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Am J Physiol. 1992 Nov;263(5 Pt 2):F776-83.

Macrophages mediate adverse effects of cholesterol feeding in experimental nephrosis.

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Department of Medicine, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, Pennsylvania 17033.


We tested whether the deleterious effects of hypercholesterolemia, in a progressive glomerular disease model, may be mediated by infiltrating renal macrophages. A single sublethal dose of whole body X-irradiation (XI) delivered to rats with acute puromycin aminonucleoside (PA) nephrosis fed a high-cholesterol (HC) diet resulted in significantly greater inulin and p-aminohippurate (PAH) clearances at 11 days after PA without any alterations in circulating lipid levels, in contrast to nonirradiated HC-fed nephrotic controls. This functional protection was associated with significant declines in both glomerular and cortical interstitial macrophage number. Over the course of this 16-wk model, HC-fed PA rats had significantly less albuminuria as well as significantly fewer glomerulosclerosis (GS) lesions and less mesangial matrix expansion at the end of the study despite an equivalent degree of sustained hypercholesterolemia. This data suggests that reducing the infiltrating glomerular and cortical interstitial macrophage burden with XI during acute PA nephrosis, unaccompanied by any hypolipidemic effect, produces not only early salutary effects on renal function but also a significant amelioration of the progressive glomerulopathic features of this model. This is consistent with the hypothesis that the infiltrating renal macrophage, in large part, directly mediates the adverse effects of hypercholesterolemia in this model.

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