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Hypertens Res. 2011 Dec;34(12):1302-8. doi: 10.1038/hr.2011.127. Epub 2011 Aug 4.

Reduction of circulating superoxide dismutase activity in type 2 diabetic patients with microalbuminuria and its modulation by telmisartan therapy.

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Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Geriatric Medicine, Akita University Graduate School of Medicine, Akita, Japan.


Growing evidence indicates that oxidative stress induced by excessive superoxide has a central role in the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy (DN). Telmisartan, one of the currently available angiotensin II type 1 receptor blockers (ARBs), has been shown to exert a more powerful proteinuria (albuminuria) reduction in patients with DN, but whether the prominent renoprotective effect of telmisartan is mediated through enhancing antioxidant defense capacity and reducing oxidative stress has not been fully elucidated. The present study first revealed that the serum activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD) responsible for superoxide removal is reduced in the DN stage of microalbuminuria, but not in normoalbuminuria in type 2 diabetic patients. We next examined the alteration of SOD and oxidative stress following an 8-week treatment with telmisartan (40 mg per day) in 12 type 2 diabetic patients with microalbuminuria. Interestingly, the telmisartan treatment not only reduced the circulating levels of two oxidative stress markers, 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) and nitrotyrosine (NT), but also enhanced serum SOD activity. Notably, a significant correlation was observed between the increase in serum SOD activity and the reduction in albuminuria. We further compared the anti-oxidative effect of telmisartan with that of losartan, another member of the ARB class, by implementing an 8-week interval crossover treatment with these ARBs in another 12 microalbuminuric type 2 diabetic patients. The patients showed higher serum SOD activity, and lower circulating levels of 8-OHdG and NT, during treatment with telmisartan than with losartan. These results suggest that telmisartan has a more potent antioxidative effect through its ability to enhance SOD activity in type 2 diabetic patients with microalbuminuria.

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