Angiotensin II induces thrombospondin-1 production in human mesangial cells via p38 MAPK and JNK: A mechanism for activation of latent TGF-β 1

Takayuki Naito, Takao Masaki, David J. Nikolic-Paterson, Chie Tanji, Noriaki Yorioka, Nobuoki Kohno

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ANG II induces secretion and activation of transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) by glomerular mesangial cells. However, the mechanisms that operate this are unclear. Thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1), which is produced by mesangial cells in damaged glomeruli, is one of several molecules known to activate the latent TGF-β1 complex. Therefore, we examined whether the ANG II-induced activation of latent TGF-β1 in human mesangial cells (HMC) operates via TSP-1. The addition of ANG II (1-100 nM) to HMC significantly increased TSP-1 mRNA within 6 h, followed by an increase in TSP-1 protein production as shown by Western blot analysis of cells and immunoassay of the culture supernatant. Production of ANG II-induced TSP-1 mRNA and protein was completely inhibited by an ANG II type 1 (AT 1)-receptor antagonist but was unaffected by an AT 2-receptor antagonist. Use of a TSP-1-specific blocking peptide demonstrated that the ANG II-induced activation of latent TGF-β 1 operates via TSP-1. Next, we investigated the role of ERK1/2, p38 MAPK, and JNK in ANG II-induced TSP-1 production in HMC. The addition of the upstream ERK1/2 inhibitor PD-98059 did not affect ANG II-induced TSP-1 production, whereas addition of either the p38 MAPK inhibitor SB-203580 or the JNK inhibitor SP-600125 significantly reduced TSP-1 production. In conclusion, this study has demonstrated that ANG II-induced activation of latent TGF-β1 in HMC operates via TSP-1. Furthermore, ANG II-induced TSP-1 production is dependent on p38 MAPK and JNK signaling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)F278-F287
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology-Renal Physiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Angiotensin II type 1 and type 2 receptor
  • Extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2
  • Thrombospondin-1 blocking peptide

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