Angiotensin II-induced hypertrophy of cultured murine proximal tubular cells is mediated by endogenous transforming growth factor-beta

J Clin Invest. 1993 Sep;92(3):1366-72. doi: 10.1172/JCI116710.


Previous studies by our group have demonstrated that angiotensin II (ANG II), as a single factor in serum-free medium, induces cellular hypertrophy of a cultured murine proximal tubular cell line (MCT). The present study was performed to test the hypothesis that this growth effect was mediated by activation of endogenous transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta). Exogenous TGF-beta 1 (1 ng/ml) mimicked the growth effects observed with 10(-8) M ANG II (inhibition of DNA synthesis and induction of cellular hypertrophy). A neutralizing anti-TGF-beta antibody attenuated the ANG II-induced increase in de novo protein and total RNA synthesis as well as total protein content. This antibody also abolished the ANG II-mediated inhibition of [3H]thymidine incorporation into quiescent MCT cells. Control IgG or an unrelated antibody had no effect. A bioassay for TGF-beta using mink lung epithelial cells revealed that MCT cells treated with ANG II released active TGF-beta into the cell culture supernatant. Northern blot analysis and semi-quantitative cDNA amplification demonstrated increases in steady-state levels for TGF-beta 1 mRNA after ANG II stimulation of MCT cells, but not in a syngeneic murine mesangial cell line. Our data indicate that the ANG II-induced hypertrophy in MCT cells is mediated by synthesis and activation of endogenous TGF-beta. It is intriguing to speculate that TGF-beta may play a role in the early tubular cell hypertrophy and the subsequent interstitial scarring observed in several models of chronic renal injury that are characterized by increased activity of intrarenal ANG II.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Angiotensin II / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Division
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Gene Expression
  • Kidney Tubules, Proximal / cytology*
  • Kidney Tubules, Proximal / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides / chemistry
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • RNA / biosynthesis
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / physiology*


  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Angiotensin II
  • RNA