Inflammatory process is involved in pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy, although the activation and phenotypic change of macrophages in diabetic kidney has remained unclear. Sialoadhesin is a macrophage adhesion molecule containing 17 extracellular immunoglobulin-like domains, and is an I-type lectin which binds to sialic acid ligands expressed on hematopoietic cells. The aim of this study is to clarify the activation and phenotypic change of macrophages in the progression of diabetic nephropathy. We examined the expression of surface markers for pan-macrophages, resident macrophages, sialoadhesin, major histocompatibility complex class II and alpha-smooth muscle actin in the glomeruli of diabetic rats using immunohistochemistry at 0, 1, 4, 12, and 24 weeks after induction of diabetes by streptozotocin. Expression of type IV collagen and the change of mesangial matrix area were also measured. The mechanism for up-regulated expression of sialoadhesin on macrophages was evaluated in vitro. The number of macrophages was increased in diabetic glomeruli at 1 month after induction of diabetes and the increased number was maintained until 6 months. On the other hand, sialoadhesin-positive macrophages were increased during the late stage of diabetes concomitantly with the increase of alpha-smooth muscle actin-positive mesangial cells, mesangial matrix area and type IV collagen. Gene expression of sialoadhesin was induced by stimulation with interleukin (IL)-1 beta and tumor necrosis factor-alpha but not with IL-4, transforming growth factor-beta and high glucose in cultured human macrophages. The present findings suggest that sialoadhesin-positive macrophages may contribute to the progression of diabetic nephropathy.
Clinical and Experimental Nephrology
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