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Kidney Int. 2000 Aug;58(2):607-17.

Infection of mesangial cells with HIV and SIV: identification of GPR1 as a coreceptor.

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Department of Virology and Preventive Medicine, Gunma University School of Medicine, Japan.



Mesangial cells are an important component of the glomerulus. Dysfunction of mesangial cells is thought to be involved in the development of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-associated nephropathy (HIVAN). HIVAN is a structural renal failure frequently observed in patients with acquired immune deficiency syndrome. However, the susceptibility of mesangial cells to HIV-1 is disputable. More than ten G protein-coupled receptors, including chemokine receptors, have been shown to act as HIV-1 coreceptors that determine the susceptibilities of cells to HIV-1 strains with specific cell tropisms.


We examined the susceptibility of mesangial cells to various HIV-1, HIV type 2 (HIV-2) and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) strains. Expression of CD4 and HIV/SIV coreceptors was examined by Western blotting and polymerase chain reaction.


Mesangial cells were found to be susceptible to HIV-1 variant and mutants that infect brain-derived cells, but highly resistant to T-tropic (X4), M-tropic (R5) or dual-tropic (X4R5) HIV-1 strains. In addition, mesangial cells were also susceptible to HIV-2 and SIV strains that infect the brain-derived cells. Among HIV/SIV coreceptors we tested, the expression of GPR1 mRNA was detected in mesangial cells. Expression of CD4 mRNA and protein was also detected in them. Mesangial cells and GPR1-transduced CD4-positive cells showed similar susceptibilities to the HIV-1 variant and mutants and HIV-2 and SIV strains.


CD4 and GPR1 mRNAs were detected in mesangial cells. Mesangial cells were susceptible to HIV/SIV strains that use GPR1 as a coreceptor. Our findings suggest that an orphan G protein-coupled receptor, GPR1, is a coreceptor expressed in mesangial cells. It remains to be investigated whether the interaction of mesangial cells with specific HIV-1 strains through GPR1 plays a role in the development of HIVAN.

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