Centrality of bone marrow in the severity of gadolinium-based contrast-induced systemic fibrosis

FASEB J. 2016 Sep;30(9):3026-38. doi: 10.1096/fj.201500188R. Epub 2016 May 24.


Systemic fibrosis can be induced in humans with gadolinium-based contrast, and cumulative doses correlate with severity. Bone marrow-derived fibrocytes accumulate in the dermis. Whether target organs liberate chemokines to recruit these fibrocytes or whether fibrocytes are stimulated to home to the affected tissue is unknown. Transgenic (tagged) donor rats were treated with gadolinium-based contrast. Bone marrow was obtained from diseased animals and age-matched controls. Rats with subtotal nephrectomies were lethally irradiated and underwent salvage transplantation with either the contrast-naïve or contrast-exposed bone marrow. Groups were randomly assigned to control or contrast treatment. Contrast treatment led to dermal fibrosis, and this was exacerbated in recipients of contrast-exposed marrow. Fibronectin, C-C chemokine receptors (CCRs)2 and 7, and oxidative stress were all increased in skin from contrast-treated animals-all parameters more severe in recipients of contrast-treated animals. The respective ligands, monocyte chemoattractant protein and C-C motif ligand 19, were both elevated in skin from contrast-treated animals. Coadministration of gadolinium-based contrast and a CCR2 inhibitor reduced the severity of skin disease as well as dermal cellularity. The functional role of chemokines in the effects of gadolinium-based contrast was further confirmed in in situ coculture studies using neutralizing CCR2 antibodies. These data implicate dermal liberation of specific chemokines in the recruitment of circulating bone marrow-derived cells. The disease is augmented by bone marrow exposure to contrast, which explains why multiple exposures correlate with severity.-Drel, V. R., Tan, C., Barnes, J. L., Gorin, Y., Lee, D.-Y., Wagner, B. Centrality of bone marrow in the severity of gadolinium-based contrast-induced systemic fibrosis.

Keywords: CCR2; NADPH oxidase; chemokine CCL2; nephrogenic fibrosing dermopathy; skin diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Antigens, CD / metabolism
  • Antigens, Differentiation, Myelomonocytic / metabolism
  • Bone Marrow / drug effects*
  • Bone Marrow Transplantation
  • Contrast Media / administration & dosage
  • Contrast Media / adverse effects*
  • Contrast Media / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Gadolinium DTPA / adverse effects*
  • Gadolinium DTPA / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Heme Oxygenase-1 / genetics
  • Heme Oxygenase-1 / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • NADPH Oxidase 4
  • NADPH Oxidases / genetics
  • NADPH Oxidases / metabolism
  • Nephrogenic Fibrosing Dermopathy / chemically induced*
  • Nephrogenic Fibrosing Dermopathy / pathology
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Receptors, CCR2 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism
  • Skin / drug effects
  • Skin / metabolism


  • Antigens, CD
  • Antigens, Differentiation, Myelomonocytic
  • CD163 antigen
  • Ccr2 protein, rat
  • Contrast Media
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Receptors, CCR2
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • gadodiamide
  • Heme Oxygenase-1
  • NADPH Oxidase 4
  • NADPH Oxidases
  • Nox4 protein, rat
  • Gadolinium DTPA