The α8 integrin chain affords mechanical stability to the glomerular capillary tuft in hypertensive glomerular disease

Andrea Hartner, Nada Cordasic, Bernd Klanke, Ulrich Müller, R. Bernd Sterzel, Karl F. Hilgers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


In the kidney, the α8 integrin chain is expressed in glomerular mesangial cells. The α8 integrin plays a role in early nephrogenesis but its functional role in the adult kidney is unknown. We tested the hypothesis that α8 integrin-mediated cell-matrix interactions are important to maintain the integrity of the glomerulus in arterial hypertension. Desoxycorticosterone (DOCA)-salt hypertension was induced in mice homozygous for a deletion of the α8 integrin chain and wild-type mice. Blood pressure, albumin excretion, total renal mass, and glomerular filtration in DOCA-treated α8-deficient mice were comparable to DOCA-treated wild types. DOCA-treated wild types showed increased glomerular immunostaining for α8 integrin compared to salt-loaded and untreated controls, whereas the glomeruli of α8-deficient mice always stained negative. Morphometric studies revealed similar degrees of glomerulosclerosis in DOCA-treated α8-deficient and DOCA-treated wild-type mice. However, DOCA-treated α8-deficient mice had a higher score of capillary widening (mesangiolysis) than DOCA-treated wild-type mice, which was confirmed in two additional wild-type strains. Moreover, in DOCA-treated α8-deficient mice, glomerular fibrin deposits were more frequent than in DOCA-treated wild types. The results show that lack of α8 is associated with increased susceptibility to glomerular capillary destruction in DOCA salt hypertension, whereas it does not seem to play a major role in the development of fibrosis or glomerulosclerosis. Our findings indicate that mesangial α8 integrin contributes to maintain the integrity of the glomerular capillary tuft during mechanical stress, eg, in hypertension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)861-867
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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