Abstract 158: Role of Prorenin Receptor in the Enhancement of Renin Activity in the Urine of Diabetic Patients

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High prorenin levels in the circulation are associated with the progression of diabetic nephropathy and microvascular changes in diabetes. In spite of high plasma prorenin, the urine of diabetes mellitus patients exhibits very low pH and contains high levels of “active” renin, but low levels of prorenin. Prorenin binding to the prorenin receptor (PRR) results in non-proteolytic activation of prorenin and stimulation of intracellular synthesis of transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β). Furthermore, the PRR cytosolic domain is associated with the vacuolar H+-ATPase, which is involved in acid-base homeostasis by renal intercalated cells. In diabetes, the collecting duct is the major source of prorenin and PRR is upregulated in the kidneys of diabetic rats. We examined the relationships among urine levels of renin (uRen), prorenin (uPro), soluble PRR (sPRR) and TGF-β (uTGF-β) in 93 subjects, including non-diabetes mellitus (Non-DM: n=64); and type-2 diabetes mellitus (DM; n=29) patients. Urine albumin (uAlb), creatinine (uCr) and pH were also assessed. DM patients showed higher uRen levels (DM: 81±21 vs Non-DM: 29±4.5 ng AngI/mL/hr; p<0.001), which were positively associated with uAlb/uCr (p<0.05, r=0.21) and inversely correlated with urine pH (p<0.01, r=-0.38). These values contrasted with uPro levels, which were no different between groups. DM patients showed increased uTGF-β compared to Non-DM (DM: 22±5.3 vs Non-DM: 5.6±1.5 pg/mg uCr; p<0.0001). Urine sPRR levels were positively correlated with urine pH (p<0.0001, r=0.56). No differences were observed in sPRR plasma and urine levels between non-DM and DM patients. However, the plasma levels of sPRR were 12.5 and 18.5-fold higher than in urine of Non-DM and DM, respectively. Treatment with RAS blockers increased sPRR in plasma (DM with RAS blockade: 24,455±2,151 vs DM without RAS blockade: 17,726±1,255 pg/mL, p<0.001) but not in urine. These data suggest that the cell membrane-bound PRR, not the soluble form, might be responsible for the increases in renin activity and TGF-β, as well as in the low pH in the urine of type-2 DM patients. It is likely that prorenin-mediated activation of membrane bound PRR promotes diabetic nephropathy by increasing urinary formation of TGF-β.

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