MC (mesangial cell) proliferation is closely linked to the progression of glomerular disease. It has been reported that cAMP effectors suppress MC proliferation, inhibiting activation of MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase). In fibroblasts, activation of MAPK induces the expression of type D cyclin, whereas, in MCs, this induction has not been shown. In the present study, we explored the effects of cAMP on MAPK and expression of cell-cycle-regulated proteins. PDGF (platelet-derived growth factor) stimulated MAPK activity, up-regulated protein levels of cyclin D1, CDK2 (cyclin-dependent kinase 2) and PCNA (proliferating cell nuclear antigen), decreased the protein level of p27 and increased DNA synthesis. Fsk (forskolin) or PD98059 suppressed PDGF-induced DNA synthesis. Both agents inhibited PDGF-stimulated mRNA and protein expression of cyclin D1 and CDK2. Fsk or PD98059 also inhibited protein expression of PCNA and blocked a decrease in p27 protein. Fsk induced the phosphorylation of Raf-1 at Ser259, which was inhibited by KT5720. These data suggest that cAMP inhibits MC proliferation through inhibition of MAPK activity, and this mechanism partly involves alteration in the levels of cell-cycle-regulated proteins.

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