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Kidney Int. 1997 Jun;51(6):1766-73.

Osteopontin regulation in cultured rat renal epithelial cells.

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Department of Pathology, University of Washington, Seattle, USA.


Osteopontin is a secreted, arginine-glycine-aspartate (RGD)-containing phosphoprotein that is up-regulated in kidney cortical tubular epithelial cells in many experimental models of tubulointerstitial fibrosis. Its close association with infiltrating macrophage in this disease and its ability to directly stimulate macrophage migration has made it a key target as a molecule likely to be important in mediating renal inflammation. The mechanism responsible for osteopontin up-regulation in kidney disease is unknown, but may involve induction by specific cytokines released by damaged glomeruli or other parts of the kidney, prior to the onset of interstitial disease. We have investigated this hypothesis by testing the effects of angiotensin II, bFGF, TGF beta 1, EGF, and IGF, important renal cytokines, on osteopontin regulation in cultured NRK52E cells, a rat renal epithelial cell line. Using Northern blot, Western blot, and ELISA analyses, we find that NRK52E cells constitutively express low levels of osteopontin mRNA and protein. TGF beta 1 and EGF are potent inducers of osteopontin mRNA and protein in those cells. mRNA stability and nuclear run on assays suggest that induction of osteopontin expression by TGF beta 1 and EGF is via increased transcription of the osteopontin gene. In contrast, IGF-1, angiotensin II, and PDGF BB did not significantly modulate osteopontin expression in NRK52E cells. These studies are consistent with the hypothesis that release of potent cytokines by the injured kidney might be one mechanism whereby elevated levels of osteopontin are synthesized by cortical tubular epithelial cells early in tubulointerstitial disease.

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