The present study was undertaken to assess the presence of renin enzymatic activity and renin mRNA in proximal tubules of rat kidneys, and to determine the effect of converting enzyme inhibition (CEI) on proximal tubule renin gene expression. Proximal convoluted tubules (PCT), proximal straight tubules (PST), outer medullary collecting ducts (OMCD), and glomeruli (Gloms) were isolated by microdissection. Renin activity was measured in sonicated segments by radioimmunoassay. Renin mRNA levels were assessed using a quantitative PCR. Renin activity in PCT averaged 51 +/- 15 microGU/mm compared to 405 +/- 120 microGU/glomerulus. No measurable renin activity was found in PST and OMCD. Renin activity in both glomeruli and tubules had the same pH optimum, between 7.0 and 7.5. Renin mRNA was consistently detectable in cDNA prepared from PCT and PST, although its abundance per mm tubule was about 1/500th that found in one glomerulus. Renin mRNA was not detectable in OMCD. Tubular renin PCR product identity was confirmed by restriction digestion. CEI administration increased glomerular renin activity and renin mRNA, but not proximal tubular renin. The absence of a stimulatory effect of CEI on proximal tubule renin gene expression suggests the operation of different intracellular signals in control of renin synthesis in the proximal tubule than in the vascular compartment.
M Chen, M P Harris, D Rose, A Smart, X R He, M Kretzler, J P Briggs, J Schnermann