Background/Aims: Plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI)-1 is increasingly recognized as a profibrotic factor but the mechanisms are not entirely clear. The present study examined the profibrotic mechanism of PAI-1 focusing on its effect on transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 in experimental diabetes. Methods: PAI-1 knockout (KO) mesangial cells cultured under high glucose (HG) in addition to streptozotocin-induced diabetic PAI-1 KO mice were used. Results: PAI-1 deficiency did not affect plasma glucose significantly but reduced the fractional mesangial area, fibronectin and collagen I expression in the renal cortex after 20 weeks of diabetes as well as in HG-stimulated mesangial cells along with suppression of TGF-β1 mRNA expression. PAI-1 deficiency also reduced HG-induced βig-h3, a TGF-β1-induced gene product, mRNA expression. All these losses-of-function in PAI-1 KO mesangial cells were effectively gained by recombinant PAI-1. Recombinant PAI-1-induced fibronectin and collagen I expression was abrogated by TGF-β1 receptor inhibitor or anti-TGF-β antibody suggesting that the effect of PAI-1 was mediated by TGF-β1. In a similar context, recombinant PAI-1 stimulated TGF-β1 promoter activity to the same extent as TGF-β1 itself. Conclusion: Since TGF-β1 is well known to stimulate the PAI-1 promoter, we suggest that TGF-β1 and PAI-1 together constitute a positive feedback loop in the development of renal fibrosis in diabetes.
- Diabetic nephropathy
- Knockout mice
- Matrix metalloproteinase
- Mesangial cells
- Plasminogen activator inhibitor-1
- Renal fibrosis
- Transforming growth factor-β1