Stem cell factor in a rat model of serum nephrotoxic nephritis.

Stem cell factor (SCF) has been implicated in many disease processes characterized by tissue remodelling and fibrosis. The growth factor (SCF) was evaluated in a rat model of nephrotoxic serum nephritis (NTN), characterized by early inflammation followed by later tissue fibrosis.
NTN was induced in male Wistar Kyoto rats using rabbit anti-rat glomerular basement membrane antibodies. Animals were sacrificed at days 7, 15, 30 and 45 (n = 4-10 per group). Rats' kidneys were immunostained for ED1 as marker of inflammation, CD34, SCF, c-kit, mast cell tryptase and markers of fibrosis; collagens III and IV and alpha-SMA. Changes in SCF protein and mRNA content were evaluated by Western blotting and Northern blotting, respectively.
In the NTN kidney, levels of immunoreactive SCF and SCF receptor (c-kit) were significantly higher in glomerular, tubular and interstitial compartments. Mast cells were barely detectable in NTN and control rat sections. Double immunostaining showed the co-localization of SCF with alpha-SMA and of the SCF receptor with CD34 and ED1 positive cells. Immunostainable SCF protein in each of the 3 compartments, glomerular, tubular and interstitial, showed a positive linear correlation with serum creatinine, proteinuria, glomerulosclerosis score and interstitial fibrosis scores. Using multivariate analysis, immunostainable tubular SCF was a predictor of glomerular sclerosis and immunostainable glomerular SCF predicted tubular atrophy. Increased SCF immunostain was not a consequence of altered transcription as there was a fall in SCF mRNA determined by Northern blotting. Western blotting of NTN kidney homogenates revealed two bands for SCF, a 43-kDa band which decreased, and a 19-kDa band which increased throughout the study.
These results highlight the potential role of SCF and its receptor in the remodelling process of the NTN kidney. Upregulation of SCF may involve a translational mechanism, with the soluble SCF protein KL-S1 (19 kDa) being derived from the transmembrane SCF protein KL-1 (43 kD) by proteolytic cleavage. The immunohistochemical staining of few CD34+ cells in NTN kidneys warrants further evaluation of the nature of these cells in the context of the inflammatory as well as the fibrotic processes.
AuthorsM M El Kossi, J L Haylor, T S Johnson, A M El Nahas
JournalNephron. Experimental nephrology (Nephron Exp Nephrol) Vol. 108 Issue 1 Pg. e1-e10 ( 2008) ISSN: 1660-2129 [Electronic] Switzerland
PMID18087173 (Publication Type: Comparative Study, Journal Article)
Copyright(c) 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel
Chemical References
  • Stem Cell Factor
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-kit
  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Glomerulonephritis (blood, genetics, pathology)
  • Male
  • Proteinuria (blood, genetics, pathology)
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-kit (biosynthesis, blood, genetics)
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred WKY
  • Stem Cell Factor (biosynthesis, blood, genetics)

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