TGF-β1, which can cause renal tubular injury through a vacuolar-type H+-ATPase (V-ATPase)-mediated pathway, is induced by the glucose degradation product methylglyoxal to yield peritoneal injury and fibrosis. The present study investigated the roles of V-ATPase and its accessory protein, the (pro)renin receptor, in peritoneal fibrosis during peritoneal dialysis. Rats daily administered 20 mM methylglyoxal intraperitoneally developed significant peritoneal fibrosis after 7 days with increased expression of TGF-β and V-ATPase, which was reduced by the inhibition of V-ATPase with co-administration of 100 mM bafilomycin A1. The (pro)renin receptor and V-ATPase were expressed in acidic organelles and cell membranes of human peritoneal mesothelial cells. TGF-β1 upregulated the expression of collagens, α-SMA, and EDA-fibronectin, together with ERK1/2 phosphorylation, which was reduced by inhibition of V-ATPase, (pro)renin receptor, or the MAPK pathway. Fibronectin and the soluble (pro)renin receptor were excreted from cells by acidic organelle trafficking in response to TGF-β1; this excretion was also suppressed by inhibition of V-ATPase. Soluble (pro)renin receptor concentrations in effluents of patients undergoing peritoneal dialysis were associated with the dialysate-to-plasma ratio of creatinine. Together, these results demonstrate a novel fibrosis mechanism through the (pro)renin receptor and V-ATPase in the acidic organelles of peritoneal mesothelial cells.
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