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Am J Kidney Dis. 1997 Feb;29(2):254-64.

The renoprotective properties of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors in a chronic model of membranous nephropathy are solely due to the inhibition of angiotensin II: evidence based on comparative studies with a receptor antagonist.

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Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research, Bergamo, Italy.


In several models of renal disease progression, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors reduced proteinuria and limited glomerulosclerosis, which suggested that reduction of renal angiotensin II (Ang II) activity is crucial for the preservation of glomerular structure and function. However, it cannot be ruled out that other hormonal systems, including inhibition of the bradykinin breakdown, also play a role. We compared the effects of chronic treatment with the ACE inhibitor lisinopril with those of a specific Ang II receptor antagonist, L-158,809, on proteinuria and renal injury in passive Heymann nephritis (PHN), a model of immune renal disease that closely resembles human membranous nephropathy, with long-lasting proteinuria followed by tubulointerstitial damage and glomerulosclerosis. Passive Heymann nephritis was induced with 0.5 mL/100 g of rabbit anti-Fx1A antibody in 24 male Sprague-Dawley rats. The animals were divided into three groups of eight rats each, and were given the following in the drinking water on a daily basis: lisinopril (40 mg/L), L-158,809 (50 mg/L), or no therapy. Treatment started at day 7 (proteinuria was already present) and lasted 12 months. Eight normal rats were used as controls. Untreated PHN rats developed hypertension, while rats with PHN given lisinopril or L-158,809 all had systolic blood pressure values even lower than those of normal rats. Urinary protein excretion progressively increased with time in untreated PHN rats, who developed tubulointerstitial damage and glomerulosclerosis. Both lisinopril and L-158,809 exhibited a potent antiproteinuric effect and preserved glomerular and tubular structural integrity at a similar extent. Renal gene expression of transforming growth factor-beta and extracellular matrix proteins was also effectively reduced by the two treatments. These results indicate that ACE inhibitors and Ang II receptor antagonists are equally effective in preventing renal injury in PHN and suggest that the renoprotective effects of ACE inhibitors in this model are solely due to inhibition of Ang II.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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