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Horm Metab Res. 2014 Jun;46(6):379-83. doi: 10.1055/s-0033-1361114. Epub 2013 Dec 2.

Olmesartan blocks advanced glycation end products-induced vcam-1 gene expression in mesangial cells by restoring Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 level.

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Department of Pathophysiology and Therapeutics of Diabetic Vascular Complications, Kurume University School of Medicine, Kurume, Japan.


Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and their receptor (RAGE) system are involved in diabetic nephropathy. Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE 2) plays a protective role against cardiovascular and renal injury by stimulating the production of angiotensin-(1-7) [Ang-(1-7)], an antagonist of angiotensin II (Ang II). However, effects of the AGEs-RAGE axis on ACE 2 expression in mesangial cells remain unknown. We examined here the role of ACE 2 in the AGEs-RAGE-induced mesangial cell damage and investigated whether olmesartan, one of the Ang II type 1 receptor blockers (ARB), prevented the deleterious effects of AGEs via restoration of ACE 2 and Ang-(1-7) level. AGEs significantly increased superoxide generation, upregulated RAGE mRNA level, and decreased ACE 2 gene expression and Ang-(1-7) production in mesangial cells, all of which were blocked by olmesartan, but not by a different type of ARB, azilsartan. An antioxidant, N-acetylcysteine or RAGE-antibodies also restored the decrease in ACE 2 mRNA level in AGEs-exposed mesangial cells. Moreover, olmesartan, but not azilsartan completely inhibited the AGEs-induced increase in vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) mRNA level in mesangial cells, which was abolished by the treatment with A-779, an antagonist of Ang-(1-7) receptor, Mas receptor. Our present study suggests that olmesartan could block the AGEs-induced VCAM-1 gene induction in mesangial cells by restoring the downregulated ACE 2 levels and subsequently stimulating the Ang-(1-7)-Mas receptor axis. Restoration of ACE 2 levels and blockade of renin-angiotensin system by olmesartan might be a promising strategy for the treatment of diabetic nephropathy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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