Variable Expression of Neural Cell Adhesion Molecule Isoforms in Renal Tissue: Possible Role in Incipient Renal FibrosisReport as inadecuate

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Rare neural cell adhesion molecule NCAM positive cells have been previously described within the normal human adult kidney interstitium, speculating that they could increase in the interstitium with incipient interstitial renal fibrosis IRF. In the present study, among 93 biopsy samples of various kidney diseases, NCAM+ interstitial cells were detected in 62.4% cases. An increased number of NCAM+ cells was significantly observed only in incipient IRF compared to normal renal tissues and advanced IRF stages p<0.001, independently of underlying diseases p = 0.657. All three major NCAM isoforms’ RT-PCR bands were visible either in normal or in kidneys with incipient IRF, albeit their mRNA expression levels measured by qRT-PCR were different. Applying qRT-PCR on pure NCAM+ cells population, obtained by laser capture microdissection, significant mRNA over-expression of NCAM140kD isoform was found in NCAM+ cells within incipient IRF p = 0.004, while NCAM120kD and NCAM180kD isoforms were not changed significantly p = 0.750; p = 0.704; respectively. Simultaneously, qRT-PCR also showed significant αSMA p = 0.014 and SLUG p = 0.004 mRNAs up-regulation within the NCAM+ cells of incipient IRF, as well as highly decreased matrix metalloproteinases MMP -2 and -9 mRNAs p = 0.028; p = 0.036; respectively. However, using double immunofluorescence MMP-9 could still be detectable on the protein level in rare NCAM+ cells within the incipient IRF. Further characterization of NCAM+ cells by double immunofluorescent labeling revealed their association with molecules involved in fibrosis. Fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 FGFR1 and α5β1 integrin were extensively expressed on NCAM+ cells within the incipient IRF areas, whereas human epididymis protein-4 HE4 was found to be present in few NCAM+ cells of both normal and interstitium with incipient fibrosis. Heterogeneity of NCAM+ interstitial cells in normal and incipient IRF, concerning molecules related to fibrosis and variable expression of NCAM isoforms, could suggest diverse role of NCAM+ cells in homeostasis and in regulation of renal fibrosis in diseased kidneys.

Author: Jasmina Marković-Lipkovski , Maja Životić , Claudia A. Müller, Björn Tampe, Sanja Ćirović, Jelena Vještica, Nada Tomanovi



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