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Clin Exp Immunol. 1997 May;108(2):318-23.

Up-regulation of macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF) and migration inhibitory factor (MIF) expression and monocyte recruitment during lipid-induced glomerular injury in the exogenous hypercholesterolaemic (ExHC) rat.

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Department of Nephrology, Monash Medical Centre, Clayton, Victoria, Australia.


Although macrophages play an important role in lipid-induced glomerular injury, we know little of the mechanisms by which hyperlipidaemia induces monocyte recruitment. This study investigated the role of M-CSF and macrophage MIF in monocyte recruitment during the development of lipid-induced glomerular injury in the susceptible ExHC rat strain. Groups of five ExHC rats were fed a high cholesterol diet (HCD) containing 3% cholesterol, 0.6% sodium cholate and 15% olive oil, and killed after 3 days, 1, 2 or 6 weeks. Control animals were killed on day 0 or after 6 weeks on a normal diet. Animals were hypercholesterolaemic 3 days after the induction of the HCD, but showed no change in plasma triglycerides over the 6-week period. Glomerular macrophage accumulation was first evident at 1-2 weeks and increased up to week 6, when macrophage-derived foam cells were seen in almost all glomeruli, and segmental lesions and mild proteinuria were also evident. Combined in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry staining demonstrated that, coincident with the induction of hypercholesterolaemia on day 3, there was marked up-regulation of M-CSF and MIF mRNA expression by intrinsic glomerular cells (mostly mesangial cells and podocytes) which preceded monocyte recruitment. There was a highly significant correlation between the number of M-CSF and MIF-positive cells and glomerular macrophage accumulation over the 6-week period. Although some glomerular macrophages and foam cells exhibited M-CSF and MIF expression, the major source of these molecules was intrinsic glomerular cells. No local macrophage proliferation was observed during the development of glomerular lesions. In conclusion, hypercholesterolaemia caused marked up-regulation of M-CSF and MIF expression by intrinsic glomerular cells, which correlated with monocyte recruitment and the development of lipid-induced glomerular injury. This is the first study to implicate local synthesis of MIF in the pathogenesis of lipid-induced lesions.

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