Signals that release growth factors from renal epithelial cells

Am J Kidney Dis. 1991 Jun;17(6):622-6. doi: 10.1016/s0272-6386(12)80335-0.


Monkey kidney epithelial cells of the nontransformed BSC-1 line have been used as a model system to investigate growth control. Renal growth in K depletion nephropathy was studied in culture by reducing the K concentration of the medium, which accelerated cell proliferation. This response appeared to be mediated by release of a growth-promoting activity that has an apparent molecular weight of 12,000 to 30,000. Growth stimulation was also observed when the Na concentration of the medium was reduced and was associated with the appearance of two growth-promoting factors (apparent molecular weight, 6,200 and 9,000) that exhibited cell-type specificity. Thus, modest reductions in the extracellular concentration of K or Na result in rapid appearance of autocrine factors that could modulate cell function along the nephron. The most powerful mitogen for BSC-1 cells is adenosine diphosphate (ADP). This nucleotide stimulates expression of several cell cycle-specific genes and proto-oncogenes, and induces secretion of a platelet-derived growth factor-like protein that is not mitogenic for BSC-1 cells. Release of this growth factor by renal epithelial cells in vivo would represent a paracrine mechanism to initiate proliferation of neighboring stromal or vascular cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Division / physiology
  • Cell Line
  • Cells, Cultured / cytology
  • Cells, Cultured / physiology
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • DNA / biosynthesis
  • Epithelial Cells
  • Epithelium / physiology
  • Growth Substances / metabolism*
  • Kidney / cytology
  • Kidney / physiology*
  • Molecular Weight
  • Potassium / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Sodium / metabolism


  • Growth Substances
  • DNA
  • Sodium
  • Potassium