HGF and BMP-7 ameliorate high glucose-induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition of peritoneal mesothelium

Min A. Yu, Kyung Sook Shin, Jung Hye Kim, Yong Il Kim, Soon Sup Chung, Sun Hee Park, Yong Lim Kim, Duk Hee Kang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

116 Scopus citations


Over time, peritoneal dialysis results in functional and structural alterations of the peritoneal membrane, but the underlying mechanisms and whether these changes are reversible are not completely understood. Here, we studied the effects of high levels of glucose, which are found in the dialysate, on human peritoneal mesothelial cells (HPMCs). We found that high concentrations of glucose induced epithelial- to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of HPMC, suggested by decreased expression of E-cadherin and increased expression of α-smooth muscle actin, fibronectin, and type I collagen and by increased cell migration. Normalization of glucose concentration on day 2 reversed the phenotypic transformation, but the changes were irreversible after 7 d of stimulation with high glucose. In addition, exposure of HPMC to high glucose resulted in a decreased expression of the antifibrotic cytokines, hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and bone morphogenic protein 7 (BMP-7). Exogenous treatment with HGF resulted in a dosage-dependent prevention of high glucose-induced EMT. Both BMP-7 peptide and gene transfection with an adenoviral vector of BMP-7 also protected HPMCs from EMT. Furthermore, adenoviral BMP-7 transfection decreased peritoneal EMT and ameliorated peritoneal thickening in an animal model of peritoneal dialysis. In summary, high concentrations of glucose induce a reversible EMT of HPMCs, associated with decreased production of HGF and BMP-7. Treatment of HPMCs with HGF or BMP-7 blocks high glucose-induced EMT, and BMP-7 ameliorates peritoneal fibrosis in an animal model of peritoneal dialysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)567-581
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2009


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