Mast cell infiltration and chemokine expression in progressive renal disease

Kidney Int. 2003 Sep;64(3):906-13. doi: 10.1046/j.1523-1755.2003.00183.x.


Background: Mast cells are growth factor-rich, bone marrow-derived cells that infiltrate injured tissue where they have been implicated in the pathogenesis of progressive fibrosis.

Methods: Mast cell infiltration and the expression of related chemoattractants was examined following 5/6 nephrectomy, a model of progressive, nonimmune-mediated renal injury. In addition, expression of the profibrotic cytokine, transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) within mast cells and the effects of renoprotective therapy with angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibition were also determined.

Results: Renal injury was accompanied by mast cell infiltration, in close proximity to areas of tubulointerstitial fibrosis. Mast cells displayed toluidine blue metachromasia and were immunopositive for TGF-beta1 as well as chymase and tryptase. The expression of several mast cell chemokines, including stem cell factor, interleukin-8 (IL-8), and also TGF-beta1, were increased in 5/6 nephrectomized kidneys. ACE inhibition with ramipril led to a reduction in renal injury in association with attenuation of mast cell infiltration and chemokine expression.

Conclusion: Mast cell infiltration and related chemokine expression are prominent and early features following renal mass reduction and may contribute pathogenetically to progressive renal injury.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Chemokines / metabolism*
  • Disease Progression
  • Interleukin-8 / metabolism
  • Kidney Diseases / etiology
  • Kidney Diseases / metabolism*
  • Kidney Diseases / pathology*
  • Macrophages / pathology
  • Male
  • Mast Cells / metabolism*
  • Mast Cells / pathology*
  • Nephrectomy / methods
  • Ramipril / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Stem Cell Factor / metabolism
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / metabolism
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1


  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Chemokines
  • Interleukin-8
  • Stem Cell Factor
  • Tgfb1 protein, rat
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1
  • Ramipril