Transforming growth factor β-induced peritoneal fibrosis is mouse strain dependent*
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BACKGROUND: Encapsulating peritoneal sclerosis (EPS) is a rare but devastating complication of peritoneal dialysis. The etiology is unclear, but genetic predisposition may be a contributing factor. We used adenovirus-mediated gene transfer of transforming growth factor (TGF) β1 to the peritoneum in four genetically distinct laboratory mouse strains to assess differences in fibrogenic response. METHODS: Mice from four genetic backgrounds (C57BL/6J, DBA/2J, C3H/HeJ and SJL/J) received an intraperitoneal injection of an adenovirus expressing TGFβ1 (AdTGFβ1) or control adenovirus (AdDL) and were assessed 4 and 10 days after infection. Submesothelial thickening, angiogenesis and gene expression were quantified from peritoneal tissue. Protein was extracted from omental tissue and assessed for collagen, E-cadherin and TGFβ signaling pathway proteins. RESULTS: There was a graded response among the mouse strains to the peritoneal overexpression of TGFβ1. TGFβ1 induced a significant fibrogenic response in the C57BL/6J mice, whereas the SJL/J mice were resistant. The DBA/2J and the C3H/HeJ mice had intermediate responses. A similar graded response was seen in collagen protein levels in the omental tissue and in fibrosis-associated gene expression. TGFβ type 1 receptor and SMAD signaling pathways appeared to be intact in all the mouse strains. CONCLUSIONS: There were significant differences in mouse strain susceptibility to peritoneal fibrosis, suggesting that genetic factors may play a role in the development of peritoneal fibrosis and possibly EPS. As early TGFβ1 signaling mechanisms appear to be intact, we hypothesize that fibrosis resistance in the SJL/J mice lies further down the wound-healing cascade or in an alternate, non-SMAD pathway.
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