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Hypertension Research
Vol. 26 (2003) No. 4 April P 339-347



Experimental studies

Although it is known that diabetic nephropathy is accelerated by hypertension, the mechanisms involved in this process are not clear. In this study we aimed to clarify these mechanisms using male Wistar fatty rats (WFR) as a type 2 diabetic model and male Wistar lean rats (WLR) as a control. Each group was fed a normal or high sodium diet from the age of 6 to 14 weeks. We determined the blood pressure and urinary albumin excretion (UAE). At the end of the study, the expressions of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) and transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) were examined in the isolated glomeruli by Western blot analysis, and the number of glomerular lesions was determined by conventional histology. High sodium load caused hypertension and a marked increase in UAE in the WFR but not in the WLR. Glomerular volume was increased in the hypertensive WFR. There was no difference among the four groups in the expression of c-Jun-NH2-terminal kinase (JNK). In contrast, the expressions of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) and its upstream regulator, MAPK/ERK kinase 1 (MEK1), were augmented in the hypertensive WFR. Expression of p38 MAPK was increased in the normotensive WFR, and further enhanced in the hypertensive WFR. Moreover, administration of high sodium load to WFR augmented the expression of TGF-β1. In conclusion, systemic hypertension in WFR accelerates the diabetic nephropathy in type 2 diabetes via MEK-ERK and p38 MAPK cascades. TGF-β1 is also involved in this mechanism. (Hypertens Res 2003; 26: 339-347)

Copyright © 2003 by the Japanese Society of Hypertension

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