Increased urinary angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 in renal transplant patients with diabetes.
ABSTRACT: Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is expressed in the kidney and may be a renoprotective enzyme, since it converts angiotensin (Ang) II to Ang-(1-7). ACE2 has been detected in urine from patients with chronic kidney disease. We measured urinary ACE2 activity and protein levels in renal transplant patients (age 54 yrs, 65% male, 38% diabetes, n = 100) and healthy controls (age 45 yrs, 26% male, n = 50), and determined factors associated with elevated urinary ACE2 in the patients. Urine from transplant subjects was also assayed for ACE mRNA and protein. No subjects were taking inhibitors of the renin-angiotensin system. Urinary ACE2 levels were significantly higher in transplant patients compared to controls (p = 0.003 for ACE2 activity, and p≤0.001 for ACE2 protein by ELISA or western analysis). Transplant patients with diabetes mellitus had significantly increased urinary ACE2 activity and protein levels compared to non-diabetics (p<0.001), while ACE2 mRNA levels did not differ. Urinary ACE activity and protein were significantly increased in diabetic transplant subjects, while ACE mRNA levels did not differ from non-diabetic subjects. After adjusting for confounding variables, diabetes was significantly associated with urinary ACE2 activity (p = 0.003) and protein levels (p<0.001), while female gender was associated with urinary mRNA levels for both ACE2 and ACE. These data indicate that urinary ACE2 is increased in renal transplant recipients with diabetes, possibly due to increased shedding from tubular cells. Urinary ACE2 could be a marker of renal renin-angiotensin system activation in these patients.
Project description:The angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE)/Angiotensin II (Ang II) and angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2)/angiotensin-(1-7) (Ang-(1-7)) pathways are coexpressed in most tissues. The balance between these pathways determines, at least in part, whether tissue damage will occur in response to pathological stimuli. The present study tested the hypothesis that male sex and high blood pressure are associated with ACE/ACE2 imbalance in the lungs. Experiments were conducted in male and female Wistar rats and spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs). Lung ACE and ACE2 gene expression was also evaluated in normotensive and hypertensive humans using the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) project. Compared with Wistar rats and female SHRs, male SHRs displayed reduced lung ACE2 mRNA, ACE2 protein abundance and ACE2 activity, and increased Ang II concentration. Lung ACE mRNA levels were higher in male SHRs than in Wistar rats, whereas lung ACE protein abundance and activity were similar among the four groups of rats. Lung Ang-(1-7) concentration was higher in female than in male SHRs (89 ± 17 vs. 43 ± 2 pg/g, P<0.05). Lung ACE to ACE2 mRNA expression in hypertensive patients was significantly higher than that in normotensive subjects. Taken together, these results demonstrate that male hypertensive rats display imbalance between the ACE/Ang II and ACE2/Ang-(1-7) pathways in the lungs mainly attributable to ACE2 down-regulation. Further studies should be conducted to investigate whether this imbalance between ACE/ACE2 may promote and accelerate lung injury in respiratory infections, including coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Project description:We investigated the role of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) in renin-angiotensin system (RAS) gene expression in renal proximal tubule cells (RPTCs) and in the development of systemic hypertension and kidney injury in diabetic Akita mice. We used adult male Akita Nrf2 knockout mice and Akita mice treated with trigonelline (an Nrf2 inhibitor) or oltipraz (an Nrf2 activator). We also examined rat immortalized RPTCs (IRPTCs) stably transfected with control plasmids or plasmids containing rat angiotensinogen (Agt), angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (Ace2), or angiotensin 1-7 (Ang 1-7) receptor (MasR) gene promoters. Genetic deletion of Nrf2 or pharmacological inhibition of Nrf2 in Akita mice attenuated hypertension, renal injury, tubulointerstitial fibrosis, and the urinary albumin/creatinine ratio. Furthermore, loss of Nrf2 upregulated RPTC Ace2 and MasR expression, increased urinary Ang 1-7 levels, and downregulated expression of Agt, ACE, and profibrotic genes in Akita mice. In cultured IRPTCs, Nrf2 small interfering RNA transfection or trigonelline treatment prevented high glucose stimulation of Nrf2 nuclear translocation, Agt, and ACE transcription with augmentation of Ace2 and MasR transcription, which was reversed by oltipraz. These data identify a mechanism, Nrf2-mediated stimulation of intrarenal RAS gene expression, by which chronic hyperglycemia induces hypertension and renal injury in diabetes.
Project description:Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 in coronavirus disease 2019 invades the host through ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) 2 as the host cellular receptor for a viral spike protein. ACE2 converts angiotensin II to angiotensin-(1-7) and cleaved ACE2 is detectable in urine and plasma. However, regulation of U-ACE2 (urinary ACE2) and P-ACE2 (plasma ACE2) and their alterations by renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitors remain unclear. We simultaneously investigated U-ACE2 and P-ACE2 in 605 Japanese participants (male/female: 280/325, mean age: 65±15 years) in the Tanno-Sobetsu cohort study in 2017. Males had significantly lower U-ACE2 and higher P-ACE2 than did females. There was no significant correlation between U-ACE2 and P-ACE2. P-ACE2 was significantly lower in subjects treated with renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitors than in those not treated with renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitors, but there was no significant difference in U-ACE2 between the groups. Multivariable regression analyses showed that female sex, high levels of systolic blood pressure, hemoglobin A1c, and urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio, and low uric acid level were independent predictors of high U-ACE2 level and that high levels of γ-glutamyl transpeptidase, estimated glomerular filtration rate, and uric acid were independent predictors of high P-ACE2 level. In conclusion, U-ACE2 and P-ACE2 are distinctly regulated and the use of renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitors is not an independent predictor of their levels in a Japanese general population. U-ACE2 is associated with high blood pressure, high glucose level, and microalbuminuria, and low urate level, whereas P-ACE2 is associated with liver dysfunction, high glomerular filtration rate, and high urate level.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The renin-angiotensin system (RAS) has significant influences on heart and renal disease progression. Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) and angiotensin converting enzyme II (ACE2) are major peptidases of RAS components and play counteracting functions through angiotensin II (Ang II)/ATIR and angiotensin-(1-7) (Ang-(1-7))/Mas axis, respectively. METHODS:There were 360 uremic patients on regular hemodialysis (HD) treatment (inclusive of 119?HD patients with cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and 241?HD patients without CVD and 50 healthy subjects were enrolled in this study. Plasma ACE, ACE2, Ang II and Ang-(1-7) levels of the HD patients were determined. RESULTS:We compared pre-HD levels of plasma ACE, ACE2, Ang II and Ang-(1-7) in the HD patients with and without CVD to those of the controls. The HD patients, particularly those with CVD, showed a significant increase in the levels of ACE and Ang II, whereas ACE2 and Ang-(1-7) levels were lower than those in the healthy controls. Therefore, imbalanced ACE/ACE2 was observed in the HD patients with CVD. In the course of a single HD session, the plasma ACE, ACE/ACE2 and Ang II levels in the HD patients with CVD were increased from pre-HD to post-HD. On the contrary, ACE2 levels were decreased after the HD session. These changes were not detected in the HD patients without CVD. CONCLUSIONS:Pathogenically imbalanced circulating ACE/ACE2 was detected in the HD patients, particularly those with CVD. HD session could increase ACE/Ang II/AT1R axis and decrease ACE2/Ang-(1-7)/Mas axis activity in the circulation of HD patients with CVD.
Project description:Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE2) is a key enzyme in the renin-angiotensin system (RAS), which is implicated in the pathogenesis of hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases. In this study we investigated the expression of ACE2 in the hypothalamus and pituitary tissues and its relationship to hypertension by comparing them in male WKY and SHR rats. We observed that the plasma levels of corticotrophin releasing hormone (CRH), adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and aldosterone (ALD) were all lower in SHR than WKY rats (P<0.05), whereas plasma angiotensin II (AngII) levels were higher in SHR rats (P<0.05). Levels of ACE mRNA and protein were higher in the hypothalamus of SHR than WKY rats (P<0.05). By contrast, hypothalamic expression of ACE2 protein was lower in SHR rats (P<0.05), despite comparable mRNA levels in SHR and WKY rats. There were no differences in the expression levels of ACE, ACE2, AT1 or Mas mRNA in the pituitaries of SHR and WKY rats (P>0.05). These results suggest that insufficiency of hypothalamic ACE2 is associated with hypertension in SHR rats.
Project description:Rapeseed proteins are a rich source of bioactive peptides. LY, RALP and GHS were previously identified from rapeseed protein hydrolysates as potent ACE and renin inhibiting peptides. In this study, the rapeseed peptides were individually evaluated for their molecular mechanisms and regulatory effects on components of the renin-angiotensin system in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR), including the mRNA and/or protein levels of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), renin, ACE2, angiotensin II and angiotensin-(1-7) in myocardial tissues. Oral administration of 30?mg peptides/kg body weight every 2 days for five weeks significantly decreased the systolic blood pressure and the myocardial mRNA and protein levels of ACE and renin in SHR. LY, RALP and GHS also increased the expression of ACE2, angiotensin-(1-7) and Mas receptor levels, which may have mediated their antihypertensive activity. Dipeptide LY also inhibited angiotensin II protein expression in the heart tissue. Taken together, the finding demonstrates the multi-target physiological effects of the rapeseed peptides, beyond ACE and renin inhibition, which enhances knowledge of the antihypertensive mechanisms of food protein-derived peptides.
Project description:Despite evidence that hyperactivity of the vasodeleterious axis (ACE/angiotensin II (Ang II)/AT1 receptor) of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) is associated with the pathogenesis of diabetic retinopathy (DR) use of the inhibitors of this axis has met with limited success in the control of this pathophysiology. We investigated the hypothesis that enhancing the local activity of the recently established protective axis of the RAS, ACE2/Ang-(1-7), using adeno-associated virus (AAV)-mediated gene delivery of ACE2 or Ang-(1-7) would confer protection against diabetes-induced retinopathy. Genes expressing ACE2 and Ang-(1-7) were cloned in AAV vector. The effects of ocular AAV-ACE2/Ang-(1-7) gene transfer on DR in diabetic eNOS(-/-) mice and Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were examined. Diabetes was associated with approximately tenfold and greater than threefold increases in the ratios of ACE/ACE2 and AT1R/Mas mRNA levels in the retina respectively. Intraocular administration of AAV-ACE2/Ang-(1-7) resulted in significant reduction in diabetes-induced retinal vascular leakage, acellular capillaries, infiltrating inflammatory cells and oxidative damage in both diabetic mice and rats. Our results demonstrate that DR is associated with impaired balance of retinal RAS. Increased expression of ACE2/Ang-(1-7) overcomes this imbalance and confers protection against DR. Thus, strategies enhancing the protective ACE2/Ang-(1-7) axis of RAS in the eye could serve as a novel therapeutic target for DR.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Increased levels of monocytic angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) found in haemodialysis (HD) patients may directly participate in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. We demonstrated recently that uremia triggers the development of highly pro-atherogenic monocytes via an angiotensin II (AngII)–dependent mechanism. Opposing actions of the AngII-degrading ACE2 remain largely unknown. We examined the status of both ACEs and related receptors in circulating leukocytes of HD, not-dialyzed CKD and healthy individuals. Furthermore, we tested the possible impact of monocytic ACEs on atherogenesis and behaviour of the cells under conditions mimicking chronic renal failure.<h4>Methods</h4>Expression of ACE, ACE2, AT1R, AT2R and MASR was investigated on circulating leukocytes from 71 HD (62 ± 14 years), 24 CKD stage 3–5 (74 ± 10 years) patients and 37 healthy control subjects (53 ± 6 years) and isolated healthy monocytes treated with normal and uremic serum. Analyses of ACE, ACE2, ICAM-1, VCAM-1, MCSF and endothelial adhesion were tested on ACE-overexpressing THP-1 monocytes treated with captopril or losartan. ACE2-overexpressing monocytes were subjected to transmigration and adhesion assays and investigated for MCP-1, ICAM-1, VCAM-1, MCSF, AT1R and AT2R expression.<h4>Results</h4>The ACE mRNA level was significantly increased in HD and CKD stage 3–5 leukocytes. Correspondingly, ACE2 was downregulated and AngII as well as MAS receptor expression was upregulated in these cells. Healthy monocytes preconditioned with uremic serum reflected the same expressional regulation of ACE/ACE2, MAS and AngII receptors as those observed in HD and CKD stage 3–5 leukocytes. Overexpression of monocytic ACE dramatically decreased levels of ACE2 and induced a pro-atherogenic phenotype, partly reversed by AngII-modifying treatments, leading to an increase in ACE2. Overexpression of ACE2 in monocytes led to reduced endothelial adhesion, transmigration and downregulation of adhesion-related molecules.<h4>Conclusions</h4>HD and not-dialyzed CKD stage 3–5 patients show enhanced ACE and decreased ACE2 expression on monocytes. This constellation renders the cells endothelial adhesive and likely supports the development of atherosclerosis.
Project description:Introduction: Renin angiotensin system (RAS) plays a role in idiopathic nephrotic syndrome (INS). Most studies investigated only the classical RAS axis. Therefore, the aims of the present study were to evaluate urinary levels of RAS molecules related to classical and to counter-regulatory axes in pediatric patients with INS, to compare the measurements with levels in healthy controls and to search for associations with inflammatory molecules, proteinuria and disease treatment. Subjects and methods: This cross-sectional study included 31 patients with INS and 19 healthy controls, matched for age and sex. Patients and controls were submitted to urine collection for measurement of RAS molecules [Ang II, Ang-(1-7), ACE and ACE2] by enzyme immunoassay and cytokines by Cytometric Bead Array. Findings in INS patients were compared according to proteinuria: absent (<150?mg/dl, n = 15) and present (?150?mg/dl, n = 16). Results: In comparison to controls, INS patients had increased Ang II, Ang-(1-7) and ACE, levels while ACE2 was reduced. INS patients with proteinuria had lower levels of ACE2 than those without proteinuria. ACE2 levels were negatively correlated with 24-h-proteinuria. Urinary concentrations of MCP-1/CCL2 were significantly higher in INS patients, positively correlated with Ang II and negatively with Ang-(1-7). ACE2 concentrations were negatively correlated with IP-10/CXCL-10 levels, which, in turn, were positively correlated with 24-h-proteinuria. Conclusion: INS patients exhibited changes in RAS molecules and in chemokines. Proteinuria was associated with low levels of ACE2 and high levels of inflammatory molecules.
Project description:OBJECTIVE: To explore the association between epistasis among related genes of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) and type 2 diabetes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Gene polymorphisms were genotyped in 394 type 2 diabetic patients and 418 healthy control subjects in this case-control study. We used the multifactor dimensionality reduction method to identify gene-gene interactions. RESULTS: No single locus was associated with type 2 diabetes, except for the insert/deletion (I/D) polymorphism of the ACE gene in female subjects. In multi-locus analyses, in male subjects the model of rs2106809 (ACE2), rs220721 (Mas), rs699 (AGT), and I/D (ACE) was significant (P = 0.043). This combination was associated with a 4.00 times (95% CI 2.51-6.38; P < 0.0001) greater prevalence of type 2 diabetes. In female subjects, the model of rs2106809 (ACE2), I/D (ACE), and rs1403543 (AGTR2) was significant (P = 0.012). This three-locus combination was associated with a 2.76 times (1.91-3.97; P < 0.0001) greater prevalence of type 2 diabetes. CONCLUSIONS: Interactions among RAS-related genes were associated with type 2 diabetes in a Chinese population.