be a common pathway involved in the progressive tubulointerstitial damage in diabetic nephropathy as well as inflammatory renal diseases.
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              Early glomerular macrophage recruitment in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.

              Diabetic glomerulosclerosis is defined by increased glomerular extracellular matrix (ECM) that is mainly synthesized by mesangial cells that underwent an activation mediated by cytokines and growth factors from various cellular origins. In this study, we tested whether macrophages could infiltrate the glomeruli and influence ECM synthesis in experimental diabetes. To test our hypothesis, we initially studied the dynamics of glomerular macrophage recruitment in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats at days 1, 2, 4, 8, 15, and 30 by using quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) on isolated glomeruli and immunohistochemistry and morphometry. We then assessed the role of macrophages on the basis of the pharmacological modulation of their recruitment by insulin or ACE inhibitor treatments and by X-irradiation-induced macrophage depletion at days 8 and 30. Macrophages were recruited within the glomeruli at the very early phase of hyperglycemia by using RT-PCR CD14 detection from day 2 and by using ED1 immunohistochemistry from day 8. This glomerular macrophage infiltration was associated with an increase in alpha1-chain type IV collagen mRNA. In parallel, the diabetic glomeruli became hypertrophic with an increase in the mesangial area. Macrophage recruitment was preceded by or associated with an increased glomerular expression of vascular cell adhesion molecule 1, intracellular adhesion molecule 1, and monocyte chemoattractant protein 1, which contributes to monocyte diapedesis. Glomerular interleukin-1beta mRNA synthesis was also enhanced as early as day 1 and could be involved in the increase in ECM and adhesion molecule gene expressions. Insulin treatment and irradiation-induced macrophage depletion completely prevented the glomerular macrophage recruitment and decreased alpha1-chain type IV collagen mRNA and mesangial area in diabetic rats, whereas ACE inhibitor treatment had an incomplete effect. It can be concluded that in the streptozotocin model, hyperglycemia is followed by an early macrophage recruitment that contributes to the molecular and structural events that could lead to glomerulosclerosis. Therefore, besides direct stimulation of mesangial cells by hyperglycemia, macrophages recruited in the glomeruli during the early phase of hyperglycemia could secondarily act on mesangial cells.

                Author and article information

                BMC Nephrol
                BMC Nephrology
                BioMed Central (London )
                27 May 2005
                : 6
                : 6
                [1 ]Children and Youth Hospital, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Loschgestrasse 15, D-91054 Erlangen, Germany
                [2 ]Nephrology and Hypertension, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Loschgestrasse 8, D-91054 Erlangen, Germany
                [3 ]Medicine II, Augsburg City Hospital, Stenglinstrasse 2, D-86156 Augsburg, Germany
                Copyright © 2005 Hartner et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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