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Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2010 Sep;299(3):F528-35. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.00127.2010. Epub 2010 Jun 16.

The pleiotropic actions of rosuvastatin confer renal benefits in the diabetic Apo-E knockout mouse.

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Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.


Diabetic nephropathy is a leading cause of end-stage renal disease. Statins may exert renoprotective effects independently of lipid-lowering properties. We investigated the pleiotropic effects of rosuvastatin on renal structure and function in streptozotocin diabetic apolipoprotein-E knockout (Apo-E(-/-)) mice, a model of progressive nephropathy in which dyslipidemia is resistant to statin treatment. These effects were compared with those observed with conventional renin-angiotensin system blockade (candesartan) or combined treatment. Nondiabetic and diabetic Apo-E(-/-) mice were randomized to no treatment or treatment with candesartan (2.5 mg/kg), rosuvastatin (5 mg/kg), or their combination per gavage for 20 wk. Urine and blood samples were collected for assessment of albuminuria, creatinine clearance, plasma lipids, glucose, and glycated hemoglobin. Renal sclerosis was analyzed on paraffin-embedded kidney sections stained with periodic acid-Schiff. Renal expression of collagen IV, fibronectin and advanced glycation end products (AGEs), receptor for advanced glycation and products (RAGE), NADPH oxidase 4 (NOX4), and nitrotyrosine was assessed by real-time PCR and/or immunohistochemistry. Diabetes-induced albuminuria was not affected by rosuvastatin and combination treatment but was prevented by candesartan. Diabetes resulted in increased creatinine clearance, which was not modified by the treatments. Rosuvastatin and/or candesartan prevented diabetes-associated renal extracellular matrix accumulation. Rosuvastatin reduced accumulation of AGEs and expression of RAGE, NOX4, and nitrotyrosine. In conclusion, in the diabetic Apo-E(-/-) mouse, rosuvastatin confers renal benefits that are independent of lipid lowering and equivalent or greater to those observed with candesartan. The combination treatment is not superior to monotherapies.

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