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Blood pressure-independent effects in rats with human renin and angiotensinogen genes

Authors

  • E. Mervaala
  • D.N. Mueller
  • F. Schmidt
  • J.K. Park
  • V. Gross
  • M. Bader
  • V. Breu
  • D. Ganten
  • H. Haller
  • F.C. Luft

Journal

  • Hypertension

Citation

  • Hypertension 35 (2): 587-594

Abstract

  • The blood pressure-independent effects of angiotensin II (Ang II) were examined in double transgenic rats (dTGR) harboring human renin and human angiotensinogen genes, in which the end-organ damage is due to the human components of the renin angiotensin system. Triple-drug therapy (hydralazine 80 mg/L, reserpine 5 mg/L, and hydrochlorothiazide 25 mg/L in drinking water) was started immediately after weaning. Triple-drug therapy normalized blood pressure and coronary resistance, only partially prevented cardiac hypertrophy, and had no effect on ratio of renal weight to body weight. Although triple-drug therapy delayed the onset of renal damage, severe albuminuria nevertheless occurred. Semiquantitative scoring of ED-1-positive and MIB-5-positive (nuclear cell proliferation-associated antigen Ki-67) cells showed profound perivascular monocyte/macrophage infiltration and cell proliferation in kidneys and hearts of untreated dTGR. Triple-drug therapy had only a minimal effect on local inflammatory response or vascular cell proliferation. In contrast, a novel orally active human renin inhibitor (HRI), 30 mg/kg by gavage for 4 weeks, normalized blood pressure and coronary resistance and also prevented cardiac hypertrophy and albuminuria. ED-1- positive cells and MIB-5-positive cells were decreased by HRI in hearts and kidneys almost to levels observed in normotensive Sprague-Dawley rats. The renoprotective effects of HRI were at least in part due to improved renal hemodynamics and distal tubular function, since HRI shifted renal pressure- diuresis/natriuresis curves leftward by ≃35 mm Hg, increased glomerular filtration rate and renal blood flow, and shifted the fractional water and sodium excretion curves leftward. In untreated dTGR, plasma Ang II was increased by 400% and renal Ang II level was increased by 300% compared with Sprague-Dawley rats. HRI decreased plasma human renin activity by 95% and normalized Ang II levels in both plasma and kidney compared with triple-drug therapy. Our findings indicate that in dTGR harboring human renin and angiotensinogen genes, Ang II causes end-organ damage and promotes inflammatory response and cellular growth largely independent of blood pressure.