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J Am Soc Nephrol. 2004 Feb;15(2):286-98.

Exogenous PDGF-D is a potent mesangial cell mitogen and causes a severe mesangial proliferative glomerulopathy.

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University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA.


The PDGF family consists of at least four members, PDGF-A, -B, -C, and -D. All of the PDGF isoforms bind and signal through two known receptors, PDGF receptor-alpha and PDGF receptor-beta, which are constitutively expressed in the kidney and are upregulated in specific diseases. It is well established that PDGF-B plays a pivotal role in the mediation of glomerular mesangial cell proliferation. However, little is known of the roles of the recently discovered PDGF-C and -D in mediating renal injury. In this study, adenovirus constructs encoding PDGF-B, -C, and -D were injected into mice. Mice with high circulating levels of PDGF-D developed a severe mesangial proliferative glomerulopathy, characterized by enlarged glomeruli and a striking increase in glomerular cellularity. The PDGF-B-overexpressing mice had a milder proliferative glomerulopathy, whereas the mice overexpressing PDGF-C and those that received adenovirus alone showed no measurable response. Mitogenicity of PDGF-D and -B for mesangial cells was confirmed in vitro. These findings emphasize the importance of engagement of PDGF receptor-beta in transducing mesangial cell proliferation and demonstrate that PDGF-D is a major mediator of mesangial cell proliferation. Finally, this approach has resulted in a unique and potentially valuable model of mesangial proliferative glomerulopathy and its resolution.

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