Macrophages Regulate Unilateral Ureteral Obstruction-Induced Renal Lymphangiogenesis through C-C Motif Chemokine Receptor 2–Dependent Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase-AKT–Mechanistic Target of Rapamycin Signaling and Hypoxia-Inducible Factor-1α/Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor-C Expression Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Lymphangiogenesis occurs during renal fibrosis in patients with chronic kidney diseases and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-C is required for the formation of lymphatic vessels; however, the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. We demonstrate that macrophages can regulate unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO)-induced renal lymphangiogenesis by expressing high levels of VEGF-C by C-C motif chemokine receptor 2 (CCR2)-mediated signaling. Mice deficient in Ccr2 manifested repressed lymphangiogenesis along with attenuated renal injury and fibrosis after UUO induction. The infiltrated macrophages after UUO induction generated a microenvironment in favor of lymphangiogenesis, which likely depended on Ccr2 expression. Mechanistic studies revealed that CCR2 is required for macrophages to activate phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)-AKT-mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling in response to its ligand monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 stimulation, whereas hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α is downstream of PI3K-AKT-mTOR signaling. HIF-1α directly bound to the VEGF-C promoter to drive its expression to enhance lymphangiogenesis. Collectively, we characterized a novel regulatory network in macrophages, in which CCR2 activates PI3K-AKT-mTOR signaling to mediate HIF-1α expression, which then drives VEGF-C expression to promote lymphangiogenesis.


  • Guo, Yan-Chao
  • Zhang, Meng
  • Wang, Fa-Xi
  • Pei, Guang-Chang
  • Sun, Fei
  • Zhang, Ying
  • He, Xiaoyu
  • Wang, Yi
  • Song, Jia
  • Zhu, Feng-Ming
  • Pandupuspitasari, Nuruliarizki S
  • Liu, Jing
  • Huang, Kun
  • Yang, Ping
  • Xiong, Fei
  • Zhang, Shu
  • Yu, Qilin
  • Yao, Ying
  • Wang, Cong-Yi

publication date

  • August 2017