PAPP-A in normal human mesangial cells: Effect of inflammation and factors related to diabetic nephropathy

Diane Donegan, Laurie K. Bale, Cheryl A. Conover

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) are implicated in the development of diabetic nephropathy (DN) and are shown to increase proliferation and extracellular matrix production in mesangial cells. The IGF system is complex and is composed of ligands, receptors, six binding proteins (IGF BPs) and a novel zinc metalloproteinase - pregnancyassociated plasma protein (PAPP)-A. PAPP-A increases the local bioavailability of IGF through the cleavage of IGF BP-4. Mesangial expansion is a major component of DN, and PAPP-A is shown to be increased in the glomeruli of patients with DN. Therefore, we determined the expression of PAPP-A and components of the IGF system in normal human mesangial cells (HMCs) and their regulation by factors known to be involved in DN. Under basal conditions, HMCs expressed PAPP-A, IGF1 receptor and all six IGF BPs. Interleukin (IL)-1β was the most potent stimulus for PAPP-A expression (5-fold) followed by tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-a (2.5-fold). This PAPP-A was secreted, cell associated and proteolytically active. IL1β also increased IGF BP-1expression (3-fold) with either reduction or no effect on other IGF BPs. Generally, TNF-α treatment decreased IGF BP expression. No treatment effect on PAPP-A or IGF BPs was seen with IL6, IGFs, advanced glycation end products or prolonged hyperglycemia. In addition, stimulation of HMCs with IGF1 alone or IGF1 complexed to wild-type, but not protease-resistant, IGF BP-4 led to increased [3H]-thymidine incorporation. In conclusion, these novel findings of PAPP-A and its regulation by proinflammatory cytokines, as well as the comprehensive analysis of the IGF system regulation in HMCs, suggest a mechanism by which inflammatory states such as DN can impact IGF activity in the kidney.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-80
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Endocrinology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2016


  • Diabetic nephropathy
  • Human mesangial cells
  • Insulin-like growth factor
  • Pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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