Fibronectin splicing variant containing extra domain A (Fn-EDA), which is an endogenous ligand for Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), is present in negligible amounts in the plasma of healthy humans, but markedly elevated in patients with co-morbid conditions including diabetes and hyperlipidaemia, which are risk factors for myocardial infarction (MI).
In contrast, transgenic CCR2 overexpression in the podocytes of Ccr2<sup>-/-</sup> mice resulted in significantly increased albuminuria, blood urea nitrogen, histopathologic changes, kidney fibronectin and type 1 collagen expression, podocyte loss, and glomerular apoptosis after nine weeks of streptozotocin-induced diabetes.
These include intracellular molecules released by necrotic cells (heat shock proteins, high mobility group box 1 protein, S100 proteins), proinflammatory cytokines (interleukin-1α), specific ECM molecules up-regulated in response to tissue injury (fibronectin-EDA, tenascin-C) or molecules modified by a pathological environment (advanced glycation end product-modified proteins observed with diabetes).
PAI-1 deficiency did not affect plasma glucose significantly but reduced the fractional mesangial area, fibronectin and collagen I expression in the renal cortex after 20 weeks of diabetes as well as in HG-stimulated mesangial cells along with suppression of TGF-beta1 mRNA expression.
Moreover, on the collagen fibril some potentially relevant relationships between binding sites were observed including the following: fibronectin- and certain integrin-binding regions are near neighbors, which may mechanistically relate to fibronectin-dependent cell-collagen attachment; proteoglycan binding may potentially impact upon collagen fibrillogenesis, cell-collagen attachment, and collagen glycation seen in diabetes and aging; and mutations associated with osteogenesis imperfecta and other disorders show apparently nonrandom distribution patterns within both the monomer and fibril, implying that mutation positions correlate with disease phenotype.
Since the inhibition of protein kinase C (PKC) effectively blocks not only phorbol ester-induced but also high glucose- and H2O2-induced fibronectin production, the activation of PKC under diabetic conditions may also have a modulatory role in oxidative stress-induced renal injury in diabetes mellitus.