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Keywords:

  • ACE expression;
  • ACE inhibitor;
  • AT1 receptor blocker;
  • diabetic nephropathy;
  • Na+/K+-ATPase;
  • oxidative stress

ABSTRACT

Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) is upregulated in the diabetic kidney and contributes to renal injury. This study investigates the possible beneficial effects of the ACE inhibitor (ACEI), enalapril and the AT1 receptor blocker (ARB), valsartan, on renal ACE expression, renal structure, and function in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats. Male Wistar rats were allocated into four groups: control, STZ-diabetic rats, and STZ-diabetic rats treated with either enalapril (10 mg/kg/day) or valsartan (50 mg/kg/day) for 8 weeks. Enalapril and valsartan reduced renal ACE mRNA and protein expression, Na+/K+-ATPase activity, oxidative stress, and serum transforming growth factor-β1 levels compared to the diabetic group. Both treatments normalized renal nitrate/nitrite levels and ameliorated the observed histopathological changes. In conclusion, ACE downregulation by ACEI and ARB indicates that angiotensin II upregulates ACE through AT1 receptor. Prevention of diabetes-induced changes in ACE expression and Na+/K+-ATPase activity could be a new explanation of the renoprotective effects of ACEIs and ARBs. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J BiochemMol Toxicol 27:378-387, 2013; View this article online at wileyonlinelibrary.com. DOI 10.1002/jbt.21500