Endothelial nitric oxide synthase intron 4 polymorphism influences the progression of renal disease

Nephron. 2001 Oct;89(2):219-23. doi: 10.1159/000046071.


Background/aim: Nitric oxide is a potent regulator of intrarenal hemodynamics and may influence the renal function. We investigated whether polymorphism of intron 4 of the endothelial constitutive nitric oxide synthase (ecNOS) gene is related to the progression of chronic renal failure.

Methods: Polymorphism of ecNOS intron 4 was studied in 1,005 hemodialysis patients (710 with nondiabetic nephropathy and 295 with diabetic nephropathy) and was compared with the findings in 189 healthy subjects. ecNOS genotypes were determined by the polymerase chain reaction, followed by agarose gel electrophoresis.

Results: The frequencies of ecNOS4a/a, ecNOS4a/b, and ecNOS4b/b genotypes were, respectively, 0% (0/189), 13.8% (26/189), and 86.2% (163/189) in the control group; 1.7% (12/710), 22.1% (157/710), and 76.2% (541/710) in the nondiabetic nephropathy group, and 1.0% (3/295), 22.7% (67/295), and 76.3% (225/295) in the diabetic nephropathy group. The frequency of ecNOS4a (ecNOSa/a and ecNOSa/b) was significantly higher in both the nondiabetic group and in the diabetic group than in the controls (p = 0.0025 and p = 0.0438, respectively).

Conclusion: There was a significantly higher frequency of the a allele of intron 4 in both nondiabetic and diabetic hemodialysis patients, so the polymorphism of intron 4 of the ecNOS gene may have a wide influence on the progression of renal disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / enzymology
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / genetics*
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Introns
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / enzymology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / genetics*
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase / genetics*
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*


  • NOS3 protein, human
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III