Rat mesangial cells (MC) release a factor that competes in a dose-dependent manner with 125I-labeled platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) for binding to human foreskin fibroblasts (HFF). The competitor activity in mesangial cell conditioned medium (MCCM) is reversible, trypsin sensitive, and inhibited by anti-PDGF IgG. MCCM also expresses potent mitogenic activity to HFF. Anti-PDGF IgG, in concentrations that completely abolished the mitogenic activity of pure PDGF and the competitor activity of MCCM, only partially (33-41%) inhibits this mitogenic activity. The PDGF receptor competing activity as well as the total mitogenic activity, coelutes with labeled pure PDGF on Sephacryl S-200 gel chromatography. Cation exchange chromatography of concentrated MCCM yields a major mitogen peak with little competitor activity and a smaller mitogenic peak with comparable competitor activity, suggestive of the presence of other mitogens in MCCM besides the PDGF-like protein. PDGF is a potent mitogen and may play a role at inflammatory sites. The production of PDGF-like protein by MC may provide insights for understanding the pathogenesis of glomerular diseases.
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