Activation of renal renin–angiotensin system (RAS) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) are the main pathophysiological mechanisms associated with kidney injury both in diabetes and hypertension. However, the contribution to medullary damage when the two pathologies coexist has seldom been explored.Main methods:
Diabetes was induced with streptozotocin in twelve week-old male Wistar and spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) rats; controls received vehicle. Three weeks later, systolic blood pressure (SBP), plasma and urinary angiotensinogen (AGT), renal oxidative stress and metabolic status were evaluated.Key findings:
SBP was higher in SHR-controls than in Wistar-controls (200 ± 6 and 127 ± 3 mmHg, respectively) and decreased in SHR-diabetics but not in Wistar-diabetics (143 ± 8 and 122 ± 6 mmHg, respectively). Renal medullary hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) production was similarly increased in diabetics (Wistar: 0.32 ± 0.04 and 1.11 ± 0.10 nmol/mg protein, respectively; SHR: 0.40 ± 0.05 and 0.90 ± 0.14 nmol/mg protein, respectively) and positively correlated with glycemia (Wistar: r = 0.7166, SHR: r = 0.7899, p < 0.05) and urinary AGT excretion (Wistar: r = 0.8333; SHR: r = 0.8326, p < 0.05). Cortical H2O2 production was higher in SHR-controls than in Wistar-controls (1.10 ± 0.09 and 0.26 ± 0.04 nmol/mg protein, respectively) and diabetes induction decreased it in SHR (0.70 ± 0.09 nmol/mg protein). Diabetes increased urinary AGT excretion by more than 7-fold and decreased plasma AGT concentration by more than 1.5-fold in both strains.Significance:
Our results show that STZ-induced diabetes increases medullary H2O2 production and urinary AGT excretion with similar magnitude in normotensive and hypertensive animals. Reducing blood pressure attenuates hypertension-associated cortical damage but does not prevent medullary dysfunction.