Renal fibrosis is the hallmark of chronic kidney disease progression and is characterized by an exaggerated wound-healing process with the production of renal scar tissue. It comprises both the glomerular and the tubulointerstitial compartments. Among the factors that contribute to kidney fibrosis, the members of the platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) family are among the best characterized ones. They appear to be the key factors in driving renal fibrosis, independent of the underlying kidney disease. The PDGF family consists of four isoforms (PDGF-A, -B, -C, and -D) and two receptor chains (PDGFR-α and -β), which are constitutively or inducibly expressed in most renal cells. These components have an irreplaceable role in kidney development by recruitment of mesenchymal cells to the glomerular and tubulointerstitial compartments. They further regulate multiple pathophysiologic processes including cell proliferation, cell migration, expression and accumulation of extracellular matrix, production and secretion of pro- and anti-inflammatory mediators, vascular permeability, and hemodynamics. This review provides a brief update on the role of different PDGF isoforms in the development of glomerulosclerosis and tubulointerstitial fibrosis, newly identified endogeneous PDGF antagonists, and resulting potential therapies.
Keywords: extracellular matrix; glomerulosclerosis; mesangial cell; mesenchymal cells; myofibroblast.