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Effects of experimental ureteral obstruction on platelet-derived growth factor-A and type I procollagen expression in fetal metanephric kidneys

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Complete ureteral obstruction, in fetal opossum kidneys has been used as an experimental method to induce tubulointerstitial damage and interstitial fibrosis. However, the molecular events underlying extracellular matrix deposition are currently unknown. Cytokines such as plateletderived growth factor (PDGF) are considered possible participants in these processes. In this study we used a marsupial model of ureteral obstruction to examine the expression of PDGF-A and type I procollagen mRNAs by in situ hybridization. Complete unilateral ureteral obstruction was performed in six animals at midtrimester human equivalent. Obstructed kidneys, as well as the contralateral and age-matched sham kidneys, were harvested at 1, 3, 5, 10, and 20 days post obstruction. Morphological assessment of the obstructed kidneys harvested between 1 and 5 days post obstruction showed mild tubulocystic changes, interstitial fibrosis, and inflammation compared with controls. Kidneys harvested at days 10 and 20 showed moderate tubulointerstitial damage compared with kidneys harvested after 1 and 5 days. PDGF-A mRNA signal of low abundance was detected within renal interstitial cells urothelial cells of the pelvis, and focally within epithelial cells of immature distal convoluted tubules in non-obstructed kidneys. Type I procollagen mRNA expression was spatially co-distributed with PDGF-A-expressing interstitial cells. PDGF-A and type I procollagen signal intensities in obstructed kidneys harvested 10 and 20 days post obstruction were increased several fold compared with controls and kidneys harvested 1–5 days post obstruction. Both PDGF-A and type I procollagen mRNA increases correlated with morphological features of tubulointerstitial damage. Our results suggest that PGDF-A may participate in this form of fetal kidney damage.

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Correspondence to Helen Liapis.

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Liapis, H., Nag, M. & Steinhardt, G. Effects of experimental ureteral obstruction on platelet-derived growth factor-A and type I procollagen expression in fetal metanephric kidneys. Pediatr Nephrol 8, 548–554 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00858123

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Key words

  • Ureteral obstruction
  • Platelet-derived growth factor-A
  • Fibrosis
  • Opossum
  • Fetal kidney