Downregulation of nitric oxide synthase in nephrotic syndrome: Role of proteinuria

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Blood pressure is frequently elevated, blood volume is usually normal or increased and plasma renin and aldosterone are usually low in nephrotic syndrome (NS). These observations challenge the conventional view attributing sodium retention in NS to a hypoalbuminemia-induced intravascular volume contraction. Given the pivotal role of nitric oxide (NO) in regulation of renal sodium (Na) handling, vascular resistance and sympathetic activity, we considered that Na retention and hypertension in NS may be associated with impaired NO system. Urinary excretion of Na and NO metabolites (NOx), as well as immunodetectable endothelial (eNOS), inducible (iNOS) and neuronal (nNOS) NO synthases were determined in rats with puromycin aminonucleoside (PAN)-induced NS, rats with protein overload proteinuria, Nagase rats (NAR) with inherited analbuminemia, iNOS inhibitor (aminoguanidine)-treated rats, prenephrotic PAN-treated and placebo-treated control rats. The NS group showed marked proteinuria, hypoalbuminemia, decreased fractional excretion of Na (FENa), reduced urinary NOx excretion, and severe reduction of iNOS and nNOS protein abundance in the kidney. Similar results were found in rats with protein overload proteinuria in which proteinuria was present without hypoalbuminemia. In contrast, despite extreme hypoalbuminemia, NAR showed normal FENa, increased urinary NOx excretion and upregulations of iNOS and nNOS protein abundance in the kidney. Administration of aminoguanidine for 3 weeks lowered FENa in normal rats to levels approximating those found in the NS group. Animals studied 2 days after PAN administration (wherein proteinuria was absent) showed no abnormality. Thus, chronic PAN-induced NS results in downregulation of kidney iNOS and nNOS, which can contribute to the reduction of FENa by augmenting renal tubular Na reabsorption, and preglomerular vasoconstriction. Findings in the NAR, which had profound hypoalbuminemia without proteinuria, and in rats with protein overload proteinuria, which had proteinuria without hypoalbuminemia, point to proteinuria as the primary mediator of kidney iNOS and nNOS deficiency and impaired Na excretion in PAN-induced NS. © 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.




Ni, Z., & Vaziri, N. D. (2003). Downregulation of nitric oxide synthase in nephrotic syndrome: Role of proteinuria. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease, 1638(2), 129–137.

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