Importance of the tubulointerstitium in human glomerulonephritis. II. Distribution of integrin chains beta 1, alpha 1 to 6 and alpha V

P Roy-Chaudhury, G Hillis, S McDonald, J G Simpson, D A Power

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43 Citations (Scopus)


Accumulation of extracellular matrix is important in the progression of glomerulonephritis. Since adherent cell types utilize integrins to bind and organize extracellular matrix proteins, we have assessed expression of the beta 1 integrins in sequential sections from 85 human renal biopsies and 4 normal kidneys by immunohistochemical staining. Our results demonstrate strong correlations between expression of the alpha 5 chain within the interstitium, the alpha V chain on proximal and distal tubular epithelium and the presence of chronic histological damage. Moreover, staining for interstitial alpha 5 and proximal and distal tubular alpha V were also strongly associated with expression of certain adhesion molecules (ICAM-1, VCAM-1, E-selectin and L-selectin) and the presence of macrophages within the interstitium, which have been linked, in an earlier study, with the degree of chronic histological damage and disease progression. However, in contrast to our earlier study of adhesion molecules, there were also associations between expression of integrin chains within the glomerulus and tubulointerstitium. For example, there were strong positive associations between staining for alpha 5 on glomerular endothelium and its expression on extraglomerular vascular endothelium and between both mesangial alpha 1 and podocyte alpha 3 and tubular staining for the common beta 1 subunit. While the functional significance of these associations is obscure, they suggest some kind of communication between cells in different sites in the kidney. There were also positive associations between staining for different integrins within the glomerulus, notably mesangial cell staining for alpha 2, glomerular endothelial cells staining for alpha 5 and glomerular epithelial cell alpha 3. These results suggest that there is a coordinated upregulation of integrin expression both within the tubulointerstitium and the glomerulus and that at least some of these integrins (interstitial alpha 5 and distal tubular alpha V) are associated with the expression of other adhesion molecules, macrophage infiltration and the presence of markers of disease progression (interstitial fibrosis and tubular atrophy).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-10
Number of pages8
JournalKidney International
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1997
Externally publishedYes


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