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Hypertension induces renal fibrosis or tubular interstitial fibrosis, which eventually results in end-stage renal disease. Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is one of the underlying mechanisms of renal fibrosis. Though previous studies showed that Ecklonia cava extracts (ECE) and dieckol (DK) had inhibitory action on angiotensin (Ang) I-converting enzyme, which converts Ang I to Ang II. It is known that Ang II is involved in renal fibrosis; however, it was not evaluated whether ECE or DK attenuated hypertensive nephropathy by decreasing EMT. In this study, the effect of ECE and DK on decreasing Ang II and its down signal pathway of angiotensin type 1 receptor (AT1R)/TGFβ/SMAD, which is related with the EMT and restoring renal function in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs), was investigated. Either ECE or DK significantly decreased the serum level of Ang II in the SHRs. Moreover, the renal expression of AT1R/TGFβ/SMAD was decreased by the administration of either ECE or DK. The mesenchymal cell markers in the kidney of SHRs was significantly decreased by ECE or DK. The fibrotic tissue of the kidney of SHRs was also significantly decreased by ECE or DK. The ratio of urine albumin/creatinine of SHRs was significantly decreased by ECE or DK. Overall, the results of this study indicate that ECE and DK decreased the serum levels of Ang II and expression of AT1R/TGFβ/SMAD, and then decreased the EMT and renal fibrosis in SHRs. Furthermore, the decrease in EMT and renal fibrosis could lead to the restoration of renal function. It seems that ECE or DK could be beneficial for decreasing hypertensive nephropathy by decreasing EMT and renal fibrosis.


Myeongjoo Son, Seyeon Oh, Junwon Choi, Ji Tae Jang, Kuk Hui Son, Kyunghee Byun. Attenuating Effects of Dieckol on Hypertensive Nephropathy in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats. International journal of molecular sciences. 2021 Apr 19;22(8)

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PMID: 33921823

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