We examined angiotensinogen gene expression in rat kidney by in situ hybridization histochemistry. Using a rat cRNA probe to angiotensinogen, we demonstrated angiotensinogen mRNA to be localized predominantly in the proximal renal tubule, with considerably lesser amounts in distal tubular segments and glomerular tufts. Previous studies have localized renin immunoreactivity to the juxtaglomerular cells, glomerular tufts, and proximal tubules. Such findings provide further evidence for a local tissue renin angiotensin system within the kidney which may influence regional function. Based on our data, we hypothesize that a major site of angiotensin production is the proximal tubule. We postulate that angiotensin synthesized in and/or around the proximal tubule may directly modulate tubular transport of sodium, bicarbonate, and water. In addition to the proximal tubule, the specific localization of the renin angiotensin components elsewhere in the kidney would also support the other proposed regional functions of the intrarenal system, including modulation of tubuloglomerular balance.
J R Ingelfinger, W M Zuo, E A Fon, K E Ellison, V J Dzau