Mice transgenic for growth hormone (GH) develop progressive glomerulosclerosis. The compositions of kidney extracellular matrix (ECM) and ECM mRNA were examined. The glomerulosclerotic areas in GH mice contained types I and IV collagen, laminin, and basement membrane heparan sulfate proteoglycan (HSPG), which increased with age. The type IV collagen, laminin B2, and HSPG mRNA levels in GH mice, measured by a solution hybridization RNase protection assay, were increased over normal littermates. These findings suggest that the accumulation of ECM components in the glomeruli of GH mice is regulated at the transcriptional level and that glomerulosclerosis is, in part, due to the excess production of ECM rather than simply a reduction in its turnover. The glomerular lesions in GH mice resemble diabetic nephropathy and may allow further dissection of the molecular basis of certain forms of glomerulosclerosis.

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