Abstract-An elevation in circulating serum uric acid is strongly associated with the development of hypertension and renal disease, but whether uric acid has a causal role or whether it simply indicates patients at risk for these complications remains controversial. We tested the hypothesis that uric acid may have a causal role in the development of hypertension and renal disease by examining the effects of mild hyperuricemia in rats. Mild hyperuricemia was induced in rats by providing a uricase inhibitor (oxonic acid) in the diet. Hyperuricemic rats developed elevated blood pressure after 3 weeks, whereas control rats remained normotensive. The development of hypertension was prevented by concurrent treatment with either a xanthine oxidase inhibitor (allopurinol) or a uricosuric agent (benziodarone), both of which lowered uric acid levels. Blood pressure could also be lowered by reducing uric acid levels with either allopurinol or oxonic acid withdrawal. A direct relationship was found between blood pressure and uric acid (rϭ0.75, nϭ69), with a 10 -mm Hg blood pressure increase for each 0.03-mmol/L (0.5-mg/dL) incremental rise in serum uric acid. The kidneys were devoid of urate crystals and were normal by light microscopy. However, immunohistochemical stains documented an ischemic type of injury with collagen deposition, macrophage infiltration, and an increase in tubular expression of osteopontin. Hyperuricemic rats also exhibited an increase in juxtaglomerular renin and a decrease in macula densa neuronal NO synthase. Both the renal injury and hypertension were reduced by treatment with enalapril or L-arginine. In conclusion, mild hyperuricemia causes hypertension and renal injury in the rat via a crystal-independent mechanism, with stimulation of the renin-angiotensin system and inhibition of neuronal NO synthase. Key Words: uric acid Ⅲ hypertension, renal Ⅲ renin-angiotensin system Ⅲ nitric oxide U ric acid is a purine metabolite that in most mammals is degraded by the hepatic enzyme uricase to allantoin. However, mutations in the uricase gene occurred during primate development, with the consequence that humans have relatively higher levels of serum uric acid. 1 An elevation in serum uric acid has been associated with an increased risk for the development of hypertension, 2-4 and 25% to 50% of hypertensive individuals are hyperuricemic. 4 Hyperuricemia also confers increased risk for cardiovascular mortality, especially in women. 5,6 Despite the clinical and epidemiological evidence, many authorities do not consider an elevated uric acid to be a true cardiovascular risk factor, because patients with hyperuricemia often have other wellestablished risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as hypertension, renal disease, obesity, dyslipidemia, and insulin resistance. 6 Several studies have found that an elevated uric acid level is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease after controlling for the contribution of established risk factors by multivariate analyses 2,3,7 ; however, other studies...
Abstract-Hyperuricemia is associated with hypertension, vascular disease, renal disease, and cardiovascular events. In this report, we review the epidemiologic evidence and potential mechanisms for this association. We also summarize experimental studies that demonstrate that uric acid is not inert but may have both beneficial functions (acting as an antioxidant) as well as detrimental actions (to stimulate vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation and induce endothelial dysfunction). A recently developed experimental model of mild hyperuricemia also provides the first provocative evidence that uric acid may have a pathogenic role in the development of hypertension, vascular disease, and renal disease. Thus, it is time to reevaluate the role of uric acid as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and hypertension and to design human studies to address this controversy. Key Words: antioxidants Ⅲ hypertension, essential Ⅲ cardiovascular diseases Ⅲ renin-angiotensin system Ⅲ vascular diseases Ⅲ renal disease U ric acid, a product of purine metabolism, is degraded in most mammals by the hepatic enzyme, urate oxidase (uricase), to allantoin, which is freely excreted in the urine. However, during the Miocene epoch (20 to 5 million years ago), 2 parallel but distinct mutations occurred in early hominoids that rendered the uricase gene nonfunctional. 1 As a consequence, humans and the great apes have higher uric acid levels (Ͼ2 mg/dL) compared with most mammals (Ͻ2 mg/dL).Uric acid levels also vary significantly within humans as the result of factors that increase generation (such as high purine or protein diets, alcohol consumption, conditions with high cell turnover, or enzymatic defects in purine metabolism) or decrease excretion. A reduction in glomerular filtration rate (GFR) increases serum uric acid, although a significant compensatory increase in gastrointestinal excretion occurs. 2 Hyperuricemia also may result from increased net tubular absorption. After filtration, uric acid undergoes both reabsorption and secretion in the proximal tubule, and this process is mediated by a urate/anion exchanger and a voltagesensitive urate channel. 3,4 Organic anions such as lactate decrease urate secretion by competing for urate through the organic anion transporter, whereas several substances, including probenacid and benziodarone, have opposite effects. 5 Hyperuricemia is usually defined as Ͼ6.5 or 7.0 mg/dL in men and Ͼ6.0 mg/dL in women.
Abstract. Hyperuricemia is associated with renal disease, but it is usually considered a marker of renal dysfunction rather than a risk factor for progression. Recent studies have reported that mild hyperuricemia in normal rats induced by the uricase inhibitor, oxonic acid (OA), results in hypertension, intrarenal vascular disease, and renal injury. This led to the hypothesis that uric acid may contribute to progressive renal disease. To examine the effect of hyperuricemia on renal disease progression, rats were fed 2% OA for 6 wk after 5/6 remnant kidney (RK) surgery with or without the xanthine oxidase inhibitor, allopurinol, or the uricosuric agent, benziodarone. Renal function and histologic studies were performed at 6 wk. Given observations that uric acid induces vascular disease, the effect of uric acid on vascular smooth muscle cells in culture was also examined. RK rats developed transient hyperuricemia (2.7 mg/dl at week 2), but then levels returned to baseline by week 6 (1.4 mg/dl). In contrast, RKϩOA rats developed higher and more persistent hyperuricemia (6 wk, 3.2 mg/dl). Hyperuricemic rats demonstrated higher BP, greater proteinuria, and higher serum creatinine than RK rats. Hyperuricemic RK rats had more renal hypertrophy and greater glomerulosclerosis (24.2 Ϯ 2.5 versus 17.5 Ϯ 3.4%; P Ͻ 0.05) and interstitial fibrosis (1.89 Ϯ 0.45 versus 1.52 Ϯ 0.47; P Ͻ 0.05). Hyperuricemic rats developed vascular disease consisting of thickening of the preglomerular arteries with smooth muscle cell proliferation; these changes were significantly more severe than a historical RK group with similar BP. Allopurinol significantly reduced uric acid levels and blocked the renal functional and histologic changes. Benziodarone reduced uric acid levels less effectively and only partially improved BP and renal function, with minimal effect on the vascular changes. To better understand the mechanism for the vascular disease, the expression of COX-2 and renin were examined. Hyperuricemic rats showed increased renal renin and COX-2 expression, the latter especially in preglomerular arterial vessels. In in vitro studies, cultured vascular smooth muscle cells incubated with uric acid also generated COX-2 with time-dependent proliferation, which was prevented by either a COX-2 or TXA-2 receptor inhihbitor. Hyperuricemia accelerates renal progression in the RK model via a mechanism linked to high systemic BP and COX-2-mediated, thromboxane-induced vascular disease. These studies provide direct evidence that uric acid may be a true mediator of renal disease and progression.
Hyperuricemia is associated with hypertension and vascular disease, but whether this represents a causal relationship or an epiphenomenon remains unknown. We recently reported a model of mild hyperuricemia in rats that results in increased blood pressure and mild renal fibrosis. In this study, we examined the effect of hyperuricemia on the renal vasculature. Rats fed 2% oxonic acid and a low-salt diet for 7 wk developed mild hyperuricemia (1.8 vs. 1.4 mg/dl, P < 0.05), hypertension [147 vs. 127 mmHg systolic blood pressure (SBP), P < 0.05], and afferent arteriolar thickening, with a 35% increase in medial area ( P < 0.05). Allopurinol or benziodarone prevented the hyperuricemia, hypertension, and arteriolopathy. Hydrochlorothiazide treatment did not prevent the hyperuricemia or arteriolopathy despite controlling blood pressure. In contrast, the arteriolopathy and hypertension were prevented by both enalapril and losartan. Uric acid also directly stimulated vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation in vitro, and this was partially inhibited by losartan. Thus hyperuricemia induces a renal arteriolopathy in rats that is blood pressure independent and involves the renin-angiotensin system.
Abstract-Humans have elevated serum uric acid as a result of a mutation in the urate oxidase (uricase) gene that occurred during the Miocene. We hypothesize that the mutation provided a survival advantage because of the ability of hyperuricemia to maintain blood pressure under low-salt dietary conditions, such as prevailed during that period. Mild hyperuricemia in rats acutely increases blood pressure by a renin-dependent mechanism that is most manifest under low-salt dietary conditions. Chronic hyperuricemia also causes salt sensitivity, in part by inducing preglomerular vascular disease. The vascular disease is mediated in part by uric acid-induced smooth muscle cell proliferation with activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases and stimulation of cyclooxygenase-2 and platelet-derived growth factor. Although it provided a survival advantage to early hominoids, hyperuricemia may have a major role in the current cardiovascular disease epidemic.
Background/Aims: Rats with mild hyperuricemia develop systemic hypertension, interstitial renal disease, afferent arteriolopathy, and increased renin expression [Mazzali et al.: Am J Physiol 2002;6:F991–F997]. We hypothesized that hyperuricemia might also induce glomerular changes. Methods: We reviewed renal biopsies of rats previously made hyperuricemic for 7 weeks with the uricase inhibitor, oxonic acid. Controls included normal rats and oxonic acid-treated rats administered allopurinol, benziodarone, hydrochlorothiazide, or enalapril. Glomeruli were examined for size (computer image analysis) and structure (histology). An additional group of rats were administered oxonic acid or control diet for 6 months. Results: Renal biopsies showed that hyperuricemic rats had a 30% increase in glomerular tuft area (p < 0.01); these changes were prevented by allopurinol and benziodarone. Control of blood pressure with hydrochlorothiazide did not prevent the development of glomerular hypertrophy, whereas enalapril partially reduced the glomerular hypertrophy. Prolonged hyperuricemia was associated with the development of microalbuminuria (p < 0.05) and glomerulosclerosis (22 vs. 10%, p < 0.05) compared to control rats. Conclusions: Hyperuricemic rats develop glomerular hypertrophy that can be prevented in part by ACE inhibitor therapy. Prolonged hyperuricemia is associated with the development of glomerulosclerosis in the rat.
VEGF accelerates renal recovery in this experimental model of TMA. These studies suggest that angiogenic growth factors may provide a new therapeutic strategy for diseases associated with endothelial cell injury.
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