Inhibition of (pro)renin Receptor Contributes to Renoprotective Effects of Angiotensin II Type 1 Receptor Blockade in Diabetic Nephropathy.
ABSTRACT: 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:Dysfunction of renin-angiotensin system (RAS) contributes to the pathogenesis of diabetic retinopathy (DR). Prorenin, the precursor of renin is highly elevated in ocular fluid of diabetic patients with proliferative retinopathy. Prorenin may exert local effects in the eye by binding to the so-called (pro)renin receptor ((P)RR). Here we investigated the combined effects of the renin inhibitor aliskiren and the putative (P)RR blocker handle-region peptide (HRP) on diabetic retinopathy in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic transgenic (mRen2)27 rats (a model with high plasma prorenin levels) as well as prorenin stimulated cytokine expression in cultured Müller cells. Adult (mRen2)27 rats were randomly divided into the following groups: (1) non-diabetic; (2) diabetic treated with vehicle; (3) diabetic treated with aliskiren (10 mg/kg per day); and (4) diabetic treated with aliskiren+HRP (1 mg/kg per day). Age-matched non-diabetic wildtype Sprague-Dawley rats were used as control. Drugs were administered by osmotic minipumps for three weeks. Transgenic (mRen2)27 rat retinas showed increased apoptotic cell death of both inner retinal neurons and photoreceptors, increased loss of capillaries, as well as increased expression of inflammatory cytokines. These pathological changes were further exacerbated by diabetes. Aliskiren treatment of diabetic (mRen2)27 rats prevented retinal gliosis, and reduced retinal apoptotic cell death, acellular capillaries and the expression of inflammatory cytokines. HRP on top of aliskiren did not provide additional protection. In cultured Müller cells, prorenin significantly increased the expression levels of IL-1? and TNF-?, and this was completely blocked by aliskiren or HRP, their combination, (P)RR siRNA and the AT1R blocker losartan, suggesting that these effects entirely depended on Ang II generation by (P)RR-bound prorenin. In conclusion, the lack of effect of HRP on top of aliskiren, and the Ang II-dependency of the ocular effects of prorenin in vitro, argue against the combined application of (P)RR blockade and renin inhibition in diabetic retinopathy.
Project description:<h4>Unlabelled</h4>Recently, our group has developed a therapeutic hypertensive vaccine against angiotensin (Ang) II type 1 receptor (AT1R) named ATRQβ-001. To explore its potential effectiveness on streptozotocin-induced diabetic nephropathy, male Sprague Dawley rats were randomly divided into two groups: a control and a diabetic model. After 1 week, the diabetic rats were divided into four subgroups (each with 15 rats) for 14-week treatments with saline, olmesartan, ATRQβ-001, and Qβ virus-like particle (VLP), respectively. In addition to lower blood pressure, ATRQβ-001 vaccination ameliorated biochemical parameter changes of renal dysfunction, mesangial expansion, and fibrosis through inhibiting oxidative stress, macrophage infiltration, and proinflammatory factor expression. Furthermore, ATRQβ-001 vaccination suppressed renal Ang II-AT1R activation and abrogated the downregulation of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2-Ang (1-7), similar to olmesartan treatment, while no obvious feedback activation of circulating or local renin-angiotensin system (RAS) was only observed in vaccine group. In rat mesangial cells, the anti-ATR-001 antibody inhibited high glucose-induced transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF)-β1/Smad3 signal pathway. Additionally, no significant immune-mediated damage was detected in vaccinated animals. In conclusion, the ATRQβ-001 vaccine ameliorated streptozotocin-induced diabetic renal injury via modulating two RAS axes and inhibiting TGF-β1/Smad3 signal pathway, providing a novel, safe, and promising method to treat diabetic nephropathy.<h4>Key messages</h4>Overactivation of RAS plays a crucial role in the development of the DN. Our aim was to verify the effectiveness of ATRQβ-001 vaccine in STZ-induced DN. The ATRQβ-001 modulated two RAS axes and inhibited TGF-β1/Smad3 signal pathway. The vaccine therapy may provide a novel, safe, and promising method to treat DN.
Project description: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:Growing evidence indicates that prorenin receptor (PRR) is upregulated in collecting duct (CD) of diabetic kidney. Prorenin is secreted by the principal CD cells, and is the natural ligand of the PRR. PRR activation stimulates fibrotic factors, including fibronectin, collagen, and transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) contributing to tubular fibrosis. However, whether high glucose (HG) contributes to this effect is unknown. We tested the hypothesis that HG increases the abundance of PRR at the plasma membrane of the CD cells, thus contributing to the stimulation of downstream fibrotic factors, including TGF-β, collagen I, and fibronectin. We used streptozotocin (STZ) male Sprague-Dawley rats to induce hyperglycemia for 7 days. At the end of the study, STZ-induced rats showed increased prorenin, renin, and angiotensin (Ang) II in the renal inner medulla and urine, along with augmented downstream fibrotic factors TGF-β, collagen I, and fibronectin. STZ rats showed upregulation of PRR in the renal medulla and preferential distribution of PRR on the apical aspect of the CD cells. Cultured CD M-1 cells treated with HG (25 mM for 1 h) showed increased PRR in plasma membrane fractions compared to cells treated with normal glucose (5 mM). Increased apical PRR was accompanied by upregulation of TGF-β, collagen I, and fibronectin, while PRR knockdown prevented these effects. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer experiments in M-1 cells demonstrated augmented prorenin activity during HG conditions. The data indicate HG stimulates profibrotic factors by inducing PRR translocation to the plasma membrane in CD cells, which in perspective, might be a novel mechanism underlying the development of tubulointerstitial fibrosis in diabetes mellitus.
Project description:<h4>Purpose</h4>The (pro)renin receptor (PRR), a component of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS), plays an important role in the physiologic and pathophysiological regulation of blood pressure and fluid/electrolyte homeostasis. The RAS including the PRR has been identified in retinal endothelial cells and other ocular tissues. In this study, the potential involvement of miRNAs in the posttranscriptional regulation of PRR was investigated in human retinal endothelial cells (hRECs) under high glucose (HG) conditions.<h4>Methods</h4>miRNA-152 (miR-152) was identified in silico as a potential regulator of PRR, and this was confirmed by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) and PRR 3'-untranslated region (UTR) reporter assays. Using RNA interference, both AT1R and PRR were implicated in the HG-mediated induction of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), VEGF receptor 2 (VEGFR-2), and transforming growth factor ?1 (TGF?1).<h4>Results</h4>The downregulation of miR-152 was observed in hRECs and rat retinal tissues under HG conditions. In parallel, PRR (target of miR-152), VEGF, VEGFR-2, and TGF?1 at mRNA levels were elevated. However, the transfection of hRECs with miR-152 mimics in HG conditions resulted in the suppression of the PRR expression, as well as reduced VEGF, VEGFR-2, and TGF?1 production. This was reversed by transfecting cells with the antisense (antagomir) of miR-152, suggesting the glucose-induced upregulation of VEGF, VEGFR-2, and TGF?1 is mediated through PRR, and this regulation is likely achieved through the HG-mediated modulation of miRNAs.<h4>Conclusions</h4>We have demonstrated that miR-152 interacting with PRR regulates downstream VEGF, VRGFR-2, and TGF?1 expressions in hRECs in HG conditions. These studies suggest miR-152 and PRR may play a role in the pathogenesis of diabetic retinopathy (DR).
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:A range of in vitro, experimental and clinical intervention studies have implicated an important role for hyperglycaemia-induced activation of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) in the development and progression of diabetic nephropathy (DN). Blockade of RAS by angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors is an effective strategy in treating diabetic kidney diseases. However, few studies demonstrate the mechanism by which hyperglycaemia up-regulates the expression of ACE gene. Our previous studies have identified a novel curcumin analogue, (2E,6E)-2,6-bis(2-(trifluoromethyl)benzylidene)cyclohexanone (C66), which could inhibit the high glucose (HG)-induced phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinases in mouse macrophages. In this study, we found that the renal protection of C66 in diabetic mice was associated with mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) inactivation and ACE/angiotensin II (Ang II) down-regulation. Generally, MAPKs have been considered as a downstream signalling of Ang II and a mediator for Ang II-induced pathophysiological actions. However, using C66 and specific inhibitors as small molecule probes, in vitro experiments demonstrate that the MAPK signalling pathway regulates ACE expression under HG stimulation, which contributes to renal Ang II activation and the development of DN. This study indicates that C66 is a potential candidate of DN therapeutic agents, and more importantly, that reduction in ACE expression by MAPKs inhibition seems to be an alternative strategy for the treatment of DN.
Project description:Receptor-associated prorenin system (RAPS) refers to the pathogenic mechanism whereby prorenin binding to (pro)renin receptor [(P)RR] dually activates tissue renin-angiotensin system (RAS) and RAS-independent signaling via (P)RR. The aim of this study is to determine the association of RAPS with idiopathic epiretinal membrane (iERM). Reverse transcription-PCR indicated the expression of RAPS components, including (P)RR and Ang II type 1 receptor (AT1R), in iERM tissues and human Müller glial cell line. Double-labeling analyses demonstrated that (P)RR and AT1R were detected in cells positive for glial fibrillary acidic protein, a marker for glial cells, and co-localized with prorenin and angiotensinogen, respectively. Administration of prorenin to Müller glial cells enhanced mRNA expression of fibroblast growth factor 2, while Ang II application stimulated the expression of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor, nerve growth factor, and transforming growth factor-?1. These expression levels induced by prorenin or Ang II were reversed by (P)RR or AT1R blockade, respectively. Immunofluorescence revealed tissue co-localization of (P)RR and AT1R with the products of the upregulated genes in vitro. The present findings suggest the involvement of RAPS in the pathogenesis of iERM.
Project description:Chronic activation of the myocardial renin angiotensin system (RAS) elevates the local level of angiotensin II (Ang II) thereby inducing pathological cardiac hypertrophy, which contributes to heart failure. However, the precise underlying mechanisms have not been fully delineated. Herein we report a novel paracrine mechanism between cardiac fibroblasts (CF)s and cardiomyocytes whereby Ang II induces pathological cardiac hypertrophy. In cultured CFs, Ang II treatment enhanced exosome release via the activation of Ang II receptor types 1 (AT1R) and 2 (AT2R), whereas lipopolysaccharide, insulin, endothelin (ET)-1, transforming growth factor beta (TGF?)1 or hydrogen peroxide did not. The CF-derived exosomes upregulated the expression of renin, angiotensinogen, AT1R, and AT2R, downregulated angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, and enhanced Ang II production in cultured cardiomyocytes. In addition, the CF exosome-induced cardiomyocyte hypertrophy was blocked by both AT1R and AT2R antagonists. Exosome inhibitors, GW4869 and dimethyl amiloride (DMA), inhibited CF-induced cardiomyocyte hypertrophy with little effect on Ang II-induced cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. Mechanistically, CF exosomes upregulated RAS in cardiomyocytes via the activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) and Akt. Finally, Ang II-induced exosome release from cardiac fibroblasts and pathological cardiac hypertrophy were dramatically inhibited by GW4869 and DMA in mice. These findings demonstrate that Ang II stimulates CFs to release exosomes, which in turn increase Ang II production and its receptor expression in cardiomyocytes, thereby intensifying Ang II-induced pathological cardiac hypertrophy. Accordingly, specific targeting of Ang II-induced exosome release from CFs may serve as a novel therapeutic approach to treat cardiac pathological hypertrophy and heart failure.
Project description:The renin-angiotensin system (RAS) plays a key role in the control of vasoconstriction as well as sodium and fluid retention mediated mainly by angiotensin (Ang) II acting at the AT1 receptor (AT1R). Ang-(1-7) is another RAS peptide, identified as the endogenous ligand of the Mas receptor and known to counterbalance many of the deleterious effects of AngII. AT1R signaling triggered by ?-arrestin-biased agonists has been associated to cardioprotection. Because position 8 in AngII is important for G protein activation, we hypothesized that Ang-(1-7) could be an endogenous ?-arrestin-biased agonist of the AT1R. Here we show that Ang-(1-7) binds to the AT1R without activating Gq, but triggering ?-arrestins 1 and 2 recruitment and activation. Using an in vivo model of cardiac hypertrophy, we show that Ang-(1-7) significantly attenuates heart hypertrophy by reducing both heart weight and ventricular wall thickness and the increased end-diastolic pressure. Whereas neither the single blockade of AT1 or Mas receptors with their respective antagonists prevented the cardioprotective action of Ang1-7, combination of the two antagonists partially impaired the effect of Ang-(1-7). Taken together, these data indicate that Ang-(1-7) mediates at least part of its cardioprotective effects by acting as an endogenous ?-arrestin-biased agonist at the AT1R.