Enalapril and renal injury in spontaneously hypertensive rats.
Rats of the spontaneously hypertensive strain develop kidney damage that resembles the nephropathy seen in some cases of human essential hypertension. Previous studies with a triple drug antihypertensive regimen indicated that proteinuria and glomerular histopathology in spontaneously hypertensive rats might develop despite long-term effective control of systemic blood pressure. To investigate further the relation between hypertension and kidney disease, a group of spontaneously hypertensive rats were treated with enalapril at 15 weeks of age. Blood pressure, protein excretion, and kidney function were measured in those rats at regular intervals during the next year and a half and were compared with untreated spontaneously hypertensive rats and the normotensive Wistar-Kyoto parent strain. Kidney tissue samples from all three groups, collected at autopsy, were stained by immunohistochemical and conventional methods to assess the relative severity and nature of kidney damage. Although enalapril therapy was completely effective in controlling the blood pressure of spontaneously hypertensive rats, it only postponed the onset of kidney disease. Enalapril-treated spontaneously hypertensive rats eventually exhibited albuminuria as severe as that found in hypertensive rats. Kidney vessel pathology was completely prevented with enalapril, but the abnormal accumulation of mononuclear cells in tubulointerstitial and periglomerular sites was the same as in untreated spontaneously hypertensive rats. We have concluded that elevated protein excretion in rats of the spontaneously hypertensive rat strain is not a secondary consequence of systemic hypertension. Structural abnormalities of renal vessels also do not appear to contribute significantly to the pathogenesis of albuminuria in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Other explanations must be sought to account for the close link between spontaneous hypertension and kidney damage in this animal model. The clear dissociation of kidney disease from systemic hypertension exhibited by spontaneously hypertensive rats may also be relevant for human disease.
- Copyright © 1990 by American Heart Association