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Kidney Int. 2003 Sep;64(3):906-13.

Mast cell infiltration and chemokine expression in progressive renal disease.

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University of Melbourne, Department of Medicine, St. Vincent's Hospital, Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia.



Mast cells are growth factor-rich, bone marrow-derived cells that infiltrate injured tissue where they have been implicated in the pathogenesis of progressive fibrosis.


Mast cell infiltration and the expression of related chemoattractants was examined following 5/6 nephrectomy, a model of progressive, nonimmune-mediated renal injury. In addition, expression of the profibrotic cytokine, transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) within mast cells and the effects of renoprotective therapy with angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibition were also determined.


Renal injury was accompanied by mast cell infiltration, in close proximity to areas of tubulointerstitial fibrosis. Mast cells displayed toluidine blue metachromasia and were immunopositive for TGF-beta1 as well as chymase and tryptase. The expression of several mast cell chemokines, including stem cell factor, interleukin-8 (IL-8), and also TGF-beta1, were increased in 5/6 nephrectomized kidneys. ACE inhibition with ramipril led to a reduction in renal injury in association with attenuation of mast cell infiltration and chemokine expression.


Mast cell infiltration and related chemokine expression are prominent and early features following renal mass reduction and may contribute pathogenetically to progressive renal injury.

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