24 April 2008
Background/Aims: The effect of febuxostat (Fx), a non-purine and selective xanthine oxidase inhibitor, on glomerular microcirculatory changes in 5/6 nephrectomy (5/6 Nx) Wistar rats with and without oxonic acid (OA)-induced hyperuricemia was evaluated. Methods: Four groups were studied: 5/6 Nx+vehicle (V)+placebo (P) (n = 7); 5/6 Nx+V+Fx (n = 8); 5/6 Nx+OA+P (n = 6) and 5/6 Nx+OA+Fx (n = 10). OA (750 mg/kg/day, oral gavage) and Fx (3–4 mg/kg/day, drinking water) were administered for 4 weeks. Systolic blood pressure, proteinuria and plasma uric acid were measured at baseline and at the end of 4 weeks. Measurement of glomerular hemodynamics and evaluation of histology were performed at the end of 4 weeks. Results: 5/6 Nx+OA+P rats developed hyperuricemia, renal vasoconstriction and glomerular hypertension in association with further aggravation of afferent arteriolopathy compared to 5/6 Nx+V+P. Fx prevented hyperuricemia in 5/6 Nx+OA+Fx rats and ameliorated proteinuria, preserved renal function and prevented glomerular hypertension in both 5/6 Nx+V+Fx and 5/6 Nx+OA+Fx groups. Functional improvement was accompanied by preservation of afferent arteriolar morphology and reduced tubulointerstitial fibrosis. Conclusion: Fx prevented renal injury in 5/6 Nx rats with and without coexisting hyperuricemia. Because Fx helped to preserve preglomerular vessel morphology, normal glomerular pressure was maintained even in the presence of systemic hypertension.