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      Competing Effects of Renin Angiotensin System Blockade and Sodium-Glucose Cotransporter-2 Inhibitors on Erythropoietin Secretion in Diabetes

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          Abstract

          Background: Anaemia is a common finding in diabetes, particularly in those patients with albuminuria or renal dysfunction and is associated with impaired erythropoietin (EPO) secretion. This review focuses on mechanisms involved in the regulation of erythropoiesis in diabetic patients in an effort to elucidate the competing effects of the renin angiotensin system (RAS) blockade and sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors on haemoglobin concentration and hematocrit values. Summary: The RAS shows significant activation in diabetic subjects. Angiotensin II, its active octapeptide, causes renal tubulointerstitial hypoxia, which stimulates hypoxia-inducible factors (HIF) and increases EPO secretion and erythropoiesis. As expected, drugs that inactivate RAS, such as angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers (ACEi/ARB) are associated with a significant hematocrit-lowering effect and/or anaemia in various clinical conditions, including diabetes. Dual blockade by a combination of ACEi and ARB in diabetic patients achieves a better RAS inhibition, but at the same time a worse drop of haemoglobin concentration. Increased glucose reabsorption by SGLTs in diabetic subjects generates a high-glucose environment in renal tubulointerstitium, which may impair HIF-1, damage renal erythropoietin-producing cells (REPs) and decrease EPO secretion and erythropoiesis. SGLT2 inhibitors, which inhibit glucose reabsorption, may attenuate glucotoxicity in renal tubulointerstitium, allowing REPs to resume their function and increase EPO secretion. Indeed, EPO levels increase within a few weeks after initiation of therapy with all known SGLT2 inhibitors, followed by increased reticulocyte count and a gradual elevation of haemoglobin concentration and hematocrit level, which reach zenith values after 2–3 months. Key Messages: The competing effects of RAS blockade and SGLT2 inhibitors on erythropoiesis may have important clinical implications. The rise of hematocrit values by SGLT2 inhibitors given on top of RAS blockade in recent outcome trials may significantly contribute to the cardiorenal protection attained. The relative contribution of each system to erythropoiesis and outcome remains to be revealed in future studies.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          AJN
          Am J Nephrol
          10.1159/issn.0250-8095
          American Journal of Nephrology
          S. Karger AG
          0250-8095
          1421-9670
          2020
          May 2020
          02 April 2020
          : 51
          : 5
          : 349-356
          Affiliations
          aOnassis Cardiac Surgery Center, Athens, Greece
          b2nd Department of Internal Medicine-Propaedeutic, Research Institute and Diabetes Centre, Attikon University Hospital, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Medical School, Athens, Greece
          cDepartment of Pulmonary and Critical Care Services, Evangelismos Hospital, Athens, Greece
          Author notes
          *Demetrios V. Vlahakos, MD, 2nd Department of Internal Medicine-Propaedeutic, Research Institute and Diabetes Centre, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Medical School, Attikon University Hospital, 1 Rimini Street, Haidari, GR–12462 Athens (Greece), E-Mail vlahakos@otenet.gr
          Article
          507272 Am J Nephrol 2020;51:349–356
          10.1159/000507272
          32241009
          © 2020 S. Karger AG, Basel

          Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

          Page count
          Figures: 1, Tables: 2, Pages: 8
          Categories
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