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The clinical investigator

, Volume 70, Issue 9, pp 865–874 | Cite as

Pathology of the human mesangium in situ

  • R. Waldherr
  • S. Cuzic
  • I. L. Noronha
Guest Lecture, “Gesellschaft für Nephrologie”, 23rd Congress

Summary

Mesangial cells play an important role in the development and progression of human glomerular disease. This article summarizes some important aspects of mesangial properties and behaviour in situ. Intrinsic mesangial cells express α-smooth muscle actin and are best characterized as myofibroblasts or glomerular pericytes. The main intergin receptor in the mesangium is the α1\1 integrin. The \2 and \3 integrins have not been detected. Mesangial cells in situ fail to react with many monoclonal antibodies which stain human mesangial cells in culture, including leukocyte activation antigens. Prominent reactions in glomerular disease are mesangial expansion and progressive glomerular sclerosis, which are preceded by or associated with mesangial cell hypertrophy and/or proliferation. Mesangial enlargement is accompanied by an altered integrin expression and an abnormal composition of extracellular mesangial matrix. From the numerous autocrine and paracrine mediators identified in vitro which stimulate or inhibit mesangial cell growth and extracellular matrix synthesis, up to now only a few factors have been shown to be present in selected human glomerulopathies. These include platelet derived growth factors and platelet derived growth factor receptor β, transforming growth factors \, interleukin 1β, tumor necrosis factor α, and interleukin 6. Further identification of such mediators in situ will improve our understanding of pathological glomerular processes, particularly with respect to the multifunctional properties of the mesangial cell.

Key words

Glomerular mesangium Glomerulonephritis Glomerulosclerosis Integrins Cytokines 

Abbreviations

GBM

glomerular basement membrane

GN

glomerulonephritis

SLE

systemic lupus erythematodes

MAC

membrane attack complex

APAAP

alkaline phosphatase anti-alkaline phosphatase

LCA

leucocyte common antigen

Ig

immunoglobulin

PDGF

platelet-derived growth factor

TGF

transforming growth factor

IL

interleukin

PCNA

proliferating cell nuclear antigen

IFN

interferon

IGF

insulin-like growth factor

EGF

epidermal growth factor

TNF

tumour necrosis factor

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Waldherr
    • 1
  • S. Cuzic
    • 1
  • I. L. Noronha
    • 1
  1. 1.Pathologisches InstitutUniversität HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany

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