Characterization of renin mRNA expression and enzyme activity in rat and mouse mesangial cells

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Andrade, A.q. [UNIFESP]
Casarini, Dulce Elena [UNIFESP]
Schor, Nestor [UNIFESP]
Boim, Mirian Aparecida [UNIFESP]
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Renin is an enzyme involved in the stepwise generation of angiotensin II. Juxtaglomerular cells are the main source of plasma renin, but renin activity has been detected in other cell types. In the present study we evaluated the presence of renin mRNA in adult male Wistar rat and mouse (C-57 Black/6) mesangial cells (MC) and their ability to process, store and release both the active and inactive forms of the enzyme. Active renin and total renin content obtained after trypsin treatment were estimated by angiotensinogen consumption analyzed by SDS-PAGE electrophoresis and quantified by angiotensin I generation by HPLC. Renin mRNA, detected by RT-PCR, was present in both rat and mouse MC under basal conditions. Active renin was significantly higher (P<0.05) in the cell lysate (43.5 ± 5.7 ng h-1 10(6) cells) than in the culture medium (12.5 ± 2.5 ng h-1 10(6) cells). Inactive prorenin content was similar for the intra- and extracellular compartments (9.7 ± 3.1 and 3.9 ± 0.9 ng h-1 10(6) cells). Free active renin was the predominant form found in both cell compartments. These results indicate that MC in culture are able to synthesize and translate renin mRNA probably as inactive prorenin which is mostly processed to active renin inside the cell. MC secrete both forms of the enzyme but at a lower level compared with intracellular content, suggesting that the main role of renin synthesized by MC may be the intracellular generation of angiotensin II.
Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research. Associação Brasileira de Divulgação Científica, v. 35, n. 1, p. 17-24, 2002.