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Kidney Int. 2000 Oct;58(4):1492-9.

Up-regulation of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 in tubulointerstitial lesions of human diabetic nephropathy.

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First Department of Internal Medicine and Division of Blood Purification, School of Medicine, and Department of Molecular Oncology, Cancer Research Institute, Kanazawa University, Kanazawa, Japan.



We previously described that monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) plays an important role in progressive glomerular and interstitial damage in inflammatory renal diseases. However, the expression of MCP-1 in diabetic nephropathy remains to be investigated.


We examined whether locally expressed MCP-1 participates in human diabetic nephropathy via recruiting and activating monocytes/macrophages (Mphi). Urinary and serum MCP-1 levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in 45 patients with diabetic nephropathy. The presence of MCP-1 in diseased kidneys was determined by immunohistochemical and in situ hybridization analyses.


Urinary MCP-1 levels were significantly elevated in patients with diabetic nephrotic syndrome and advanced tubulointerstitial lesions. Moreover, urinary levels of MCP-1 were well correlated with the number of CD68-positive infiltrating cells in the interstitium. In contrast, serum MCP-1 levels remained similar to those of healthy volunteers. Furthermore, we detected the MCP-1-positive cells in the interstitium of diabetic nephropathy via both immunohistochemical and in situ hybridization analyses.


These observations suggest that locally produced MCP-1 may be involved in the development of advanced diabetic nephropathy, especially in the formation of tubulointerstitial lesions possibly through Mphi recruitment and activation. Moreover, up-regulation of MCP-1 may be a common pathway involved in the progressive tubulointerstitial damage in diabetic nephropathy as well as inflammatory renal diseases.

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