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Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2008 Aug;233(8):1035-43. doi: 10.3181/0708-RM-229. Epub 2008 May 14.

ACE-dependent and chymase-dependent angiotensin II generation in normal and glucose-stimulated human mesangial cells.

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Department of Medicine-Renal Division, Federal University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.


High glucose (HG) increases angiotensin II (AngII) generation in mesangial cells (MC). Chymase, an alternative AngII-generating enzyme, is upregulated in the glomeruli of diabetic kidneys. In this study, we examined AngII synthesis by human MC via angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE)-dependent and chymase-dependent pathways under normal glucose (NG, 5 mM) and HG (30 mM) conditions. NG cells expressed ACE and chymase mRNA. Under NG conditions the chymase inhibitor chymostatin reduced AngII levels in cell lysates and in the culture medium, and the ACE inhibitor captopril had no effect. HG induced a 3-fold increase in chymase mRNA and protein but not in ACE mRNA; however, HG induced a 10-fold increase in intracellular ACE activity. The increase in AngII generation induced by HG was found in the cell lysate but not in the culture medium. The rise in intracellular AngII was not prevented by captopril or by chymostatin. Moreover, captopril inhibited extracellular ACE activity but failed to block intracellular ACE activity; these results suggested that captopril was unable to reach intra-cellular ACE. Losartan did not change the intracellular AngII content in either NG or HG conditions, and this lack of change suggested that the increase in AngII was due to intracellular generation. Together these results suggest that chymase may be active in human MC and that both ACE and chymase are involved in increased AngII generation during the HG stimulus by different mechanisms, including an upregulation of chymase mRNA and a rise in intracellular ACE activity, favoring the generation and accumulation of intracellular AngII.

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