Beta 2-microglobulin modified with advanced glycation end products modulates collagen synthesis by human fibroblasts

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology

Publication Date


Document Type



Amyloidosis; Antibodies; Cell Line; Collagen; Epidermal Growth Factor; Fibroblasts; Glycosylation End Products, Advanced; Humans; Interleukin-1; Kidney Failure, Chronic; Procollagen; RNA, Messenger; Receptors, Immunologic; beta 2-Microglobulin


Musculoskeletal Diseases | Rheumatology | Skin and Connective Tissue Diseases


Beta 2-microglobulin amyloidosis (A beta 2m) is a serious complication for patients undergoing long-term dialysis. beta 2-microglobulin modified with advanced glycation end products (beta 2m-AGE) is a major component of the amyloid in A beta 2m. It is not completely understood whether beta 2m-AGE plays an active role in the pathogenesis of A beta 2m, or if its presence is a secondary event of the disease. beta 2-microglobulin amyloid is mainly located in tendon and osteo-articular structures that are rich in collagen, and local fibroblasts constitute the principal cell population in the synthesis and metabolism of collagen. Recent identification of AGE binding proteins on human fibroblasts lead to the hypothesis that the fibroblast may be a target for the biological action of beta 2m-AGE. The present study demonstrated that two human fibroblast cell lines exhibited a decrease in procollagen type I mRNA and type I collagen synthesis after exposure to beta 2m-AGE for 72 hours. Similar results were observed using AGE-modified albumin. Antibody against the RAGE, the receptor for AGE, attenuated this decrease in synthesis, indicating that the response was partially mediated by RAGE. In addition, antibody against epidermal growth factor (EGF) attenuated the decrease in type I procollagen mRNA and type I collagen induced by beta 2m-AGE, suggesting that EGF acts as an intermediate factor. These findings support the hypothesis that beta 2m-AGE actively participates in connective tissue and bone remodeling via a pathway involving fibroblast RAGE, and at least one interposed mediator, the growth factor EGF.

DOI of Published Version



Kidney Int. 1998 May;53(5):1365-73. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Kidney international


At the time of publication, Jonathan Kay was not yet affiliated with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

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Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID