We have been interested in identifying proinflammatory molecules which might play a role in attracting monocytes and T cells to the kidney. Some of the new intercrines are potential candidates. In this report we have isolated cDNA encoding murine Rantes (MuRantes) from renal tubular epithelium (MCT cells). MuRantes is a 91 amino acid member of the -C-C- or intercrine β subgroup of the Scy superfamily. The amino acid sequence for mature MuRantes was deduced from its coding cDNA and was found to be 90% homologous to its mature human counterpart (HuRantes). MCT epithelium expresses a single mRNA transcript for MuRantes of ∼1100 bp. The MuRantes protein could be detected in cell lysates of MCT epithelium by western blotting and in the cytoplasm of MCT cells by immunofluorescence using a polyclonal antibody generated against HuRantes fusion protein. A search protocol using MuRantes-specific primers and cDNA amplification revealed that mRNAs for MuRantes are expressed additionally in syngeneic mesangial cells (MMC cells), whole kidney, liver, and spleen, as well as in nephritogenic antigen-specific CD4+ helper and CD8+ effector T cells. cDNA amplification studies also demonstrated a significant elevation in mRNA transcripts encoding MuRantes in response to the stimulation of MCT epithelium with TNFα and IL-1α in culture, but not with TGFβ, γIFN, or IL-6. Our findings indicate that proximal tubular epithelium is an authentic source of MuRantes, and that transcripts encoding MuRantes are responsive to the modulating influence of paracrine factors having a known role in the development of parenchymal injury.
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