01 December 2000
Background/Aims: Several recent studies have suggested that angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors ameliorate chronic cyclosporin A (CyA) tubulo-interstitial disease by mechanisms independent of their antihypertensive effects. The aim of the present study was to determine whether ACE inhibition exerts a direct beneficial effect on the tubulo-interstitium in an in vitro model of chronic CyA nephropathy. Methods: Primary cultures of human proximal tubular cells (PTC) and renal cortical fibroblasts (CF) were exposed for 24 h to CyA in the presence or absence of enalaprilat. Parameters of tubulo-interstitial nephrotoxicity were then measured including collagen synthesis (proline incorporation), tubular viability and function (thymidine incorporation, lactate dehydrogenase release, and apical sodium-hydrogen exchange), and secretion of insulin-like growth factor I, transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGFβ<sub>1</sub>), and platelet-derived growth factor. Results: CyA promoted CF collagen synthesis, PTC cytotoxicity (suppressed viability, growth and sodium transport), and tubulo-interstitial fibrogenic cytokine release (CF secretion of insulin-like growth factor I and PTC secretion of TGFβ<sub>1</sub> and platelet-derived growth factor). Enalaprilat completely reversed the stimulatory effects of CyA on CF collagen synthesis (CyA + enalaprilat 6.40 ± 0.50% vs. CyA alone 8.33 ± 0.56% vs. control 6.57 ± 0.62% vs. enalaprilat alone 5.55 ± 0.93%, p < 0.05) and PTC secretion of TGFβ<sub>1</sub> (0.71 ± 0.11, 1.13 ± 0.09, 0.89 ± 0.07, and 0.67 ± 0.09 ng/mg protein/day, respectively, p < 0.05). However, the other manifestations of CyA toxicity were not significantly reversed by concomitant enalaprilat administration. Conclusions: ACE inhibition directly prevents CyA-induced interstitial fibrosis, but not proximal tubule cytotoxicity, independently of haemodynamic and systemic renin-angiotensin system effects. Renoprotection may be partially afforded by directly preventing the tubular secretion of TGFβ<sub>1</sub>.