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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition but not beta-adrenergic blockade limits transforming growth factor-beta overexpression in acute normotensive anti-thy1 glomerulonephritis.

OBJECTIVE: Recent experimental studies in chronic kidney disease have suggested that sympathicolytic drugs, similar to angiotensin II antagonism, limit renal fibrosis independent of blood pressure control. Using the model of acute and normotensive anti-thy1 glomerulonephritis, we analysed the action of beta-adrenergic blockade (as compared with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition) on renal overexpression of the profibrotic cytokine transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta. METHODS: One day after induction of anti-thy1 glomerulonephritis, rats were given increasing doses of the beta-blockers metoprolol or nebivolol (0.1-fold, one-fold, 10-fold and 20-fold of the known blood pressure dose) until day 6 and the 20-fold dose until day 12. Additional animals were treated with a high dose of the angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor enalapril. At the end of each experiment, blood pressure and heart rate were recorded, glomerular matrix expansion was scored histologically, and protein expression of TGF-beta(1), fibronectin and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 was determined in the supernatant of cultured glomeruli. RESULTS: Metoprolol and nebivolol reduced heart rate in a dose-dependent manner. Blood pressure was normal in untreated animals and not significantly affected by either treatment. Compared with untreated nephritic rats, TGF-beta(1) overexpression was not significantly changed by metoprolol or nebivolol in any dose or treatment period. In contrast, TGF-beta(1) levels were significantly reduced by enalapril both 6 and 12 days after disease induction (-52 and -63%, respectively). The changes in glomerular matrix score, fibronectin and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 production closely followed expression of TGF-beta(1). CONCLUSIONS: In a model of acute and normotensive glomerular fibrosis, beta-adrenergic antagonism does not reduce TGF-beta overexpression, suggesting that its pressure-independent antifibrotic action may be limited to chronic renal diseases. The beneficial effect of angiotensin II inhibition even on acute matrix expansion may be a relevant mechanism as to the explanation of its superiority in treating fibrotic renal diseases.[1]


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