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Kidney Int. 2006 Feb;69(3):450-6.

Fibrillin-1 regulates mesangial cell attachment, spreading, migration and proliferation.

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Klinik für Kinder und Jugendliche, Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen, Germany.


The microfibrillar protein fibrillin-1 is present in many organs, including the vasculature, eye, and dermis, and is thought to convey structural anchorage and elastic strength. Fibrillin-1 is also a component of the mesangial matrix. To assess the functional relevance of fibrillin-1 for cell-matrix interactions in the glomerulus, we studied the attachment, spreading, migration and proliferation of mesangial cells on fibrillin-1 and the regulation of fibrillin-1 in experimental anti-Thy1.1 nephritis displaying mesangial cell migration and proliferation in vivo. During the acute phase of experimental Thy1.1 nephritis, glomerular fibrillin-1 messenger ribonucleic acid expression and protein immunoreactivity were significantly induced as compared to controls. In a hexosaminidase-based adhesion assay, mesangial cells showed concentration-dependent attachment to fibrillin-1, similar to what was observed for fibronectin. The cell attachment was Arg-Gly-Asp dependent. Further, fibrillin-1 significantly promoted spreading and focal contact formation detected by immunostaining for vinculin. Mesangial cell migration, assessed by a transmigration assay, and proliferation, measured by a 5-bromo-2'-deoxy-uridine incorporation assay, were augmented by fibrillin-1. In diabetic mice underexpressing fibrillin-1, glomerular cell proliferation, determined by counting proliferating cell nuclear antigen-positive cells in renal sections, was significantly lower than in diabetic control mice. We conclude that fibrillin-1 promotes mesangial cell attachment, spreading, migration, and proliferation. We speculate that fibrillin-1 may thus contribute to mesangial hypercellularity during glomerular disease.

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