Original Article

The protective effect of the RAS inhibitor on diabetic patients with nephropathy in the context of VEGF suppression

Hai-bing Chen, Jun-xi Lu, Qing Li, Yu-qian Bao, Jun-ling Tang, Hui-juan Lu, Kun-san Xiang, Wei-ping Jia
DOI: 10.1038/aps.2008.28


Aim: The aim of the present study was to explore whether renin angiotensin system (RAS) inhibitor can reduce the production of vascular endothelium growth factor (VEGF). Further, we sought to elucidate the correlation between VEGF level and certain clinical parameters, such as albumin excretion rate (AER), before and after treatment with angiotensin type 1 receptor blocker.
Methods: We recruited 166 type 2 diabetic patients at various stages of diabetic nephropathy (DN) and 46 healthy control subjects for a cross-sectional study. We recruited another 42 hypertensive type 2 diabetic patients with microalbuminuria for a longitudinal study involving a 6-month irbesartan treatment protocol. Urinary VEGF (uVEGF) levels were determined using ELISA.
Results: In the cross-sectional study, hypertensive type 2 diabetic patients who received RAS inhibitor presented lower uVEGF levels than those who did not receive the RAS inhibitor. Statistical analysis indicated that uVEGF level was independently correlated with the AER. In the longitudinal study involving the 6-month irbesartan treatment, we demonstrated that uVEGF levels decreased significantly in patients who achieved a 50% AER reduction (remission group, n=32). In contrast, uVEGF levels remained unchanged in patients who did not exhibit a 50% AER reduction (nonremission group, n=10). Furthermore, the change in uVEGF was significantly correlated with the change in AER (r=0.65, P<0.01) before and after 6 months of irbesartan treatment. This result held true even after we had adjusted for the decrease in average blood pressure.
Conclusion: The protective effect of the RAS inhibitor in DN patients is associated with the suppression of VEGF. Accordingly, it may be possible to use uVEGF as a marker of DN progression. We suggest that uVEGF may be an important target for therapeutic intervention in the context of DN.

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