Diabetic nephropathy associated with hyperglycemia is characterized by glomerular hyperfiltration and endothelial dysfunction. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is known to be primarily involved in neoangiogenesis and increased endothelial permeability. The purpose of this study was to investigate VEGF expression in response to high glucose in rat cultured mesangial cells and to identify its signal pathway via protein kinase C (PKC). Rat mesangial cells were cultured with different concentrations of glucose: normal (5 mM D-glucose), medium (15 mM D-glucose) and high (30 mm D- glucose). Calphostin-C as a PKC inhibitor and phorbol myristate acetate (PMA) as a PKC downregulator were instillated into culture media to evaluate the role of PKC in mediating the glucose- induced increase in VEGF expression. High glucose increased expression of VEGF at the mRNA and protein levels, identified by semi-quantitative RT-PCR and western blotting, within 3 h and in a time- and glucose concentration-dependent manner. Calphostin-C and PMA inhibited glucose-induced increases in VEGF expression at the mRNA and protein levels. In conclusion, high glucose can directly increase VEGF expression in rat mesangial cells via a PKC-dependent mechanism. These results suggest that VEGF could be a potential mediator of glomerular hyperfiltration and proteinuria in diabetic nephropathy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism