Morphine-induced macrophage activity modulates mesangial cell proliferation and matrix synthesis

Kidney Int. 1996 Jan;49(1):94-102. doi: 10.1038/ki.1996.13.


Glomerular mesangial injury is the predominant renal lesion in patients with heroin addition. We studied the effect of morphine (an active metabolite of heroin)activated macrophages on mesangial cell (MC) proliferation and matrix synthesis. We prepared conditioned media containing either vehicle along (CSP), macrophage secretory products (MSP) and secretory products of morphine treated macrophages (M-MSP), M-MSP increased (P < 0.01) the proliferation of MC when compared with MSP alone. M-MSP increased synthesis of laminin by MC at concentrations of 10 to 50% when compared with cells treated with MSP alone (at 50% concentration, MSP, 126 +/- 19 vs. M-MSP, 312 +/- 14 ng/mg protein, P < 0.001). M-MSP also increased the synthesis of collagen type IV by MC. This effect of M-MSP was attenuated (P < 0.05) by anti-TGF-beta antibodies. Since M-MSP also increased mRNA expression for TGF-beta by MC, it appears that the effected of M-MSP on MC may be mediated through the generation of TGF-beta.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Division
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins / drug effects
  • Glomerular Mesangium / drug effects
  • Glomerular Mesangium / metabolism
  • Glomerular Mesangium / pathology*
  • Macrophages / drug effects*
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Morphine / toxicity*
  • Narcotics / toxicity*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / genetics
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / metabolism


  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins
  • Narcotics
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Morphine