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Lysophosphatidic acid signaling through its receptor initiates profibrotic epithelial cell fibroblast communication mediated by epithelial cell derived connective tissue growth factor.

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Lysophosphatidic acid signaling through its receptor initiates profibrotic epithelial cell fibroblast communication mediated by epithelial cell derived connective tissue growth factor.

Kidney Int. 2017 Mar;91(3):628-641

Authors: Sakai N, Chun J, Duffield JS, Lagares D, Wada T, Luster AD, Tager AM

Abstract
The expansion of the fibroblast pool is a critical step in organ fibrosis, but the mechanisms driving expansion remain to be fully clarified. We previously showed that lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) signaling through its receptor LPA1 expressed on fibroblasts directly induces the recruitment of these cells. Here we tested whether LPA-LPA1 signaling drives fibroblast proliferation and activation during the development of renal fibrosis. LPA1-deficient (LPA1(-/-)) or -sufficient (LPA1(+/+)) mice were crossed to mice with green fluorescent protein expression (GFP) driven by the type I procollagen promoter (Col-GFP) to identify fibroblasts. Unilateral ureteral obstruction-induced increases in renal collagen were significantly, though not completely, attenuated in LPA1(-/-)Col-GFP mice, as were the accumulations of both fibroblasts and myofibroblasts. Connective tissue growth factor was detected mainly in tubular epithelial cells, and its levels were suppressed in LPA1(-/-)Col-GFP mice. LPA-LPA1 signaling directly induced connective tissue growth factor expression in primary proximal tubular epithelial cells, through a myocardin-related transcription factor-serum response factor pathway. Proximal tubular epithelial cell-derived connective tissue growth factor mediated renal fibroblast proliferation and myofibroblast differentiation. Administration of an inhibitor of myocardin-related transcription factor/serum response factor suppressed obstruction-induced renal fibrosis. Thus, targeting LPA-LPA1 signaling and/or myocardin-related transcription factor/serum response factor-induced transcription could be promising therapeutic strategies for renal fibrosis.

PMID: 27927603 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]