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Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2003 Feb;284(2):F243-52.

TGF-beta signal transduction and mesangial cell fibrogenesis.

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  • 1Division of Kidney Diseases, Department of Pediatrics, The Feinberg School of Medicine of Northwestern University, and Children's Memorial Institute for Education and Research, Chicago, Illinois 60611-3008, USA. schnaper@northwestern.edu


Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) is closely associated with progressive renal fibrosis. Significant progress has been accomplished in determining the cellular signaling pathways that are activated by TGF-beta. This knowledge is being applied to glomerular mesangial cell models of extracellular matrix (ECM) accumulation. A central component of TGF-beta-stimulated mesangial cell fibrogenesis is the TGF-beta family-specific Smad signal transduction pathway. However, while Smads play an important role in collagen accumulation, recent findings indicate that cross talk among a variety of pathways is necessary for maximal stimulation of collagen expression. Further investigation of these multiple interactions will provide insight into possible ways to interrupt cellular mechanisms of glomerular fibrogenesis.

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