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Am J Physiol. 1993 Jun;264(6 Pt 2):F923-9.

Human glomeruli express TIMP-1 mRNA and TIMP-2 protein and mRNA.

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Renal Cell Biology Section, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.


Alterations in the balance between synthesis and degradation of extracellular matrix may result in glomerulosclerosis. The interaction between metalloproteinases and their inhibitors presumably modulates the rate of glomerular matrix degradation. We examined the gene expression of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases (TIMP)-1 and TIMP-2 in human glomeruli and TIMP-2 protein in tissue sections. Kidney tissue was obtained from adults undergoing nephrectomy for renal tumor (n = 9) or biopsy for nephrosis and renal failure (n = 1). Glomeruli were microdissected and subjected to reverse transcription. TIMP cDNAs were quantitated by competitive polymerase chain reaction assays. Five nephrectomy specimens had normal glomeruli and four had diffuse glomerulosclerosis. TIMP-1 and TIMP-2 cDNA levels, detected in glomeruli from all patients, were increased fourfold and threefold, respectively, in patients with glomerulosclerosis. The elevated TIMP cDNA levels could not be attributed to an increased number of glomerular cells. TIMP-2 protein was detected within normal and sclerotic glomeruli. In conclusion, both TIMP genes were expressed in normal glomeruli, and their level of expression was increased in glomerulosclerosis associated with renal carcinoma, suggesting that expression of these inhibitors may correlate with the development of sclerosis.

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