Combining angiotensin II blockade and renin receptor inhibition results in enhanced antifibrotic effect in experimental nephritis.
ABSTRACT: The limited antifibrotic effect of therapeutic angiotensin blockade, the fact that angiotensin blockade dramatically elevates renin levels, and recent evidence that renin has an angiotensin-independent, receptor-mediated profibrotic action led us to hypothesize that combining renin receptor inhibition and ANG II blockade would increase the antifibrotic effect of angiotensin blockade alone. Using cultured nephritic glomeruli from rats with anti-Thy-1-induced glomerulonephritis, the maximally effective dose of enalaprilate was determined to be 10(-4) M, which reduced mRNAs for transforming growth factor (TGF)-?1, fibronectin (FN), and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) by 49, 65, and 56% and production of TGF-?1 and FN proteins by 60 and 49%, respectively. Disease alone caused 6.8-fold increases in ANG II levels that were reduced 64% with enalaprilate. In contrast, two- and threefold disease-induced increases in renin mRNA and activity were further increased 2- and 3.7-fold with 10(-4) M enalaprilate treatment. Depressing the renin receptor by 80% with small interfering (si) RNA alone reduced fibrotic markers in a manner remarkably similar to enalaprilate alone but had no effect on glomerular renin expression. Enalaprilate and siRNA combination therapy further reduced disease markers. Notably, elevated TGF-?1 and FN production was reduced by 73 and 81%, respectively. These results support the notion of a receptor-mediated profibrotic action of renin, suggest that the limited effectiveness of ANG II blockade may be due, at least in part, to the elevated renin they induce, and support our hypothesis that adding renin receptor inhibitor to ANG II blockade in patients may have therapeutic potential.
Project description:Aims: Renal renin-angiotensin system (RAS) plays a pivotal role in the development of diabetic nephropathy (DN). Angiotensin II (Ang II) type 1 receptor (AT1R) blockade elevates (pro)renin, which may bind to (pro)renin receptor (PRR) and exert receptor-mediated, angiotensin-independent profibrotic effects. We therefore investigated whether PRR activation leads to the limited anti-fibrotic effects of AT1R blockade on DN, and whether PRR inhibition might ameliorate progression of DN. Methods: To address the issue, the expression of RAS components was tested in different stages of streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats (6, 12, and 24 weeks) and 6-week AT1R blockade (losartan) treated diabetic rats. Using the blocker for PRR, the handle region peptide (HRP) of prorenin, the effects of PRR on high glucose or Ang II-induced proliferative and profibrotic actions were evaluated by measurement of cell proliferation, matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) activity, activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) and transforming growth factor-?1 (TGF-?1) expression in rat mesangial cells (MCs). Results: PRR was downregulated in the kidneys of different stages of diabetic rats (6, 12, and 24 weeks). Moreover, 6-week losartan treatment further suppressed PRR expression via upregulating AT2R, and ameliorated diabetic renal injury. HRP inhibited high glucose and Ang II-induced proliferative and profibrotic effects in MCs through suppressing TGF-?1 expression and activating MMP-2. Meanwhile, HRP enhanced losartan's anti-fibrotic effects through further inhibiting phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and TGF-?1 expression. Moreover, the inhibitive effect of HRP on Ang II-induced TGF-?1 expression depended on the regulation of PRR expression by AT2R. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that inhibition of PRR contributes to renoprotection against diabetic nephropathy by AT1R blockade.
Project description:Recent identification of a counterregulatory axis of the renin-angiotensin system, called angiotensin-converting enzyme 2-angiotensin-(1-7) [ANG-(1-7)]-Mas receptor, may offer new targets for the treatment of renal fibrosis. We hypothesized that therapy with ANG-(1-7) would improve glomerulosclerosis through counteracting ANG II in experimental glomerulonephritis. Disease was induced in rats with the monoclonal anti-Thy-1 antibody, OX-7. Based on a three-dose pilot study, 576 microg x kg(-1) x day(-1) ANG-(1-7) was continuously infused from day 1 using osmotic pumps. Measures of glomerulosclerosis include semiquantitative scoring of matrix proteins stained for periodic acid Schiff, collagen I, and fibronectin EDA+ (FN). ANG-(1-7) treatment reduced disease-induced increases in proteinuria by 75%, glomerular periodic acid Schiff staining by 48%, collagen I by 24%, and FN by 25%. The dramatic increases in transforming growth factor-beta1, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1, FN, and collagen I mRNAs seen in disease control animals compared with normal rats were all significantly reduced by ANG-(1-7) administration (P < 0.05). These observations support our hypothesis that ANG-(1-7) has therapeutic potential for reversing glomerulosclerosis. Several results suggest ANG-(1-7) acts by counteracting ANG II effects: 1) renin expression in ANG-(1-7)-treated rats was dramatically increased as it is with ANG II blockade therapy; and 2) in vitro data indicate that ANG II-induced increases in mesangial cell proliferation and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 overexpression are inhibited by ANG-(1-7) via its binding to a specific receptor known as Mas.
Project description:The renin-angiotensin system (RAS) plays a critical role in the development of diabetic nephropathy, and blockade of the RAS is currently used for treatment of diabetic nephropathy. One major problem for the current RAS inhibitors is the compensatory renin increase, which reduces the efficacy of RAS inhibition. We have shown that vitamin D exerts renoprotective actions by transcriptionally suppressing renin. Here we demonstrated that combination therapy with an AT1 receptor blocker and a vitamin D analog markedly ameliorated renal injury in the streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetes model due to the blockade of the compensatory renin rise by the vitamin D analog, leading to more effective RAS inhibition. STZ-treated diabetic DBA/2J mice developed progressive albuminuria and glomerulosclerosis within 13 weeks, accompanied by increased intrarenal production of angiotensin (Ang) II, fibronection, TGF-beta, and MCP-1 and decreased expression of slit diaphragm proteins. Treatment of the diabetic mice with losartan or paricalcitol (19-nor-1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(2), an activated vitamin D analog) alone moderately ameliorated kidney injury; however, combined treatment with losartan and paricalcitol completely prevented albuminuria, restored glomerular filtration barrier structure, and markedly reduced glomerulosclerosis. The combined treatment suppressed the induction of fibronection, TGF-beta, and MCP-1 and reversed the decline of slit diaphragm proteins nephrin, Neph-1, ZO-1, and alpha-actinin-4. These were accompanied by blockade of intrarenal renin and Ang II accumulation induced by hyperglycemia and losartan. These data demonstrate that inhibition of the RAS with combination of vitamin D analogs and RAS inhibitors effectively prevents renal injury in diabetic nephropathy.
Project description:Interstitial fibrosis represents the final common pathway of any form of progressive renal disease. The severity of tubular interstitial damage is highly correlated to the degree of decline of renal function, even better than the glomerular lesions do. Angiotensin II (Ang II), the main effector of the renin-angiotensin system, is a critical promoter of fibrogenesis. It represents a nexus among glomerular capillary hypertension, barrier dysfunction, and renal tubular injury caused by abnormally filtered proteins. Transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 and reactive oxygen species (ROS) are the key mediators of the pro-fibrotic effect of Ang II causing apoptosis and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition of the renal tubular epithelium. Recent studies link fibrosis to changes of microRNA (miRNA) modulated by Ang II through TGF-β1, unraveling that antifibrotic action of Ang II antagonism is attributable to epigenetic control of fibrosis-associated genes. Other mechanisms of Ang II-induced fibrosis include ROS-dependent activation of hypoxia-inducible factor-1. Finally, Ang II via angiotensin type 1 receptor regulates the activation and transdifferentiation of pericytes and fibrocytes into scar-forming myofibroblasts. Detachment and phenotypic changes of the former can lead to the loss of peritubular capillaries and also contribute to hypoxia-dependent fibrosis.
Project description:To test the hypothesis that angiotensin (Ang) II induces profibrotic gene expression through endogenous aldosterone, we measured the effect of 4 h infusion (600 ng/kg x min) of Ang II on tissue mRNA expression of plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1), preproendothelin-1 (ppET-1), TGF-beta, and osteopontin in wild-type (WT), aldosterone synthase-deficient (AS(-/-)), and AS(-/-) mice treated with aldosterone (either 500 ng/d for 7 d or 250 ng as a concurrent 4 h infusion). Ang II increased aldosterone in WT (P < 0.001) but not in AS(-/-) mice. Aldosterone (7 d) normalized basal aldosterone concentrations in AS(-/-) mice; however, there was no further effect of Ang II on aldosterone (P = NS). Basal cardiac and aortic PAI-1 and ppET-1 expression were similar in WT and AS(-/-) mice. Ang II-stimulated PAI-1 (P < 0.001) and ppET-1 expression (P = 0.01) was diminished in the heart of AS(-/-) mice; treatment with aldosterone for 4 h or 7 d restored PAI-1 and ppET-1 mRNA responsiveness to Ang II in the heart. Ang II increased PAI-1 (P = 0.01) expression in the aorta of AS(-/-) as well as WT mice. In the kidney, basal PAI-1, ppET-1, and TGF-beta mRNA expression was increased in AS(-/-) compared with WT mice and correlated with plasma renin activity. Ang II did not stimulate osteopontin or TGF-beta expression in the heart or kidney. Endogenous aldosterone contributes to the acute stimulatory effect of Ang II on PAI-1 and ppET-1 mRNA expression in the heart; renin activity correlates with basal profibrotic gene expression in the kidney.
Project description:Although elevated plasma prorenin levels are commonly found in diabetic patients and correlate with microvascular complications, the pathological role of these increases, if any, remains unclear. Prorenin/renin binding to the prorenin/renin receptor [(p)RR] enhances the efficiency of angiotensinogen cleavage by renin and unmasks prorenin catalytic activity. We asked whether plasma prorenin could be activated in local vascular tissue through receptor binding. Immunohistochemical staining showing localization of the (p)RR in the aorta to vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). After cultured rat VSMCs were incubated with 10(-7) M inactive prorenin, cultured supernatant acquired the ability to generate ANG I from angiotensinogen, indicating that prorenin had been activated. Activated prorenin facilitated angiotensin generation in cultured VSMCs when exogenous angiotensinogen was added. Small interfering RNA (siRNA) against the (p)RR blocked this activation and subsequent angiotensin generation. Prorenin alone induced dose- and time-dependent increases in mRNA and protein for the profibrotic molecule plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI)-1, effects that were blocked by siRNA, but not by the ANG II receptor antagonist saralasin. When inactive prorenin and angiotensinogen were incubated with cells, PAI-1 mRNA increased a striking 54-fold, 8-fold higher than the increase seen with prorenin alone. PAI-1 protein increased 2.75-fold. These effects were blocked by treatment with siRNA + saralasin. We conclude that prorenin at high concentration binds the (p)RR on VSMCs and is activated. This activation leads to increased expression of PAI-1 via ANG II-independent and -dependent mechanisms. These data provide a mechanism by which elevated prorenin levels in diabetes may contribute to the progression of fibrotic disease.
Project description:Increased vascular sensitivity to angiotensin II (Ang II) is a marker of a hypertensive human pregnancy. Recent evidence of interactions between the renin-angiotensin system and the endocannabinoid system suggests that anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol may modulate Ang II contraction. We hypothesized that these interactions may contribute to the enhanced vascular responses in hypertensive pregnancy. We studied Ang II contraction in isolated uterine artery (UA) at early gestation in a rat model that mimics many features of preeclampsia, the transgenic human angiotensinogen×human renin (TgA), and control Sprague-Dawley rats. We determined the role of the cannabinoid receptor 1 by blockade with SR171416A, and the contribution of anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol degradation to Ang II contraction by inhibiting their hydrolyzing enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase (with URB597) or monoacylglycerol lipase (with JZL184), respectively. TgA UA showed increased maximal contraction and sensitivity to Ang II that was inhibited by indomethacin. Fatty acid amide hydrolase blockade decreased Ang IIMAX in Sprague-Dawley UA, and decreased both Ang IIMAX and sensitivity in TgA UA. Monoacylglycerol lipase blockade had no effect on Sprague-Dawley UA and decreased Ang IIMAX and sensitivity in TgA UA. Blockade of the cannabinoid receptor 1 in TgA UA had no effect. Immunolocalization of fatty acid amide hydrolase and monoacylglycerol lipase showed a similar pattern between groups; fatty acid amide hydrolase predominantly localized in endothelium and monoacylglycerol lipase in smooth muscle cells. We demonstrated an increased Ang II contraction in TgA UA before initiation of the hypertensive phenotype. Anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol reduced Ang II contraction in a cannabinoid receptor 1-independent manner. These renin-angiotensin system-endocannabinoid system interactions may contribute to the enhanced vascular reactivity in early stages of hypertensive pregnancy.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) blockade with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEi) or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB) is the cornerstone of antihypertensive treatment in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and diabetes mellitus. Mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists (MRA) on top of conventional RAAS blockade confer cardio- and renoprotective effects. Yet, the detailed effects of this therapeutic approach on key RAAS effectors have not been elucidated to date.<h4>Methods</h4>In this exploratory placebo-controlled study, 15 patients with CKD stages 2-3 and albuminuria due to diabetic kidney disease (DKD) were randomized to receive the MRA eplerenone or placebo in addition to ACEi therapy. Employing mass-spectrometry, we quantified plasma angiotensin levels [Ang I, Ang II, Ang-(1-7), Ang-(1-5), Ang III, Ang IV], renin and aldosterone in patients before and after 8 weeks of MRA treatment.<h4>Results</h4>While blood pressure and kidney function were similar in the placebo and eplerenone treatment group during the study period, distinct differences in RAAS regulation occurred: eplerenone treatment resulted in an increase in plasma renin activity, Ang I and aldosterone concentrations, indicating global RAAS activation. In addition, eplerenone on top of ACEi profoundly upregulated the alternative RAAS effector Ang-(1-7).<h4>Conclusions</h4>Combined eplerenone and ACEi therapy increases Ang-(1-7) levels in patients with CKD indicating a unique nephroprotective RAAS pattern with considerable therapeutic implications.
Project description:Renal fibrosis is the hallmark of virtually all progressive kidney diseases and strongly correlates with the deterioration of kidney function. The renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system blockade is central to the current treatment of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) for the renoprotective effects aimed to prevent or slow progression to end-stage renal disease (ESRD). However, the incidence of CKD is still increasing, and there is a critical need for new therapeutics. Here, we review novel strategies targeting various components implicated in the fibrogenic pathway to inhibit or retard the loss of kidney function. We focus, in particular, on antifibrotic approaches that target transforming growth factor (TGF)-?1, a key mediator of kidney fibrosis, and exciting new data on the role of autophagy. Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-7 and connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) are highlighted as modulators of profibrotic TGF-? activity. BMP-7 has a protective role against TGF-?1 in kidney fibrosis, whereas CTGF enhances TGF-?-mediated fibrosis. We also discuss recent advances in the development of additional strategies for antifibrotic therapy. These include strategies targeting chemokine pathways via CC chemokine receptors 1 and 2 to modulate the inflammatory response, inhibition of phosphodiesterase to restore nitric oxide-cyclic 3',5'-guanosine monophosphate function, inhibition of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase 1 and 4 to suppress reactive oxygen species production, and inhibition of endothelin 1 or tumor necrosis factor ? to ameliorate progressive renal fibrosis. Furthermore, a brief overview of some of the biomarkers of kidney fibrosis is currently being explored that may improve the ability to monitor antifibrotic therapies. It is hoped that evidence based on the preclinical and clinical data discussed in this review leads to novel antifibrotic therapies effective in patients with CKD to prevent or delay progression to ESRD.
Project description:Low-salt diet is beneficial in salt-sensitive hypertension but may provoke cardiovascular risk in patients with heart failure, diabetes mellitus, or other cardiovascular abnormalities because of endogenous renin-angiotensin system activation. PPAR (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor)-? is a transcription factor which promotes an antioxidant pathway in the endothelium. We studied transgenic mice expressing a dominant-negative mutation in PPAR-? selectively in the endothelium (E-V290M) to test the hypothesis that endothelial PPAR-? plays a protective role in response to low salt-mediated renin-angiotensin system activation. Plasma renin and Ang II (angiotensin II) were significantly and equally increased in all mice fed low salt for 6 weeks. Vasorelaxation to acetylcholine was not affected in basilar artery from E-V290M at baseline but was significantly and selectively impaired in E-V290M after low salt. Unlike basilar artery, low salt was not sufficient to induce vascular dysfunction in carotid artery or aorta. Endothelial dysfunction in the basilar artery from E-V290M mice fed low salt was attenuated by scavengers of superoxide, inhibitors of NADPH oxidase, or blockade of the Ang II AT1 (angiotensin type-1) receptor. Simultaneous AT1 and AT2 receptor blockade revealed that the restoration of endothelial function after AT1 receptor blockade was not a consequence of AT2 receptor activation. We conclude that interference with PPAR-? in the endothelium produces endothelial dysfunction in the cerebral circulation in response to low salt-mediated activation of the endogenous renin-angiotensin system, mediated at least in part, through AT1 receptor activation and perturbed redox homeostasis. Moreover, our data suggest that the cerebral circulation may be particularly sensitive to inhibition of PPAR-? activity and renin-angiotensin system activation.