Alteration in mesangial volume, due to an increase of the matrix surrounding mesangial cells, is a hallmark indicator of nephropathy in diabetes. Mesangial cells may also play a significant role in the development of nephropathy. Therefore, we examined the effect of glucose on the expression of integrins by cultured human mesangial cells and their ability to interact with collagen IV, a major component of the mesangial matrix. Human mesangial cells were grown in 5 and 25 mM glucose and their integrin profile was examined by immunoprecipitation and flow cytometry in each experimental condition. The results indicate that when mesangial cells were grown in 25 mM glucose, the expression of integrin subunit α2, was increased, while the α1 subunit was considerably decreased, as compared to cells grown in 5 mM glucose. Additionally, mesangial cells were tested for their ability to adhere to collagen IV in a solid-phase assay in the presence of neutralizing antibodies to integrin subunits. The results of these experiments indicate that both α1 and α2 complexed to β1 (α2β1 and α1β1) are major mesangial cell receptors for adhesion to collagen IV both in 5 and 25 mM glucose. The two receptors act in concert to mediate adhesion of mesangial cells to type IV collagen. When cell surface expression of the α1 subunit in 25 mM glucose was reduced, the α2 subunit was involved in adhesion to a greater extent than it was in 5 mM glucose. Immunoperoxidase histochemical studies localized both α1 and α2 integrin subunits in the mesangium of normal adult kidneys, suggesting that in vivo interaction with collagen IV could involve both of these receptors. These observations suggest that glucose-induced alterations in integrin expression may modify the ability of mesangial cells to interact with collagen IV.
- Mesangial cells
- Type IV collagen