Effects of losartan pretreatment in an experimental model of ischemic acute kidney injury

Nephron Exp Nephrol. 2009;112(1):e10-9. doi: 10.1159/000210574. Epub 2009 Apr 3.


Background/aims: Contributions to the understanding of acute renal failure (ARF) pathogenesis have not been translated into an effective clinical therapy. We studied the effects of pretreatment with the angiotensin II type 1 (AT1) receptor blocker, losartan, on renal function, tissue injury, inflammatory response and serum aldosterone levels in a model of ischemic ARF.

Methods: Rats underwent unilateral renal ischemia followed by 24 h of reperfusion (IR), and were pretreated or not with 8 (IRL8) or 80 (IRL80) mg/kg/day of losartan for 3 days.

Results: IR kidneys showed marked renal dysfunction, epithelial damage, capillary congestion, increased myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity and increased TNF-alpha, IL1-beta and IL-6 mRNA levels. IRL80 kidneys showed protection against dysfunction and tissue injury, associated with normal MPO activity and cytokine mRNA levels. The lower dose was not able to achieve the same degree of functional renoprotection and could not prevent an increase of MPO or proinflammatory cytokine mRNA levels. The high losartan dose completely prevented an increase of serum aldosterone levels induced by IR.

Conclusion: Renoprotection of the high losartan dose would be mainly mediated by its anti-inflammatory actions. Our results show a potential pathophysiological role of AT1 activation in promoting renal dysfunction, structural injury, inflammation and aldosterone elevation after IR injury.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Acute Kidney Injury / etiology*
  • Acute Kidney Injury / prevention & control*
  • Angiotensin II Type 1 Receptor Blockers / therapeutic use*
  • Animals
  • Kidney / blood supply*
  • Kidney / drug effects
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Losartan / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 1 / physiology*
  • Reperfusion Injury / complications*
  • Reperfusion Injury / prevention & control*


  • Angiotensin II Type 1 Receptor Blockers
  • Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 1
  • Losartan