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      Suppressive Mechanisms of Sairei-to on Mesangial Matrix Expansion in Rat Mesangioproliferative Glomerulonephritis

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          Background: Sairei-to (TJ-114) is a Japanese herbal medicine of standardized quality, originating from traditional Chinese medicine. In the present in vivo study, we investigated the suppressive effects of TJ-114 and related drugs, Shosaiko-to (TJ-9), and Saiboku-to (TJ-96), on mesangioproliferative glomerulonephritis (MsPGN) in rats. TJ-9 is a basal prescription of TJ-96 and TJ-114. We evaluated the efficacy of these drugs on proteinuria, extracellular matrix (ECM) accumulation, and superoxide dismutase (SOD)-activity. Methods: MsPGN in Wistar rats was induced by intravenous injection of rabbit anti-rat thymocyte serum (ATS). TJ-114, TJ-9, TJ-96 (500 mg/kg/day), or prednisolone (PSL, 2 mg/kg/day) was orally administered to the rats as drinking water from the day of ATS injection (day 0) to day 8, when rats were sacrificed and the kidney specimens were collected. Macrophage infiltration was evaluated by immunostaining for ED-1. ECM was measured by trichrome-staining, and fibronectin immunostaining. Northern blotting was performed to clarify the mRNA expression of cytokines and fibronectin. SOD-activity in the homogenate of renal cortex was also evaluated. Results: The amount of urinary protein was significantly decreased only in the TJ-114-treated group compared with the disease control group (p < 0.05). The number of ED-1-positive cells was significantly decreased in all the treatment groups (p < 0.05, respectively). Decreases in the trichrome-stained area were observed moderately in the TJ-114-treated group (66% of control, p < 0.001) and mildly in the PSL-treated group (76% of control, p < 0.001). The staining area of fibronectin in the glomerulus was significantly decreased in all the treated groups except PSL, and was especially suppressed in the TJ-114-treated group (45% of control, p < 0.001). Transforming growth factor (TGF) and connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) expression significantly decreased in the TJ-114-treated group to the control level (p < 0.05). TGF-β, CTGF, and fibronectin mRNA were upregulated in the disease control group, and TJ-114 suppressed these mRNA expressions in glomeruli. The SOD-activity of renal cortex-homogenate was significantly augmented in all the treated groups except PSL, markedly in the TJ-96- and TJ-114-treated groups. Conclusion: These results suggest that TJ-114 ameliorates ECM accumulation in experimental rat MsPGN, partly suppressing TGF-β and CTGF expression through the recovery of SOD-activity.

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          Most cited references 21

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          Single-step method of RNA isolation by acid guanidinium thiocyanate-phenol-chloroform extraction.

          A new method of total RNA isolation by a single extraction with an acid guanidinium thiocyanate-phenol-chloroform mixture is described. The method provides a pure preparation of undegraded RNA in high yield and can be completed within 4 h. It is particularly useful for processing large numbers of samples and for isolation of RNA from minute quantities of cells or tissue samples.
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            Expression of connective tissue growth factor in human renal fibrosis.

            Chronic renal failure may occur in etiologically diverse renal diseases and can be caused by hemodynamic, immunologic and metabolic factors. Initial damage may evoke irreversible scarring, which involves production of a number of proinflammatory and fibrogenic cytokines, including platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) and transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta). Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), a cytokine of the family of growth regulators comprising sef10, cyr61, CTGF and nov, has recently been described in association with scleroderma and other scarring conditions. We investigated CTGF mRNA expression in 65 human renal biopsy specimens of various renal diseases by in situ hybridization. In control human kidney CTFG mRNA was mainly expressed in visceral epithelial cells, parietal epithelial cells, and some interstitial cells. Connective tissue growth factor was strongly up-regulated in the extracapillary and severe mesangial proliferative lesions of crescentic glomerulonephritis, IgA nephropathy, focal and segmental glomerulosclerosis and diabetic nephropathy. An increase in the number of cells expressing CTGF mRNA was observed at sites of chronic tubulointerstitial damage, which correlated with the degree of damage. in the tubulointerstitial area the majority of the CTGF mRNA positive cells coexpressed alpha-smooth muscle actin, and were negative for macrophage markers. Our results indicate that CTGF may be a common growth factor involved in renal fibrosis.
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              Elevated expression of transforming growth factor-beta and proteoglycan production in experimental glomerulonephritis. Possible role in expansion of the mesangial extracellular matrix.

              Glomerular accumulation of extracellular matrix is a prominent feature of progressive glomerulonephritis. Previously, we have shown that transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) is unique among growth factors in regulating the production of the proteoglycans biglycan and decorin by glomerular mesangial cells in vitro. We now provide evidence of an elevated expression of TGF-beta, proteoglycans, and fibronectin in glomerulonephritis induced in rats by injection of anti-thymocyte serum (ATS). Glomeruli were cultured from rat kidneys at 1, 4, 7, 14, and 28 d after ATS administration. Increased proteoglycan synthesis was detected beginning on day 4, which peaked at a 4,900% increase compared with control on day 7, and returned toward control levels by day 28. The increased proteoglycan synthesis by cultured nephritic glomeruli, as well as that of fibronectin, were greatly reduced by addition of antiserum raised against a synthetic peptide from TGF-beta. Conditioned media from ATS glomerular cultures, when added to normal cultured mesangial cells, induced elevated proteoglycan synthesis that also peaked on day 7 and that mimicked the response to added exogenous TGF-beta. The stimulatory activity of the conditioned media was blocked by addition of TGF-beta antiserum. Prior addition of the immunizing peptide to the antiserum abolished the blocking effect. The main induced proteoglycans were identified as biglycan and decorin by immunoprecipitation with antiserum made against synthetic peptides from the proteoglycan core proteins. Glomerular histology showed mesangial matrix expansion in a time course that roughly paralleled both the elevated proteoglycan synthesis by the ATS glomeruli and the ability of the conditioned media from these glomeruli to induce proteoglycan synthesis. At the same time there was an increased expression of TGF-beta mRNA and TGF-beta protein in the glomeruli. These results suggest a central role for TGF-beta in the accumulation of pathological extracellular matrix in glomerulonephritis.

                Author and article information

                Nephron Exp Nephrol
                Cardiorenal Medicine
                S. Karger AG
                July 2005
                15 April 2005
                : 100
                : 3
                : e132-e142
                Departments of aCardiovascular Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine and bPharmacognosy, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kyoto University, Kyoto, and cDivision of Nephrology, Tazuke-Kofukai, Medical Research Institute, Kitano Hospital, Osaka, Japan
                85059 Nephron Exp Nephrol 2005;100:e132–e142
                © 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Figures: 10, Tables: 2, References: 37, Pages: 1
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