ACE inhibition increases expression of the ETB receptor in kidneys of mice with unilateral obstruction

Kazuaki Moridaira, Jeremiah Morrissey, Melanie Fitzgerald, Guangjie Guo, Ruth McCracken, Timothy Tolley, Saulo Klahr

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35 Scopus citations


Unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO) is a well-established model for the study of interstitial fibrosis in the kidney. It has been shown that the reninangiotensin system plays a central role in the progression of interstitial fibrosis. Recent studies indicate that endothelin, a powerful vasoconstrictive peptide, may play an important role in some types of renal disease. To investigate the effects of angiotensin II on endothelin and its receptors in the kidney, mice were subjected to UUO and treated with or without enalapril, an orally active angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor, in their drinking water (100 mg/l). The animals were killed 5 days later. Using RT coupled with PCR, we measured the levels of endothelin-1, endothelin A, and endothelin B (ETB) along with transforming growth factor-β, TNF-α, and collagen type IV mRNA expression in the kidney with UUO and the contralateral kidney along with interstitial expansion in the kidney cortex by a standard point counting method. We found that enalapril administration ameliorated the increased expression of ET-1 mRNA in the obstructed kidney by 44% (P < 0.02). Although the level of endothelin A mRNA expression was significantly increased in the obstructed kidney, it was not affected by enalapril. We found that enalapril treatment increased ETB mRNA expression by 115% (P < 0.05) and protein expression (measured by Western blot) in the kidney with an obstructed ureter. Enalapril treatment alone inhibited the expansion of interstitial volume due to UUO by 52%. Cotreatment with enalapril and the ETB receptor antagonist BQ-788 inhibited the expression of interstitial volume by only 19%. This study confirms that enalapril inhibits the interstitial fibrosis in UUO kidneys. It also suggests a beneficial and unforeseen effect of enalapril on the obstructed kidney by potentially stimulating the production of nitric oxide through an increased expression of the ETB receptor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)F209-F217
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology
Issue number1 53-1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003


  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme
  • Enalapril
  • Endothelin B receptor
  • Fibrosis
  • Nitric oxide formation


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