Clonal selection has been proposed as a pathogenetic mechanism in various chronic diseases, such as scleroderma, hypertension, pulmonary fibrosis, interstitial fibrosis of the kidney, atherosclerosis, and uterine leiomyomatosis. We previously found that mesangial cells from ROP mice prone to develop glomerulosclerosis changed their phenotype in response to high glucose concentrations. Here, we investigate whether clonal selection might contribute to this phenotype change. We found that in ROP mice at least two distinct mesangial cell clones exist. They are characterized by a different length of the d(CA) repeat in the MMP-9 promoter and exhibit a significantly different gene expression profile. Exposure of ROP mesangial cells to 25 mmol/l glucose for 35 days induces both clonal selection and reversible dinucleotide repeat expansion. None of these findings were present in mesangial cells isolated from C57BL/6 mice, which are not sclerosis-prone. We conclude that mesangial cell michrochimerism may be a marker for the susceptibility to glomerulosclerosis, that dinucleotide repeat expansion may be a novel mechanism for glucose-induced changes in gene expression, and that clonal selection may partially explain the change in mesangial cell phenotype in diabetes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism