BACKGROUND: A direct renin inhibitor (DRI) had a benefit in decreasing albuminuria in type 2 diabetic patients having already been treated with angiotensin (Ang) II type 1 receptor blocker (ARB), suggesting that aliskiren may have another effect other than blockade of the traditional renin-angiotensin system (RAS). Recently, prorenin bound to (pro)renin receptor ((P)RR) was found and shown to evoke two pathways; the generation of Ang peptides and the receptor-dependent activation of extracellular signal-related protein kinase (ERK). Because (P)RR is present in the podocytes, a central component of the glomerular filtration barrier, we hypothesized that aliskiren influences the (P)RR-induced two pathways in human podocytes.
METHODS: Human podocytes were treated with 2 nmol/l prorenin in the presence and absence of an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEi) imidaprilat, an ARB candesartan, a DRI aliskiren, or the siRNA knocking down the (P)RR mRNA and the intracellular AngII levels and the phosphorylation of ERK were determined.
RESULTS: The expression of (P)RR mRNA of human podocytes was unaffected by the treatment with RAS inhibitors, but decreased by 69% with the siRNA treatment. The basal levels of intracellular AngII and the prorenin-induced increase in intracellular AngII were significantly reduced by aliskiren and siRNA treatment, compared with imidaprilat and candesartan. The prorenin-induced ERK activation was reduced to control level by the siRNA treatment, but it was unaffected by imidaprilat, candesartan, or aliskiren.
CONCLUSIONS: Aliskiren is the most potent inhibitor of intracellular AngII levels of human podocytes among RAS inhibitors, although it is incapable of inhibiting the (P)RR-dependent ERK phosphorylation.
- Angiotensin II
- Angiotensin II Type 1 Receptor Blockers
- Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors
- Cells, Cultured
- Extracellular Signal-Regulated MAP Kinases
- RNA, Messenger
- RNA, Small Interfering
- Receptors, Cell Surface
- Signal Transduction