We aimed to examine the effects of angiotensin II AT1 receptor blocker on the expression of major renal sodium transporters and aquaporin-2 (AQP2) in rats with chronic renal failure (CRF). During 2 wks after 5/6 nephrectomy or sham operation, both CRF rats (n=10) and sham-operated control rats (n=7) received a fixed amount of low sodium diet and had free access to water. CRF rats (n=10) were divided into two groups which were either candesartan-treated (CRF-C, n=4) or vehicletreated (CRF-V, n=6). Both CRF-C and CRF-V demonstrated azotemia, decreased GFR, polyuria, and decreased urine osmolality compared with sham-operated rats. When compared with CRF-V, CRF-C was associated with significantly higher BUN levels and lower remnant kidney weight. Semiquantitative immunoblotting demonstrated decreased AQP2 expression in both CRF-C (54% of control levels) and CRF-V (57%), whereas BSC-1 expression was increased in both CRF groups. Particularly, CRF-C was associated with higher BSC-1 expression (611%) compared with CRF-V (289%). In contrast, the expression of NHE3 (25%) and TSC (27%) was decreased in CRF-C, whereas no changes were observed in CRF-V. In conclusion, 1) candesartan treatment in an early phase of CRF is associated with decreased renal hypertrophy and increased BUN level; 2) decreased AQP2 level in CRF is likely to play a role in the decreased urine concentration, and the downregulation is not altered in response to candesartan treatment; 3) candesartan treatment decreases NHE3 and TSC expression; and 4) an increase of BSC-1 is prominent in candesartan-treated CRF rats, which could be associated with the increased delivery of sodium and water to the thick ascending limb.
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