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L-carnosine inhibits high-glucose-mediated matrix accumulation in human mesangial cells by interfering with TGF-β production and signalling

, : L-carnosine inhibits high-glucose-mediated matrix accumulation in human mesangial cells by interfering with TGF-β production and signalling. Nephrology, Dialysis, Transplantation 26(12): 3852-3858

Transforming growth factor beta is recognized as a major cytokine in extracellular matrix (ECM) pathobiology as occurs in diabetic nephropathy. While experimental studies have advanced a protective role of carnosine for diabetic complications, a link between carnosine, TGF-β and matrix accumulation remains to be elucidated. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that L-carnosine inhibits TGF-β production and signalling, thereby reducing hyperglycaemia-associated ECM accumulation. Human mesangial cells (MC) were cultured in high-glucose (HG, 25 mM D-glucose) medium alone or in HG medium to which 20 mM L-carnosine was added. Collagen VI (Col6) and fibronectin (FN) deposition and messenger RNA expression were studied. In addition, TGF-β production and activation of Smad1/5/8 (ALK1) and Smad2/3 (ALK5) pathways were assessed. Under HG conditions, deposition of Col6 and FN were increased 1.4- and 1.6-fold. This was significantly inhibited on the protein and messenger RNA level by L-carnosine. TGF-β production increased under HG conditions but was completely normalized by addition of L-carnosine. Addition of exogenous TGF-β could not overcome the effect of L-carnosine on Col6 and FN expression, indicating additionally interference with TGF-β downstream signalling. Along the same line, L-carnosine reduced TGF-β-mediated Smad2 phosphorylation, suggesting an inhibitory effect on ALK5 signalling. ALK1 signalling remained unchanged. Under HG conditions, pharmacologic inhibition of ALK5 prevented Col6 accumulation but did not change FN deposition. L-carnosine can modulate matrix accumulation in two ways. Firstly, inhibition of TGF-β production might result in an overall inhibition of matrix accumulation and secondly, L-carnosine inhibits TGF-β-induced matrix accumulation, most likely via inhibition of the ALK5 pathway.


PMID: 21750159

DOI: 10.1093/ndt/gfr324

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