Platelet-derived growth factor receptor β regulates migration and DNA synthesis in metanephric mesenchymal cells

Mazen Arar, Yi Chun Xu, Ihsan Elshihabi, Jeffrey L. Barnes, Goutam Ghosh Choudhury, Hanna E. Abboud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) B-chain and PDGF receptor β (PDGFR β) are essential for glomerulogenesis. Mice deficient in PDGF B-chain or PDGFR exhibit an abnormal glomerular phenotype characterized by total lack of mesangial cells. In this study, we localized PDGFR β in the developing rat kidney and explored the biological effects of PDGF in metanephric mesenchymal cells in an attempt to determine the mechanism by which PDGF regulates mesangial cell development. Immunohistochemical and in situ hybridization studies of rat embryonic kidneys reveal that PDGFR β localizes to undifferentiated metanephric mesenchyme and is later expressed in the cleft of the comma-shaped and S-shaped bodies and in more mature glomeruli in a mesangial distribution. We also isolated and characterized cells from rat metanephric mesenchyme. Metanephric mesenchymal cells express vimentin and α-smooth muscle actin but not cytokeratin. These cells also express functional PDGFR β, as demonstrated by autophosphorylation of the receptor as well as activation of phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase in response to PDGF B- chain homodimer. PDGF B-chain also induces migration and proliferation of metanephric mesenchymal cells. Taken together with the fact that PDGF B-chain is expressed in the glomerular epithelium and mesangial area, as demonstrated in the human embryonic kidney, we suggest that PDGF B-chain acts in a paracrine fashion to stimulate the migration and proliferation of mesangial cell precursors from undifferentiated metanephric mesenchyme to the mesangial area. PDGF B-chain also likely stimulates proliferation of mesangial cell precursors in an autocrine fashion once these cells migrate to the glomerular tuft.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9527-9533
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number13
StatePublished - Mar 31 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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