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Am J Pathol. 2007 Apr;170(4):1267-76.

The role of interstitial macrophages in nephropathy of type 2 diabetic db/db mice.

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Medizinische Poliklinik, Klinikum der Universität München-Innenstadt, Pettenkoferstr. 8a, 80336 Munchen, Germany.


Diabetic nephropathy is associated with interstitial macrophage infiltrates, but their contribution to disease progression is unclear. We addressed this question by blockade of chemokine receptor (CCR)1 because CCR1 mediates the macrophage recruitment to the renal interstitium. In fact, when CCR1 was blocked with BL5923, a novel orally available CCR1 antagonist, the interstitial recruitment of ex vivo labeled macrophages was markedly decreased in uninephrectomized male db/db mice with advanced diabetic nephropathy. Likewise, BL5923 (60 mg/kg, twice a day) orally administered from months 5 to 6 of life reduced the numbers of interstitial macrophages in uninephrectomized db/db mice. This was associated with reduced numbers of Ki-67 proliferating tubular epithelial and interstitial cells, tubular atrophy, and interstitial fibrosis in uninephrectomized db/db mice. Glomerular pathology and proteinuria were not affected by the CCR1 antagonist. BL5923 reduced renal mRNA expression of Ccl2, Ccr1, Ccr2, Ccr5, transforming growth factor-beta1, and collagen I-alpha1 when compared with untreated uninephrectomized male db/db mice of the same age. Thus, we identified a previously unrecognized role for interstitial macrophages for tubulointerstitial injury, loss of peritubular microvasculature, interstitial inflammation, and fibrosis in type 2 diabetic db/db mice. These data identify oral treatment with the CCR1 antagonist BL5923 as a potential therapy for late-stage diabetic nephropathy.

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