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Inhibition of RAS in diabetic nephropathy

Authors Yacoub R, Campbell K

Received 1 January 2015

Accepted for publication 13 February 2015

Published 15 April 2015 Volume 2015:8 Pages 29—40

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJNRD.S37893

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 5

Editor who approved publication: Professor Pravin Singhal


Rabi Yacoub, Kirk N Campbell

Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA


Abstract: Diabetic kidney disease (DKD) is a progressive proteinuric renal disorder in patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes mellitus. It is a common cause of end-stage kidney disease worldwide, particularly in developed countries. Therapeutic targeting of the renin–angiotensin system (RAS) is the most validated clinical strategy for slowing disease progression. DKD is paradoxically a low systematic renin state with an increased intrarenal RAS activity implicated in its pathogenesis. Angiotensin II (AngII), the main peptide of RAS, is not only a vasoactive peptide but functions as a growth factor, activating interstitial fibroblasts and mesangial and tubular cells, while promoting the synthesis of extracellular matrix proteins. AngII also promotes podocyte injury through increased calcium influx and the generation of reactive oxygen species. Blockade of the RAS using either angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, or angiotensin receptor blockers can attenuate progressive glomerulosclerosis in animal models, and slows disease progression in humans with DKD. In this review, we summarize the role of intrarenal RAS activation in the pathogenesis and progression of DKD and the rationale for RAS inhibition in this population.

Keywords: renin–angiotensin system, diabetic kidney disease, angiotensin II, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers

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