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Exp Nephrol. 2001;9(6):397-404.

Induction of urokinase receptor expression in nephrotoxic nephritis.

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INSERM U 489, Hôpital Tenon, Paris, France.


The urokinase receptor (uPAR) is a multifunctional molecule involved in pericellular, fibrinolytic, and proteolytic activities, as well as in cell adhesion and chemotaxis and may play a role in the pathogenesis of tissue remodeling occurring during glomerulonephritis. We analyzed sequentially the expression of uPAR by immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization in an accelerated model of nephrotoxic nephritis in rats. A strong induction of uPAR mRNA expression was observed in glomeruli as soon as 1 h after nephrotoxic serum injection. The intensity of glomerular uPAR mRNA and antigen expression increased and peaked at 24 h. At that time, numerous glomerular fibrin deposits, monocyte/marcrophage infiltration, and heavy proteinuria were observed. Fibrin deposition was detected at 6 h, peaked at 24 h, and progressively declined over the next 3 weeks, while uPAR antigen expression remained elevated until the end of the study (3 weeks). By double labeling, we showed that the expression of uPAR was mediated by both intrinsic glomerular cells and infiltrating macrophages. Severe podocytic lesions developed within 3 days after antiserum injection, and glomerulosclerosis rapidly progressed within 2-3 weeks. These results show that glomerular uPAR expression is induced in nephrotoxic nephritis and suggest that uPAR may promote local proteolysis and also tissue remodeling, leading to the late development of glomerulosclerosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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