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Urinary soluble CD14 mediates human proximal tubular epithelial cell injury induced by LPS

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Renal proximal tubular epithelial cells (PTEC) are target for LPS during sepsis and renal infections. In the present study, we evaluated whether stimulation of human PTEC by LPS is modulated through the soluble or the membrane form of the LPS receptor CD14. We found that PTEC lacked expression of the membrane form of CD14 and did not release soluble CD14 (sCD14). sCD14 was detected in the urine of normal subjects and it was increased in patients with renal sepsis or with proteinuria. In the presence of sCD14 and LPS binding protein (LBP), PTEC were 10 to 100-fold more sensitive to LPS activation, resulting in cytokine production (IL-6, IL-8 and TNF-α) and NO release. We found that sCD14 purified from urine was biologically active on PTEC. Moreover, the presence of sCD14 and LBP was required for cytotoxicity induced by low concentrations of LPS (1-10 ng/ml) in PTEC. Cell death showed the characteristics of both necrosis and apoptosis, as demonstrated by LDH release and by TUNEL and acridine orange staining and caspase-3 activation. Whereas the LPS alone was sufficient to induce necrosis, sCD14 and LBP were required for apoptosis. Our results suggest that sCD14 excreted in urine may participate with endotoxin in the activation and injury of renal proximal tubules. In particular, sCD14 may contribute to the tubulo-interstitial injury in clinical settings characterised by proteinuria and enhanced susceptibility to infections such as in diabetes.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Internal Medicine, University of Torino, Torino, Italy

Publication date: January 1, 2002

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Molecular Medicine is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the publication of high quality studies related to the molecular mechanisms of human disease. The journal welcomes research on all aspects of molecular and clinical research, ranging from biochemistry to immunology, pathology, genetics, human genomics, microbiology, molecular pathogenesis, molecular cardiology, molecular surgery and molecular psychology.

    The International Journal of Molecular Medicine aims to provide an insight for researchers within the community in regard to developing molecular tools and identifying molecular targets for the diagnosis and treatment of a diverse number of human diseases.
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