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FASEB J. 2003 Oct;17(13):1904-6. Epub 2003 Aug 1.

Type 1 plasminogen activator inhibitor deficiency aggravates the course of experimental glomerulonephritis through overactivation of transforming growth factor beta.

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Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale U489, Paris, France.


Type 1 plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI-1) is the primary inhibitor of tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA) and urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA). Whereas PAI-1 is not expressed in normal kidneys, it is strongly induced in glomerular diseases and thus could promote the local accumulation of fibrin. To study the role of PAI-1 in the development of inflammatory glomerular injury, passive antiglomerular basement membrane (GBM) glomerulonephritis (GN) was induced in PAI-1 knockout mice and in wild-type mice of the same genetic background. Unexpectedly, PAI-1 deficiency was associated with an early and severe exacerbation of glomerular injury: Infiltration by CD4 T cells, proportion of fibrinous crescents, and renal function impairment were significantly more pronounced in PAI-1 -/- mice. Interestingly, activation of transforming growth factor (TGF)- beta, which is known to be dependent on the PA/plasmin system in vitro, was dramatically enhanced in the kidneys in the absence of PAI-1. Moreover, administration of neutralizing antibodies against TGF-beta significantly attenuated the disease in PAI-1 -/- mice. This suggests that the poor outcome of GN in PAI-1 -/- mice is consecutive to an uncontrolled activation of TGF-beta and confers PAI-1 with a new, immunomodulatory role.

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