Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) is closely associated with progressive renal fibrosis. Significant progress has been accomplished in determining the cellular signaling pathways that are activated by TGF-β. This knowledge is being applied to glomerular mesangial cell models of extracellular matrix (ECM) accumulation. A central component of TGF-β-stimulated mesangial cell fibrogenesis is the TGF-β family-specific Smad signal transduction pathway. However, while Smads play an important role in collagen accumulation, recent findings indicate that cross talk among a variety of pathways is necessary for maximal stimulation of collagen expression. Further investigation of these multiple interactions will provide insight into possible ways to interrupt cellular mechanisms of glomerular fibrogenesis.
- Transforming growth factor-β
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