Kidney international

The chemokine receptor CXCR6 contributes to recruitment of bone marrow-derived fibroblast precursors in renal fibrosis.

PMID 24646857


Bone marrow-derived fibroblasts in circulation are of hematopoietic origin, and they proliferate, differentiate into myofibroblasts, and express the chemokine receptor CXCR6. As chemokines mediate the trafficking of circulating cells to sites of injury, we studied the role of CXCR6 in mouse models of renal injury. Significantly, the kidney of CXCR6 knockout mice accumulated fewer bone marrow-derived fibroblasts in response to injury, expressed less profibrotic chemokines and cytokines, displayed fewer myofibroblasts, and expressed less α-smooth muscle actin in the obstructed kidneys compared with wild-type (WT) mice. CXCR6 deficiency inhibited total collagen deposition and suppressed the expression of collagen I and fibronectin in the obstructed kidneys. Furthermore, WT mice engrafted with CXCR6(-/-) bone marrow cells displayed fewer bone marrow-derived fibroblasts in the kidneys with obstructive injury and showed less severe renal fibrosis compared with WT mice engrafted with CXCR6(+/+) bone marrow cells. Transplant of WT bone marrow into CXCR6(-/-) recipients restored recruitment of myeloid fibroblasts and susceptibility to fibrosis. Hematopoietic fibroblasts migrate into injured kidney and proliferate and differentiate into myofibroblasts. Thus, CXCR6, together with other chemokines and their receptors, may have important roles in the recruitment of bone marrow-derived fibroblast precursors into the kidney and contribute to the pathogenesis of renal fibrosis.