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Hypertension. 2003 Oct;42(4):605-12. Epub 2003 Aug 18.

Beneficial effects of antioxidant vitamins on the stenotic kidney.

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  • 1Division of Hypertension, Department of Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn 55905, USA.


Renal artery stenosis (RAS) may lead to renal injury, partly mediated through increased oxidative stress. However, the potential effects of chronic oral antioxidant intervention on the stenotic kidney remain unknown. This study was designed to test the hypothesis that chronic antioxidant vitamin supplementation in RAS would preserve renal function and structure. Single-kidney hemodynamics and function were quantified in vivo in pigs using electron-beam CT after 12 weeks of unilateral RAS (n=7), a similar degree of RAS orally supplemented with vitamins C (1 g) and E (100 IU/kg) (RAS+Vitamins, n=7), or controls (normal, n=7). Renal tissue was studied ex vivo using Western blotting and immunohistochemistry. Mean arterial pressure was similarly elevated in both RAS groups, while ischemic renal volume and glomerular filtration rate were similarly reduced. Renal blood flow was decreased in RAS compared with normal (326.5+/-99.9 versus 553.4+/-48.7 mL/min, respectively, P=0.01), but preserved in RAS+Vitamins (485.2+/-104.1 mL/min, P=0.3 versus normal). The marked increase in the expression of the NADPH-oxidase subunits p47phox and p67phox, nitrotyrosine, endothelial and inducible nitric oxide synthase, and nuclear factor-kappaB observed in RAS (P<0.05 versus normal) was normalized in RAS+Vitamins (P>0.1). Furthermore, trichrome staining and the expression of transforming growth factor-beta and tissue inhibitor of matrix-metalloproteinase-1 were also decreased in RAS+Vitamins. In conclusion, chronic blockade of the oxidative stress pathway in RAS using antioxidant vitamins improved renal hemodynamics and decreased oxidative stress, inflammation, and fibrosis in the ischemic kidney. These observations underscore the involvement of oxidative stress in renal injury in RAS and support a role for antioxidant vitamins in preserving the ischemic kidney.

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