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Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2004 Jun;286(6):F1039-45. Epub 2004 Jan 13.

High glucose concentration stimulates intracellular renin activity and angiotensin II generation in rat mesangial cells.

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Renal Div., UNIFESP, Rua Botucatu, 740, 04023-900 São Paulo, Brazil.

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  • Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2006 May;290(5):F1277.


Increased intrarenal renin-angiotensin system activity contributes to diabetic nephropathy. ANG II generation in mesangial cells (MC) is increased by high-glucose (HG) exposure. This study assessed the mechanisms involved in the glucose-induced ANG II generation in rat MC. Under basal conditions, MC mainly secreted prorenin. HG decreased prorenin secretion and induced a striking 30-fold increase in intracellular renin activity. After 72 h of HG exposure, only the mRNA levels for angiotensinogen and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) were significantly elevated. However, after shorter periods of 24 h of HG stimulation the mRNA levels of the enzymes prorenin and cathepsin B, besides that for ACE, were significantly increased. The results suggest that the HG-induced increase in ANG II generation in MC results from an increase in intracellular renin activity mediated by at least three factors: a time-dependent stimulation of (pro)renin gene transcription, a reduction in prorenin enzyme secretion, and an increased rate of conversion of prorenin to active renin, probably mediated by cathepsin B. The increase in angiotensinogen mRNA in parallel to increased renin activity indicates that HG also increased the availability of the renin substrate. The consistent upregulation of ACE mRNA suggests that, besides renin, ACE is directly involved in the increased mesangial ANG II generation induced by HG.

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