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Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2007 Feb;292(2):F820-7. Epub 2006 Oct 3.

Renal injury in streptozotocin-diabetic Ren2-transgenic rats is mainly dependent on hypertension, not on diabetes.

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Children and Youth Hospital, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany.


Induction of streptozotocin (STZ) diabetes in hypertensive rats transgenic for the mouse ren-2 gene (TGR) has been described as a model of progressive diabetic nephropathy. We investigated the long-term course of STZ diabetes in TGR and appropriate Sprague-Dawley control rats (SD) and tested the role of angiotensin-dependent hypertension by treating rats with the angiotensin II type 1 receptor blocker losartan (1 via osmotic minipumps. Five weeks after STZ injection, diabetes developed in TGR and SD. Urinary albumin excretion was increased by diabetes and, to a much higher degree, by hypertension. The effects of hypertension and diabetes were not additive, and only the effects of hypertension were ameliorated by losartan. A similar pattern was observed for cell proliferation and macrophage infiltration in the kidney. In contrast, the effects of hypertension and diabetes on glomerular collagen IV accumulation were additive 5 wk after STZ injection. In a long-term study for 20 wk after STZ, survival was better in STZ-treated TGR than in normoglycemic TGR, whereas all SD survived. Impaired creatinine clearance and increased macrophage infiltration as well as glomerular and interstitial matrix deposition were prominent in TGR compared with SD, regardless of the presence or absence of diabetes. In conclusion, STZ diabetes in TGR may be useful to study glomerular and interstitial matrix deposition early in the course of diabetes. However, the long-term course of this animal model resembles severe hypertensive nephrosclerosis, rather than progressive diabetic nephropathy.

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