Hyaluronan and Rat Renal Fibroblasts: In vitro StudiesPedagogos E. · Hewitson T.D. · Nicholls K.M. · Becker G.J.
Department of Nephrology, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, Australia
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Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a ubiquitous component of extracellular matrix. After tissue injury, HA appears in greater abundance during the inflammatory response and the phase of clearance of cell and matrix debris, before collagen production and matrix degradation. The aim of this study was to examine whether normal rat renal fibroblasts were capable of HA synthesis and to determine the effect of HA on in vitro collagen production in a series of normal rat cortical fibroblast cultures. Fibroblast cultures from both renal cortex and medulla were established from adult Sprague-Dawley rats. HA synthesis was measured by radioimmunoassay, and incorporation of 3H-proline into collagen was used to determine collagen synthesis. Fibroblasts were defined on the basis of morphology and alpha smooth muscle actin immunohistochemistry. HA synthesis was measured in both renal cortical and medullary fibroblasts at passage 3 for both 24 and 48 h in 5 animals and expressed as a fraction of protein content. HA was synthesized by both cortical and medullary fibroblasts; however, cortical fibroblasts produced less HA than medullary fibroblasts at both 24 h (p = 0.05) and 48 h (p = 0.02). In normal cortical fibroblasts, exogenous HA suppressed overall total (cell and media) collagen production after a 22-hour labelling period (p = 0.002 compared to controls). Decreased collagen production was also found individually in cell (p = 0.02) and media fractions (p = 0.01). Both cortical and medullary fibroblasts are capable of synthesizing HA in vitro. Furthermore, the findings in this study suggest that HA may be an important mediator in reducing renal cortical fibroblast collagen production and may play an important role in limiting renal interstitial scarring.
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