A mutant, noninhibitory plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 decreases matrix accumulation in experimental glomerulonephritis

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In fibrotic renal disease, elevated TGF-β and angiotensin II lead to increased plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 (PAI-1). PAI-1 appears to reduce glomerular mesangial matrix turnover by inhibiting plasminogen activators, thereby decreasing plasmin generation and plasmin-mediated matrix degradation. We hypothesized that therapy with a mutant human PAI-1 (PAI-1R) that binds to matrix vitronectin but does not inhibit plasminogen activators, would enhance plasmin generation, increase matrix turnover, and decrease matrix accumulation in experimental glomerulonephritis. Three experimental groups included normal, untreated disease control, and PAI-1R-treated nephritic rats. Plasmin generation by isolated day 3 glomeruli was dramatically decreased by 69%, a decrease that was reversed 43% (P < 0.02) by in vivo PAI-1R treatment. At day 6, animals treated with PAI-1R showed significant reductions in proteinuria (48%, P < 0.02), glomerular staining for periodic acid-Schiff positive material (33%, P < 0.02), collagen I (28%, P < 0.01), collagen III (34%, P < 0.01), fibronectin (48%, P < 0.01), and laminin (41%, P < 0.01), and in collagen I (P < 0.01) and fibronectin mRNA levels (P < 0.02). Treatment did not alter overexpression of TGF-β1 and PAI-1 mRNAs, although TGF-β1 protein was significantly reduced. These observations strongly support our hypothesis that PAI-1R reduces glomerulosclerosis by competing with endogenous PAI-1, restoring plasmin generation, inhibiting inflammatory cell infiltration, decreasing local TGF-β1 concentration, and reducing matrix accumulation.

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