The kininogen gene family in obstructive uropathy.Semin Nephrol. 1998 Nov; 18(6):633-40.SN
Obstructive uropathy impairs nephron growth and function and is a major cause of end-stage renal disease in both adults and children. The major focus of this review article is to examine the evidence implicating a role for the kallikrein-kinin system in the pathophysiology of obstructive uropathy. Recent in vivo studies using specific kinin receptor antagonists and transgenic animals overexpressing or lacking various components of the kallikrein-kinin system have documented that kinins are involved in the regulation of renal function and blood pressure. Multiple roles have been proposed for kinins in obstructive uropathy. Renal kallikrein gene expression is suppressed in the kidney with chronic (>7 days) complete ureteral obstruction. In contrast, ureteral obstruction stimulates renin expression, creating a state of intrarenal angiotensin excess and kinin deficiency, which plays an important role in mediating the increased renal vascular resistance and decreased renal blood flow in the obstructed kidney. In addition to their hemodynamic effects, kallikrein and kinins influence tubular functions. For example, kallikrein influences urinary acidification in the distal nephron, suggesting that dysregulation of kallikrein expression may contribute to the acidification defect in the obstructed kidney. Also, kinins exert direct diuretic and natriuretic effects in the collecting duct and may be important in mediating the post-obstructive diuresis after the relief of urinary obstruction. The kinin substrate, kininogen, is a potent inhibitor of lysosomal cysteine proteases. Unlike kallikrein, kininogen synthesis is upregulated in the kidneys and liver of animals with urinary obstruction. By neutralizing cysteine proteases, kininogen may protect the tubular epithelium of obstructed nephrons from excessive apoptosis. The beneficial actions of kinins and kininogens on renal hemodynamics, tubular function, and cell survival suggest that strategies aimed at increasing intrarenal kinins, eg, ACE-kininase II inhibitors and kallikrein gene therapy, may represent a useful adjunct in the medical treatment of obstructive uropathy.