tPA protects renal interstitial fibroblasts and myofibroblasts from apoptosis

Kebin Hu, Ling Lin, Xiaoyue Tan, Junwei Yang, Guojun Bu, Wendy M. Mars, Youhua Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Scopus citations

Abstract

Activation and expansion of interstitial fibroblasts and myofibroblasts play an essential role in the evolution of renal fibrosis. After obstructive injury, mice lacking tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA) have fewer myofibroblasts and less interstitial fibrosis than wild-type controls. This suggests that tPA controls the size of the fibroblast/myofibroblast population in vivo, and this study sought to determine the underlying mechanism. In vitro, tPA inhibited staurosporine or H2O2-induced caspase-3 activation, prevented cellular DNA fragmentation, and suppressed the release of cytochrome C from mitochondria into the cytosol in a rat interstitial fibroblast cell line (NRK-49F). tPA also protected TGF-β1-activated myofibroblasts from apoptosis. This antiapoptotic effect of tPA was independent of its protease activity but required its membrane receptor, the LDL receptor-related protein 1 (LRP-1). Deletion or knockdown of LRP-1 abolished tPA-mediated cell survival, whereas re-introduction of an LRP-1 minigene in a mouse LRP-1-deficient fibroblast cell line (PEA-13) restored the cytoprotective ability of tPA. tPA triggered a cascade of survival signaling involving extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (Erk1/2), p90RSK, and phosphorylation of Bad. Blockade of Erk1/2 activation abrogated the antiapoptotic effect of tPA, whereas expression of constitutively active MEK1 promoted cell survival similar to tPA. In vivo, compared with wild-type controls, apoptosis of interstitial myofibroblasts was increased in tPA-/- mice after obstructive injury, and myofibroblasts were completely depleted 4 wk after relief of the obstruction. Together, these findings illustrate that tPA is a survival factor that prevents apoptosis of renal interstitial fibroblasts and myofibroblasts through an LRP-1-, Erk1/2-, p90RSK-, and Bad-dependent mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)503-514
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the American Society of Nephrology
Volume19
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nephrology

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