Background: The beneficial short- and long-term renoprotective effects of angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibition are lower in albuminuric diabetic patients homozygous for the deletion compared to the insertion polymorphism of the ACE gene. In an attempt to overcome this interaction, we evaluated the short-term renoprotective effect in diabetic nephropathy of the angiotensin II receptor antagonist losartan in patients homozygous for the insertion or the deletion allele.
Methods: Fifty-four hypertensive type 1 diabetic patients with diabetic nephropathy homozygous for the insertion (I; N = 26) or the deletion (D; N = 28) allele of the ACE/ID polymorphism were included. After four weeks of washout, the patients received losartan 50 mg daily followed by 100 mg in two treatment periods each lasting two months. Patients and investigators were blinded to ACE genotypes. At baseline and in the end of the treatment periods, 24-hour blood pressure, albuminuria and glomerular filtration rate values were determined.
Results: At baseline, blood pressure, albuminuria and glomerular filtration rate (GFR) values were similar in the two genotype groups [II vs. DD, 1134 (238 to 5302) vs. 1451 (227 to 8129) mg/24 h, median (range); 156/82 (17/9) vs. 153/80 (17/11) mm Hg, mean (SD); and 86 (22) vs. 88 (24) mL/min/1.73 m2, respectively]. Both doses of losartan significantly lowered blood pressure, albuminuria, and GFR (P < 0.05 vs. baseline). Losartan 100 mg was more effective than 50 mg in reducing albuminuria, 51% (95% CI; 40 to 61) versus 33% (23 to 42), respectively (P < 0.01). No differences in the impact of losartan between the II and DD groups were observed: Losartan 100 mg lowered systolic/diastolic blood pressure by 12/6 and 10/4 mm Hg, whereas albuminuria decreased by 55% (35 to 68) and 46% (28 to 61), in the II and DD groups, respectively (P = NS).
Conclusion: Our data suggest that losartan offers similar short-term renoprotective and blood pressure lowering effects in albuminuric hypertensive type 1 diabetic patients with the ACE II and DD genotypes. However, the long-term renoprotective effects remain to be evaluated.