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The expression and activity of renal nitric oxide synthase and circulating nitric oxide in polycystic kidney disease rats

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Wang D, Braendstrup O, Larsen S, Horn T, Strandgaard S. The expression and activity of renal nitric oxide synthase and circulating nitric oxide in polycystic kidney disease rats. APMIS 2004;112:358–68.

Nitric oxide (NO) influences tubular fluid and electrolyte transport, and hence possibly also fluid accumulation in renal cysts. The expression and activity of intrarenal constitutive NO synthase (cNOS) [neuronal NOS, nNOS and endothelial NOS, eNOS] and inducible NOS (iNOS) and plasma nitrite/nitrate (PNOx) concentration were assessed in homozygous Han:SPRD polycystic kidney disease (PKD) rats (cy/cy), heterozygous Han:SPRD PKD rats (cy/+), homozygous normal Han:SPRD littermates (+/+) and Sprague Dawley rats (sd). The results showed: 1) nNOS expression was decreased in proximal tubules and thick ascending limbs of the loop of Henle in cy/cy and cy/+ rats compared to +/+ and sd rats (p<0.05). nNOS was weakly expressed in the epithelium of small cysts and unexpressed in epithelium of large cysts. 2) iNOS expression was increased in proximal tubular epithelial cells in cy/+ rats compared to +/+ rats and sd rats (p<0.01). iNOS expression in cyst epithelium was decreased in cy/+ rats (p<0.05) and absent in cy/cy rats. 3) eNOS expression was similar in the endothelium of intrarenal arteries in all groups. 4) The activity of renal cNOS was decreased in cy/cy and cy/+ rats; the activity of iNOS was decreased only in cy/cy rats, with no significant difference among the other three groups. 5) PNOx concentration was higher in cy/cy rats than in the other three groups, and correlated positively with plasma creatinine and urea. In conclusion, NOS expression and activity decreased as cysts developed, suggesting that NO downregulation is involved in the pathogenesis of PKD.
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Keywords: Nitric oxide; nitric oxide synthase; polycystic kidney disease

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Pathology, Glostrup Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark 2: Pathology, Herlev Hospital, and

Publication date: 2004-06-01

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