The effect of macrophages on the metabolism of glomerular cells: Preliminary studies

C. M. Wagner, D. O. Lucas, R. B. Nagle

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7 Scopus citations


Human glomerular epithelial and mesangial cells were grown in vitro and shown to have distinctive morphologic and functional characteristics. Glomerular epithelial cells or mesangial cells cultured in wells of flat-bottom microtiter plates were treated for 4 hr with dialyzed macrophage supernatants obtained from cultures of mouse peritoneal macrophages or human peripheral monocytes. DNA, RNA, and protein synthesis were evaluated by incorporation of radioactive precursors. Macrophage supernatants stimulated RNA and protein synthesis in epithelial cells but failed to stimulate DNA synthesis. The macrophage factor(s) showed a dose-response activity, was nondialyzable, was destroyed by freezing and thawing, and did not seem to be species specific. In contrast to the results obtained with glomerular epithelial cells, mesangial cell DNA synthesis was stimulated by macrophage supernatants. The observed metabolic effects of macrophage products on glomerular cells in vitro are consistent with observations of in vivo glomerular response to injury in which epithelial cells may be activated to form new basement membrane while mesangial cells may respond by proliferating. These data further support the theory of macrophage involvement in the pathology of glomerulonephritis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-107
Number of pages15
JournalRES Journal of the Reticuloendothelial Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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