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In the kidney, 20-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (20-HETE) is a primary cytochrome P450 4 (Cyp4)-derived eicosanoid that enhances vasoconstriction of renal vessels and induces hypertension, renal tubular cell hypertrophy, and podocyte apoptosis. Hypertension and podocyte injury contribute to diabetic nephropathy and are strong predictors of disease progression. In this study, we defined the mechanisms whereby 20-HETE affects the progression of diabetic nephropathy. We used Cyp4a14KO male mice that exhibit androgen-sensitive hypertension due to increased Cyp4a12-mediated 20-HETE production. We show that, upon induction of diabetes type 1 via streptozotocin injection, Cyp4a14KO male mice developed worse renal disease than streptozotocin-treated wild-type mice, characterized by increased albuminuria, mesangial expansion, glomerular matrix deposition, and thickness of the glomerular basement membranes. Castration blunted androgen-mediated Cyp4a12 synthesis and 20-HETE production, normalized BP, and ameliorated renal damage in diabetic Cyp4a14KO mice. Notably, treatment with a 20-HETE antagonist or agents that normalized BP without affecting Cyp4a12 expression and 20-HETE biosynthesis also ameliorated diabetes-mediated renal damage and albuminuria in Cyp4a14KO male mice. Taken together, these results suggest that hypertension is the major contributor to 20-HETE-driven diabetes-mediated kidney injury.
Copyright © 2015 by the American Society of Nephrology.
Prostaglandin E(2) is a major prostanoid found in the kidney and vasculature contributing to the regulation of blood pressure. The prostaglandin E(2) receptor EP1 has been shown to contribute to hypertension by mediating angiotensin II-dependent vasoconstriction, although its precise role is incompletely characterized. Disruption of the EP1 receptor in C57BL/6J mice reduced the incidence of mortality during severe hypertension induced by uninephrectomy, deoxycorticosterone acetate, and angiotensin II. Mortality was dependent on all components of the model. Death was a result of aortic aneurysm rupture or occurred after development of anasarca, each of which was reduced in EP1-/- mice. Mean arterial pressure was increased in treated EP1+/+ and EP1-/- mice; however, this elevation was significantly lower in EP1-/- mice. Blood pressure reduction via administration of hydralazine phenocopied EP1-/- mice. Thus, reduction in blood pressure by disruption of EP1 reduced incidence of mortality and decreased organ damage, suggesting that EP1 receptor blockade may be a viable target for antihypertensive therapy.
Randomized clinical trials have clearly shown that inhibition of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) will slow the rate of progression of diabetic nephropathy, but controversy remains about whether the observed beneficial effects result from more than control of blood pressure. Deletion of eNOS in a model of type II diabetes, db/db mice (eNOS(-/-) db/db), induces an accelerated nephropathy and provides an excellent model of human diabetic nephropathy. As is frequently seen in type II diabetes, blood pressure is moderately elevated in eNOS(-/-) db/db mice. To determine the role of elevated blood pressure per se vs. additional deleterious effects of the RAS in mediation of disease progression, 8-wk-old eNOS(-/-) db/db mice were randomly divided into three groups: vehicle, treatment with the angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEI) captopril, or treatment with "triple therapy" (hydralazine, resperine, hydrocholorothiazide), and the animals were euthanized after treatment for 12 wk. Blood pressure was reduced to comparable levels with ACE inhibition or triple therapy. Although both treatment regimens decreased development of diabetic nephropathy, ACE inhibition led to more profound reductions in albuminuria, glomerulosclerosis, markers of tubulointerstitial injury, macrophage infiltration, and markers of inflammation. Therefore, this animal model suggests that while there is an important role for blood pressure control, RAS blockade provides additional benefits in slowing the progression of diabetic nephropathy.
RATIONALE - We have previously found that T lymphocytes are essential for development of angiotensin II-induced hypertension; however, the mechanisms responsible for T-cell activation in hypertension remain undefined.
OBJECTIVE - We sought to study the roles of the CNS and pressure elevation in T-cell activation and vascular inflammation caused by angiotensin II.
METHODS AND RESULTS - To prevent the central actions of angiotensin II, we created anteroventral third cerebral ventricle (AV3V) lesions in mice. The elevation in blood pressure in response to angiotensin II was virtually eliminated by AV3V lesions, as was activation of circulating T cells and the vascular infiltration of leukocytes. In contrast, AV3V lesioning did not prevent the hypertension and T-cell activation caused by the peripheral acting agonist norepinephrine. To determine whether T-cell activation and vascular inflammation are attributable to central influences or are mediated by blood pressure elevation, we administered hydralazine (250 mg/L) in the drinking water. Hydralazine prevented the hypertension and abrogated the increase in circulating activated T cells and vascular infiltration of leukocytes caused by angiotensin II.
CONCLUSIONS - We conclude that the central and pressor effects of angiotensin II are critical for T-cell activation and development of vascular inflammation. These findings also support a feed-forward mechanism in which modest degrees of blood pressure elevation lead to T-cell activation, which in turn promotes inflammation and further raises blood pressure, leading to severe hypertension.
Although increased extracellular matrix (ECM) is pathogenic in a variety of chronic tissue injuries, reduced and/or disrupted ECM may be detrimental in atherosclerosis and rather destabilize existing atherosclerotic lesions. This study therefore assessed the effects of angiotensin II (AngII) antagonism on ECM components of advanced atherosclerosis. Twenty-four-week-old apolipoprotein E-deficient mice were treated with the AngII antagonist losartan for 12 wk. Controls received water or hydralazine. AngII antagonism significantly reduced progression of established atherosclerosis, whereas hydralazine showed no benefit despite similar decrease in BP. Although there was no difference in the macrophage component, AngII antagonism increased the relative collagen portion of the lesions; lessened elastin fragmentation, increased the total elastin content of the aorta; and reduced the mRNA and activity/protein of the elastolytic proteases, cathepsin S, and metalloproteinase-9. Extracellular elastin degradation by cultured smooth muscle cells (SMC) was reduced by losartan, as was SMC invasion through an elastin gel barrier. Thus, AngII antagonism lessens progression of atherosclerosis, increases collagen, and preserves elastin components of ECM within the vascular lesions, which, at least in part, is modulated by effects on SMC. These effects not only decrease further expansion of advanced lesions but also stabilize the established atherosclerotic plaques and may underlie the decreased incidence of acute cardiovascular events that are observed in patients in whom AngII antagonism is begun after atherosclerosis is already established.
By crossing mice with expression of Cre recombinase under control of the endogenous renin promoter (Sequeira Lopez ML, Pentz ES, Nomasa T, Smithies O, Gomez RA. Dev Cell 6: 719-728, 2004) with mice in which exon 1 of the Gnas gene was flanked by loxP sites (Chen M, Gavrilova O, Liu J, Xie T, Deng C, Nguyen AT, Nackers LM, Lorenzo J, Shen L, Weinstein LS. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA), we generated animals with preferential and nearly complete excision of Gsalpha in juxtaglomerular granular (JG) cells. Compared with wild-type animals, mice with conditional Gsalpha deficiency had markedly reduced basal levels of renin expression and very low plasma renin concentrations. Furthermore, the acute release responses to furosemide, hydralazine, and isoproterenol were virtually abolished. Consistent with a state of primary renin depletion, Gsalpha-deficient mice had reduced arterial blood pressure, reduced levels of aldosterone, and a low glomerular filtration rate. Renin content and renin secretion of JG cells in primary culture were drastically reduced, and the stimulatory response to the addition of PGE(2) or isoproterenol was eliminated. Unexpectedly, Gsalpha recombination was also observed in the renal medulla, and this was associated with a vasopressin-resistant concentrating defect. Our study shows that Cre recombinase under control of the renin promoter can be used for the excision of floxed targets from JG cells. We conclude that Gsalpha-mediated signal transduction is essential and nonredundant in the control of renin synthesis and release.
Angiotensin II (Ang II) increases atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Renal damage that is characterized by activation of Ang II markedly potentiates the risk for atherosclerosis, even in the setting of subtle renal impairment. Therefore, whether antagonism of Ang II actions can modify atherosclerosis in a model of mild renal impairment was examined. Apolipoprotein E-deficient spontaneously hyperlipidemic mice underwent uninephrectomy (UNx) or sham operation (sham) followed by treatment with Ang II receptor antagonist losartan or hydralazine for 12 wk. While UNx did not increase the serum creatinine levels, BP and lipids were higher in UNx mice than in age-matched sham controls with intact kidneys. UNx caused a dramatic increase in the extent and the number of atherosclerotic lesions together with greater macrophage-positive area and more disruption in the elastin component of the extracellular matrix versus sham. Ang II antagonism dramatically decreased the UNx-induced acceleration in atherosclerosis in association with decreased macrophage content, linked to decreased macrophage migration in vitro with losartan but not with hydralazine. Aortae of mice treated with Ang II antagonism had fewer elastin breaks together with less immunostaining for the powerful elastolytic enzyme cathepsin S. None of these benefits was observed in the hydralazine-treated mice despite equivalent reduction in BP. These findings support an important role for endogenous Ang II in accelerated atherosclerosis in renal dysfunction and offer a therapeutic intervention with particular benefit in this setting through mechanisms that include reduced vascular macrophage infiltration and preservation of the elastin component of extracellular matrix.
We quantitated the glomerular size and the degree of sclerosis simultaneously in individual glomeruli with the use of three-dimensional histological analysis on serial sections obtained from remnant kidneys with highly heterogeneous glomerular lesions after subtotal nephrectomy (sNPX). Four to six weeks after sNPX (Group I, N = 7), 90% of glomeruli had mild sclerosis (sclerosis index, SI; less than 1.5 on a 0 to 4 scale) with a strong positive correlation between the maximum planar area of glomerulus (PAmax) versus SI. Twelve weeks after sNPX (Group II, N = 6) more than 50% of glomeruli had advanced sclerosis (average SI:1.88), and a significant positive correlation was again found between PAmax and SI in glomeruli with mild to modest sclerosis (SI less than 1.5), whereas these two variables were correlated inversely in glomeruli with advanced sclerosis. Administration of enalapril (50 mg/liter drinking water) or hydralazine (200 mg/liter) + hydrochlorothiazide (50 mg/liter) for 12 weeks (Group III, N = 12) markedly attenuated the sclerosis to comparable degrees (average SI: 0.15 vs. 0.22). The former antihypertensive therapy decreased glomerular capillary hydraulic pressure (PGC) to normal range, whereas the latter triple drug therapy was largely without effect on PGC. Of note, the positive correlation between SI and PAmax remained unaffected by these anti-hypertensive drugs. SI of the glomeruli from both treated groups was expressed as a first-order function of PAmax. The correlation coefficient is identical to that found in non-treated Group II remnant glomeruli, so that the degree of sclerosis is mathematically uniquely correlated with the glomerular size, regardless of drug treatment. Thus, within a given remnant kidney, the magnitude of glomerular hypertrophy has a direct correlation with the degree of sclerosis, while the altered glomerular hemodynamic pattern has little modulatory role in determining the magnitude of this hypertrophy. Enalapril and triple drug therapy, at equi-depressor doses in regard to systemic blood pressure, had identical potency in sparing glomerular structure. The primary determinant for this antisclerotic potency appears to be related to the drugs' potency to inhibit glomerular growth rather than an effect on the abnormal hemodynamics which develop in the glomerulus.