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PloS one

Fibrin-Induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition of peritoneal mesothelial cells as a mechanism of peritoneal fibrosis: effects of pentoxifylline.


PMID 23028611

Abstract

Excessive fibrin deposition in the peritoneum is thought to be involved in the development of encapsulating peritoneal sclerosis (EPS), an important cause of morbidity and mortality in peritoneal dialysis patients. We investigated fibrin-induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of peritoneal mesothelial cells (PMCs) as a possible mechanism of fibrin involvement in EPS. In vitro, fibrin overlay of PMCs altered their morphology; increased α-smooth muscle actin, fibronectin, fibroblast specific protein-1, and α(v)β(3) integrin expression; and decreased cytokeratin 18 and E-cadherin expression. Fibrin overlay also increased focal adhesion kinase and Src kinase phosphorylation. Fibrin-induced changes were inhibited by treating the cells with α(v)β(3) integrin antibody or pentoxifylline (PTX). In a rat model, intraperitoneal injection of Staphylococcus aureus and fibrinogen induced severe EPS features, which were attenuated by PTX treatment. PTX-treated rats also showed preserved peritoneal ultrafiltration function and lower concentrations of cytokines than the untreated rats. S. aureus- and fibrinogen-injected rats had higher percentage of cytokeratin-positive cells in the omentum fibrotic tissue than controls; this was also reduced by PTX treatment. Our results suggest that fibrin induces EMT of PMCs by engaging α(v)β(3) integrin and activating associated kinases. Our EPS animal model showed that fibrin-induced EMT was involved in the pathogenesis of peritoneal fibrosis and was inhibited by PTX.

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