The following article requires a subscription:

(Format: HTML, PDF)

Objective: Fibrosis is a hallmark of renal damage in several diseases, including arterial hypertension. We, therefore, investigated the role of angiotensin II, endothelin-1 and of L-type calcium channels in the development of the glomerular, vascular, and tubulointerstitial fibrosis in a model of severe angiotensin II-dependent hypertension.

Methods: Five-week-old Ren-2 transgenic rats (TGRen2) received for 4 weeks a placebo, bosentan (100 mg/kg body weight), irbesartan (50 mg/kg body weight), the ETA-selective endothelin receptor antagonist BMS-182874 (BMS; 52 mg/kg body weight), the combination of irbesartan (50 mg/kg body weight) plus BMS (52 mg/kg body weight), and nifedipine (30 mg/kg body weight).

Results: Glomerular volume, tubulointerstitial fibrosis, glomerular, and perivascular fibrosis were accurately quantified by histomorphometry in four-to-six sections per kidney. Glomerular fibrosis was lowered by BMS (P < 0.001), whereas tubulointerstitial fibrosis was blunted by bosentan (P < 0.001) and irbesartan (P < 0.005). Perivascular fibrosis was reduced by nifedipine and BMS. As only irbesartan and irbesartan plus BMS decreased blood pressure (P < 0.001 vs. placebo), these effects on fibrosis were independent of blood pressure.

Conclusion: Angiotensin II and L-type calcium channels modulate fibrosis selectively in the tubulointerstitial and in the perivascular compartments, respectively. The prevention of fibrosis with ET-1 receptor antagonism in all three compartments supports a major role of ET-1 in the development of renal fibrosis.

(C) 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.