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Association of somatic and N-domain angiotensin-converting enzymes from Wistar rat tissue with renal dysfunction in diabetes mellitus.

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Department of Medicine, Federal University of São Paulo, Brazil.


Diabetes mellitus (DM) is characterised by alterations in the intrarenal renin-angiotensin system (RAS). Insulin treatment may reverse these changes by an unknown mechanism. We aimed to verify the association between somatic ACE with 136 kDa (sACE) and N-domain ACE with 69 kDa (nACE) from Wistar (W) rat tissue with DM. Three groups were studied: control (CT), insulin treated diabetic (DT) and untreated (D). ACE activity was determined using Hippuryl-His-Leu and Z-Phe-His-Leu as substrates. In D group, urine ACE activity increased for both substrates when compared with CT and DT, despite the decreased activity of renal tissues. Immunostaining of renal tissue demonstrated that ACE is more strongly expressed in the proximal-tubule of D than in the same nephron portion in the other groups. Angiotensin (Ang) 1-7 and Ang II are less expressed in DT group when compared with CT and D. Ang II levels decreased in the D and DT groups showed when compared to the control. Ang 1-7 was detected in all studied groups with low levels in DT. The modulation of angiotensin peptides suggests that sACE, nACE, ACE 2 and NEP could have important functions in renal RAS regulation through a counter-regulatory mechanism to protect the kidney in diabetes mellitus.

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