Abstract

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a public health problem driven by myofibroblast accumulation, leading to interstitial fibrosis. Heterogeneity is a recently recognized characteristic in kidney fibroblasts in CKD, but the role of different populations is still unclear. Here, we characterize a proinflammatory fibroblast population (named CXCL-iFibro), which corresponds to an early state of myofibroblast differentiation in CKD. We demonstrate that CXCL-iFibro co-localize with macrophages in the kidney and participate in their attraction, accumulation, and switch into FOLR2+ macrophages from early CKD stages on. In vitro, macrophages promote the switch of CXCL-iFibro into ECM-secreting myofibroblasts through a WNT/β-catenin-dependent pathway, thereby suggesting a reciprocal crosstalk between these populations of fibroblasts and macrophages. Finally, the detection of CXCL-iFibro at early stages of CKD is predictive of poor patient prognosis, which shows that the CXCL-iFibro population is an early player in CKD progression and demonstrates the clinical relevance of our findings.

Liens