05 December 2008
Circulating opioids were studied in insulin-dependent diabetics with renal haemodynamic alterations. Higher circulating β-endorphin (β-EP) and lower β-lipotropin (β-LPH) levels were found in patients with glomerular hyperfiltration than in diabetics with normal glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and controls. Moreover, significantly positive correlations between β-EP and GFR, and between β-EP and renal plasma flow were demonstrated in these patients. On the contrary, reduced β-EP levels were observed in diabetics with impaired GFR and overt nephropathy. Plasma renin activity was increased in diabetics with glomerular hyperfiltration and reduced in diabetics with overt nephropathy. Circulating opioids might, therefore, play a role in renal haemodynamic alterations, both in patients with early and advanced glomerular changes.