Basic fibroblast growth factor promotes proliferation of rat glomerular visceral epithelial cells in vitro

Am J Pathol. 1992 Jul;141(1):107-16.


Glomerular visceral epithelial cells (vGEC) play an important role in the synthesis of the glomerular basement membrane (GBM), and together with glomerular endothelial cells and the GBM, in glomerular ultrafiltration. Therefore clarification of the properties of vGEC is essential to investigations of glomerular morphology and function in both physiologic and pathologic conditions. This article demonstrates that basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) is mitogenic to vGEC in vitro. Its effect was found at concentrations as low as 1.25 ng/ml, and was synergistic with epidermal growth factor (EGF). In contrast, EGF by itself had no demonstrable mitogenic effect at concentrations of 1.25-100 ng/ml. In addition, mRNA for bFGF was identified in cultured vGEC by the method of reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction and the immunoreactivity of bFGF was found in GEC of the Sprague-Dawley rat kidney. These results suggest that bFGF stimulates the proliferation of vGEC in an autocrine manner in vivo. A unique relationship similar to that observed in endothelial cells may also exist among bFGF, vGEC, and the extracellular matrix (ECM). In a word, bFGF may be produced by vGEC and stored in the ECM, that is the GBM, and may be one factor that stimulates vGEC to proliferate when vGEC are injured and lost in vivo.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Epidermal Growth Factor / pharmacology
  • Epithelial Cells
  • Epithelium / chemistry
  • Epithelium / drug effects
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 / genetics
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 / pharmacology*
  • Glomerular Mesangium / chemistry
  • Glomerular Mesangium / cytology*
  • Glomerular Mesangium / drug effects
  • Male
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • SRS-A / pharmacology


  • RNA, Messenger
  • SRS-A
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2
  • Epidermal Growth Factor