Endoglin is a component of the TGF-beta receptor complex present in the kidney at the human glomerular mesangium. Since the cellular origin of the glomerular endoglin is unknown, in the present study we investigated the expression of endoglin in mesangial cells in culture, as well as their response to TGF-beta1. Western and Northern blot analysis identified the expression of endoglin protein and mRNA transcript in both human and rat mesangial cells. Flow cytometry and immunocytochemistry analyses revealed that endoglin is present on the cell membrane. Exogenous TGF-beta1 stimulated not only the expression of collagen alpha1 (I) I and TGF-beta1, but also that of endoglin. These data provide the first evidence for the expression of endoglin in mesangial cells, as well as its upregulation by TGF-beta1, thus suggesting that endoglin may have a role in modulating the effects of TGF-beta1 on the glomerular mesangium.
Copyright 2001 Academic Press.