Fate alteration of bone marrow-derived macrophages ameliorates kidney fibrosis in murine model of unilateral ureteral obstruction

Ying Yang, Xiaojian Feng, Xinyan Liu, Ying Wang, Min Hu, Qi Cao, Ziyan Zhang, Linxia Zhao, Jianlin Zhang, Rui Guo, Hailong Wang, Xi Qiao, Lihua Wang, Guoping Zheng
Nephrology, Dialysis, Transplantation 2018 December 24

Background: Renal fibrosis is a key pathological feature and final common pathway leading to end-stage kidney failure in many chronic kidney diseases. Myofibroblast is the master player in renal fibrosis. However, myofibroblasts are heterogeneous. Recent studies show that bone marrow-derived macrophages transform into myofibroblasts by transforming growth factor (TGF)-β-induced macrophage-myofibroblast transition (MMT) in renal fibrosis.

Methods: TGF-β signaling was redirected by inhibition of β-catenin/T-cell factor (TCF) to increase β-catenin/Foxo in bone marrow-derived macrophages. A kidney fibrosis model of unilateral ureteral obstruction was performed in EGFP bone marrow chimera mouse. MMT was examined by flow cytometry analysis of GFP+F4/80+α-SMA+ cells from unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO) kidney, and by immunofluorescent staining of bone marrow-derived macrophages in vitro. Inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines were analysis by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

Results: Inhibition of β-catenin/TCF by ICG-001 combined with TGF-β1 treatment increased β-catenin/Foxo1, reduced the MMT and inflammatory cytokine production by bone marrow-derived macrophages, and thereby, reduced kidney fibrosis in the UUO model.

Conclusions: Our results demonstrate that diversion of β-catenin from TCF to Foxo1-mediated transcription not only inhibits the β-catenin/TCF-mediated fibrotic effect of TGF-β, but also enhances its anti-inflammatory action, allowing therapeutic use of TGF-β to reduce both inflammation and fibrosis at least partially by changing the fate of bone marrow-derived macrophages.

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