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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 601786, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/601786
Review Article

Involvement of the Intrarenal Renin-Angiotensin System in Experimental Models of Glomerulonephritis

Department of Pediatrics, Institute of Health Biosciences, The University of Tokushima Graduate School, Kuramoto-cho 3-18-15, Tokushima, Tokushima 770-8503, Japan

Received 9 January 2012; Accepted 9 June 2012

Academic Editor: Oreste Gualillo

Copyright © 2012 Maki Urushihara et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The intrarenal renin-angiotensin system (RAS) has several pathophysiologic functions not only in blood pressure regulation but also in the development of glomerulonephritis (GN). Angiotensin II (Ang II) is the biologically active product of the RAS. Locally produced Ang II induces inflammation, renal cell growth, mitogenesis, apoptosis, migration, and differentiation, regulates the gene expression of bioactive substances, and activates multiple intracellular signaling pathways, leading to tissue damage. Activation of the Ang II type 1 (AT1) receptor pathway results in the production of proinflammatory mediators, cell proliferation, and extracellular matrix synthesis, which facilitates glomerular injury. Previous studies have shown that angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and/or AT1 receptor blockers have beneficial effects in experimental GN models and humans with various types of GN, and that these effects are more significant than their suppressive effects on blood pressure. In this paper, we focus on intrarenal RAS activation in the pathophysiology of experimental models of GN.