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BACKGROUND Fibroblastic foci are characteristic features in lung parenchyma of patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). They comprise aggregates of mesenchymal cells which underlie sites of unresolved epithelial injury and are associated with progression of fibrosis. However, the cellular origins of these mesenchymal phenotypes remain unclear. We(More)
Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) is now considered to be one of the important driver molecules for the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy (DN) and possibly many other fibrotic disorders. However, the molecular mechanisms by which CTGF functions remain to be established. In an attempt to define these mechanisms, this study was designed to investigate(More)
Excessive deposition of fibronectin in the glomerular mesangium in diabetic nephropathy (DN) is partly due to the induction of transforming growth factor-␤ (TGF-␤) by high glucose. TGF-␤ induces its downstream mediator connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), which stimulates fibronectin matrix synthesis, a process that requires the presence of ␣5␤1(More)
Interactions between inflammatory infiltrates and resident tubular epithelial cells may play important roles in the development of tubulointerstitial fibrosis, by promoting epithelial cell-myofibroblast transdifferentiation (EMT). Human proximal tubular epithelial cells transdifferentiated to myofibroblasts after treatment with activated PBMC conditioned(More)
Diabetic nephropathy is characterized by excessive deposition of extracellular matrix proteins in the mesangium and basement membrane of the glomerulus and in the renal tubulointerstitium. This review summarizes the main changes in protein composition of the glomerular mesangium and basement membrane and the evidence that, in the mesangium, these are(More)
Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF/CCN2) is a member of the CCN family of matricellular proteins. Its expression is induced by a number of factors including TGF-beta. It has been associated with fibrosis in various tissues including the kidney. Diabetic nephropathy (DN) develops in about 30% of patients with diabetes and is characterized by thickening of(More)
CCN2, a secreted profibrotic protein, is highly expressed in diabetic nephropathy (DN) and implicated in its pathogenesis; however, the actions of CCN2 in DN remain elusive. We previously demonstrated that CCN2 triggers signaling via tropomyosin receptor kinase A (TrkA). Trace expression of TrkA is found in normal kidneys, but its expression is elevated in(More)
ESRD is characterized by an interstitial infiltrate of inflammatory cells in association with tubular atrophy, epithelial mesenchymal transdifferentiation (EMT), and interstitial fibrosis. Human proximal tubular epithelial cells (HK2 cells) undergo EMT in response to activated PBMC conditioned medium (aPBMC-CM), showing acquisition of a fibroblastoid(More)
Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) is an inducer of type I collagen, and uncontrolled collagen production leads to tissue scarring and organ failure. Here we hypothesize that uncovering a molecular mechanism that enables us to switch off type I collagen may prove beneficial in treating fibrosis. For the first time, to our knowledge, we provide evidence(More)
The decorin gene encodes a proteoglycan with putative structural and regulatory functions whose expression is markedly increased in human mesangial cells (HMC) exposed to high concentrations of glucose (15 to 30 mM). The gene has two promoters (P1 and P2) upstream of two alternative first exons. Transcripts driven by both promoters are present in HMC(More)