Disruption of glomerular cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions in hydrocarbon nephropathy. Academic Article uri icon


  • Environmental chemicals play an etiological role in greater than 50% of idiopathic glomerular diseases. The present studies were conducted to define mechanisms of renal cell-specific hydrocarbon injury. Female rats were given 10 mg/kg benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) once a week for 16 wk. Progressive elevations in total urinary protein, protein/creatinine ratios, and microalbuminuria were observed in rats treated with BaP for up to 16 wk. The nephropathic response involved early reductions in mesangial cell numbers and fibronectin levels by 8 wk, coupled to transient increases in podocyte cellularity. Changes in podocyte numbers subsided by 16 wk and correlated with rebound increases in mesangial cell numbers and fibronectin levels, along with increased alpha-smooth muscle actin and Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase and fusion of podocyte foot processes. In culture, mesangial cells were more sensitive than podocytes to hydrocarbon injury and expressed higher levels of inducible aryl hydrocarbon hydroxylase activity. Nave mesangial cells exerted a strong inhibitory influence on podocyte proliferation under both direct and indirect coculture conditions, and this response involved a mesangial cell-derived matrix that selectively inhibited podocyte proliferation. These findings indicate that hydrocarbon nephropathy in rats involves disruption of glomerular cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions mediated by deposition of a mesangial cell-derived growth-inhibitory matrix that regulates podocyte proliferation.

published proceedings

  • Am J Physiol Renal Physiol

author list (cited authors)

  • Nanez, A., Alejandro, N. F., Falahatpisheh, M. H., Kerzee, J. K., Roths, J. B., & Ramos, K. S.

citation count

  • 12

complete list of authors

  • Nanez, Adrian||Alejandro, Napoleon F||Falahatpisheh, M Hadi||Kerzee, J Kevin||Roths, John B||Ramos, Kenneth S

publication date

  • December 2005