Role of tumor necrosis factor-α on mesangial cell MCP-1 expression and monocyte migration: Mechanisms mediated by signal transduction

Rama Pai, Hunjoo Ha, Michael A. Kirschenbaum, Vaijinath S. Kamanna

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43 Scopus citations


Monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1), a specific chemoattractant for monocytes, has been thought to play an important role in the recruitment and accumulation of monocytes within the glomerulus seen in glomerular diseases. This study examined the role of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α-mediated cellular signal transduction pathways on mesangial cell MCP-1 gene expression and monocyte migration. Incubation of mesangial cells with TNF-α stimulated MCP-1 mRNA expression in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Phorbol myristate acetate (PMA), a protein kinase C (PKC) activator, increased MCP-1 message by mesangial cells while depleting PKC decreased MCP-1 gene expression to control levels. Activation of PKC-depleted mesangial cells with PMA but not with TNF-α inhibited MCP-1 mRNA expression. Similarly, calphostin C, a PKC inhibitor, failed to inhibit TNF-α-induced MCP-1 expression. The incubation of mesangial cells with various protein tyrosine kinase inhibitors (PTK, e.g., herbimycin, tyrphostin, genistein) blocked TNF-α-induced MCP-1 mRNA message. Additional experiments examining the role of cAMP on MCP-1 expression indicated that the preincubation of mesangial cells with various cAMP generating substances (pertussis toxin, isoproterenol, dbcAMP) did not induce mesangial cell MCP-1 mRNA transcripts. However, the coincubation of mesangial cells with TNF-α and dbcAMP completely inhibited TNF-α-induced MCP-1 gene expression. Finally, TNF-α-activated mesangial cell media increased monocyte transmigration that could be blocked by neutralizing anti- MCP-1. These studies indicate that TNF-α facilitates monocyte transmigration into the glomerulus mediated by the increased expression of MCP-1 by mesangial cells. TNF-α-induced mesangial cell MCP-1 expression is regulated by signal transduction pathways involving PTK but not those dependent on PKC or cAMP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)914-923
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1996


  • MCP-1
  • Mesangial cells
  • Monocyte chemoattraction
  • Signal transduction
  • TNF-a


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