Disintegrins are a group of molecules containing Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) sequence which can interfere with cell-matrix interaction. Rat mesangial cells are known to express an RGD-sensitive integrin receptor. We investigate the effect of a potent disintegrin, triflavin, on rat mesangial cell adhesion and proliferation. While synthetic RGD-containing peptide (GRGDS) inhibits mesangial cell adhesion to fibronectin, type I and type III collagen, triflavin has a similar but much more potent effect. Triflavin, when added to the medium, inhibits serum-stimulated rat mesangial cell proliferation in both growing and growth-arrested cells. In serum-free medium, platelet-derived growth factor promoted mesangial cell growth is also inhibited by triflavin. When coated as a substratum, both GRGDS and triflavin inhibit mesangial cell growth. The inhibition of proliferation by exogenously added triflavin and GRGDS is, at least in part, due to their antiadhesive effect. We conclude that triflavin can modulate both adhesion and proliferation of rat mesangial cells.
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