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Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2001 Apr;280(4):F667-74.

Hypoxia and high glucose cause exaggerated mesangial cell growth and collagen synthesis: role of osteopontin.

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  • 1Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Illinois 60611, USA.


The effect of hypoxia on the proliferation and collagen synthesis of cultured rat mesangial cells was examined under normal-glucose (NG, 5 mM) and high-glucose (HG, 25 mM)-media conditions. In addition, a role for osteopontin (OPN) in mediating these processes was assessed. Quiescent cultures were exposed to hypoxia (3% O(2)) and normoxia (18% O(2)) in a serum-free medium with NG or HG, and cell proliferation, collagen synthesis, and OPN expression were assessed. Cells exposed to hypoxia in NG medium resulted in significant increases in [(3)H]thymidine incorporation, cell number, and [(3)H]proline incorporation, respectively. HG incubations also produced significant stimulation of these parameters under normoxic conditions, which were markedly enhanced in cells exposed to hypoxia in HG medium. In addition, hypoxia and HG stimulated the mRNA levels of type IV collagen, and the combination of hypoxia and HG resulted in additive increases in type IV collagen expression. Hypoxia and HG also stimulated OPN mRNA and protein levels in an additive fashion. A neutralizing antibody to OPN or its beta(3)-integrin receptor significantly blocked the effect of hypoxia and HG on proliferation and collagen synthesis. In conclusion, these results demonstrate for the first time that hypoxia in HG medium produces exaggerated mesangial cell growth and type IV collagen synthesis. In addition, OPN appears to play a role in mediating the accelerated mesangial cell growth and collagen synthesis found in a hyperglycemic and hypoxic environment.

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