Growth factors and the mesangium

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38 Scopus citations


Growth factors are prime candidates to mediate and modulate the functions of the mesangium. Mesangial cells are effector cells producing a number of growth factors that act in an autocrine manner to regulate their own function. Mesangial cells are also targets for growth factors released from neighboring glomerular cells or infiltrating cells and platelets. Growth factors may promote hypertrophy, proliferation, matrix metabolism, and immune-inflammatory and vasoactive properties of mesangial cells. These peptides represent important mediators of mesangial cell responses to injury. Platelet-derived growth factor mediates predominantly cell proliferation, whereas transforming growth factor beta mediates mesangial cell matrix expansion. Mesangial cells may also modulate some of the hemodynamic effects of growth factors, such as the increased renal vascular resistance in response to platelet-derived growth factor and epidermal growth factor or the increased RBF and GFR in response to insulin-like growth factor-1. Changes in the expression of growth factors or their receptors during the course of glomerular injury point to a potential role in mediating some of the pathologic changes in vivo. Several agents appear to antagonize the mitogenic and perhaps other effects of growth factors in mesangial cells. Such agents include adenylate cyclase as well as guanylate cyclase agonists. Recent studies also suggest that some traditional vasoactive agents may activate metabolic processes in mesangial cells similar to peptide growth factors. Collectively, these studies point to the interaction of both hemodynamic and metabolic factors in the response and contribution of glomerular and specifically mesangial cells to injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S185-S189
JournalJournal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number10 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Apr 1992


  • Epidermal growth factor
  • Glomerulonephritis
  • Insulin-like growth factor
  • Platelet-derived growth factor
  • Proliferation
  • Transforming growth factor-beta

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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