Expression of (pro)renin receptor and its upregulation by high salt intake in the rat nephron

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A functional receptor for renin and prorenin ((P)RR) was identified as a new component of the renin–angiotensin system. The precise localization of (P)RR in the kidney has not been clarified. The present study was designed to determine the localization of (P)RR in the rat nephron and to investigate the regulation of renal (P)RR expression by high salt (HS) intake. (P)RR mRNA levels in the kidney sections and isolated nephron segments were examined using reverse transcription and polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and (P)RR protein levels were examined by immunoblot and immunohistochemical analyses. Renal (P)RR mRNA and protein levels in rats fed a HS diet for 4 weeks were also compared with those fed a normal salt diet. (P)RR mRNA was expressed in various nephron segments of the cortex and medulla; glomeruli (Glm), proximal tubules (PT), thick ascending limbs (TAL) and collecting ducts (CD). (P)RR protein was highly expressed in the PT, medullary TAL (MTAL) and inner medullary CD (IMCD), and lowly in the preglomerular arterioles (Art) and Glm. HS intake increased (P)RR protein levels in the Glm, PT and tubules of medullary rays. These results indicated that (P)RR is expressed throughout various nephron segments and Art, and that (P)RR protein is expressed predominantly in the PT, MTAL and IMCD. HS intake appears to upregulate the (P)RR expression in the Glm, PT and tubules of medullary rays, suggesting that (P)RR may be involved in the regulation of renal function and HS-induced disorders.

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