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Kidney Int. 2007 Sep;72(5):599-607. Epub 2007 Jun 20.

Potential role of fractalkine receptor expression in human renal fibrogenesis.

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Department of Nephrology and Rheumatology, Georg-August-University Goettingen, Robert-Koch-Street 40, D-37075 Goettingen, Germany.


The inhibition of several chemokine/chemokine receptors has been shown to reduce progressive renal interstitial fibrosis. In this study, we examined the expression of the CX(3)C receptor in human renal biopsies with interstitial fibrosis and from normal kidneys by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and immunohistochemistry. The CX(3)C receptor was not only detected in mononuclear, tubular epithelial, and dendritic cells but also in alpha-smooth muscle actin and vimentin-positive interstitial myofibroblasts in fibrotic kidneys. Real-time PCR indicated a significant upregulation of CX(3)C receptor mRNA in fibrotic kidneys compared with non-fibrotic nephropathies or donor biopsies. In renal fibroblasts in vitro, hydrogen peroxide increased the expression of the CX(3)C receptor, an increase that was inhibited by N-acetylcysteine and catalase. However, neither proinflammatory nor profibrotic cytokines resulted in this upregulation. Stimulation of fibroblasts by CX(3)C ligand led to a significant enhancement of migration, which was abrogated by pre-incubation with a blocking anti-CX(3)C receptor antibody. Our studies indicate that renal fibrosis is associated with the expression of CX(3)C receptors on human renal fibroblasts. The expression is induced by reactive oxygen species suggesting a role of oxidative stress.

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