Thrombospondin induces glomerular mesangial cell adhesion and migration

G. Taraboletti, M. Morigi, M. Figliuzzi, R. Giavazzi, C. Zoja, G. Remuzzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Extracellular matrix components are known to modulate mesangial cell functions as adhesion, motility and proliferation. Among other extracellular matrix components, mesangial cells have been recently described to secrete thrombospondin (TSP), a high molecular weight glycoprotein, produced by several cell types, and known to play a role in embryogenesis, wound healing, angiogenesis, and tumorigenesis. The aim of this work was the functional and molecular characterization of TSP interactions with mesangial cells. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Adhesion of mesangial cells to TSP-coated plastic, and chemotaxis in the Boyden chamber assay were tested. In order to identify TSP active domains, heparin, known to bind to the amino-terminal region of TSP, four monoclonal antibodies directed against specific domains of the molecule, and TSP fragments obtained by enzymatic digestion were used. RESULTS: We found that TSP induces mesangial cell adhesion and chemotaxis, in a dose dependent manner. Adhesion was inhibited by antiserum against TSP, and by an anti-CD36 monoclonal antibody tested in the presence of heparin, but not by the peptide Gly-Arg-Gly-Asp-Ser. We have also found that only the carboxy-terminal end of TSP retains the adhesive properties of the molecule, while all the fragments tested showed some degree of chemotactic activity. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that TSP modulates mesangial cell adhesion and motility, thus acting as a potential autocrine and paracrine regulator of mesangial cell functions in normal and pathologic conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)566-571
Number of pages6
JournalLaboratory Investigation
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1992


  • cell motility
  • extracellular matrix

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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