Abstract

Clinical trials indicate that sodium/glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors (SGLT2i) improve kidney function, yet, the molecular regulation of SGLT2 expression is incompletely understood. Here, we investigated the role of the intrarenal renin–angiotensin system (RAS) on SGLT2 expression. In adult non-diabetic participants in the Nephrotic Syndrome Study Network (NEPTUNE, n=163), multivariable linear regression analysis showed SGLT2 mRNA was significantly associated with angiotensinogen (AGT), renin, and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) mRNA levels (P<0.001). In vitro, angiotensin II (Ang II) dose-dependently stimulated SGLT2 expression in HK-2, human immortalized renal proximal tubular cells (RPTCs); losartan and antioxidants inhibited it. Sglt2 expression was increased in transgenic (Tg) mice specifically overexpressing Agt in their RPTCs, as well as in WT mice with a single subcutaneous injection of Ang II (1.44 mg/kg). Moreover, Ang II (1000 ng/kg/min) infusion via osmotic mini-pump in WT mice for 4 weeks increased systolic blood pressure (SBP), glomerulosclerosis, tubulointerstitial fibrosis, and albuminuria; canaglifozin (Cana, 15 mg/kg/day) reversed these changes, with the exception of SBP. Fractional glucose excretion (FeGlu) was higher in Ang II+Cana than WT+Cana, whereas Sglt2 expression was similar. Our data demonstrate a link between intrarenal RAS and SGLT2 expression and that SGLT2i ameliorates Ang II-induced renal injury independent of SBP.

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