Induction of smooth muscle characteristics in renal interstitial fibroblasts during obstructive nephropathy

R. B. Nagle, M. R. Kneiser, R. E. Bulger, E. P. Benditt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


The interstitial fibroblasts of the kidney were sequentially studied in rabbits during complete unilateral ureteral obstruction. The cells which in the normal kidney have the ultrastructural characteristics of inactive fibroblasts are transformed into active fibroblasts containing increased rough surfaced endoplasmic reticulum and increased volume of Golgi. In addition to a progressive synthesis of collagen, these cells revealed a progressive increase of 50 to 70 Å thick filaments associated with dense plaques in the peripheral cytoplasm. The interstitial cells were related to neighboring cells through areas of cell contact separated by 250 to 300 Å gaps. Positive immunohistochemical staining with human antismooth muscle antibody confirmed the progressive increase in smooth muscle antigen within the stimulated fibroblasts. These cells, therefore, appear to react similarly to the fibroblasts of granulation tissue, developing filaments capable of contraction. This has special significance in a parenchymal organ such as kidney and may explain in part the progressive parenchymal injury seen in a variety of renal injuries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)422-427
Number of pages6
JournalLaboratory Investigation
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1973
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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